Dealing With A Family Member With Addiction: The Importance Of Support

Dealing With A Family Member With Addiction: The Importance Of Support

Dealing With A Family Member With Addiction: The Importance Of Support

Individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) or mental health issues need support to maintain positive lifestyle changes. For most people, their family provides essential motivation and encouragement during recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health." Personal boundaries can protect a client's physical and mental well-being by ensuring family members understand their loved one's needs and preferences. Samarpan educates families on dealing with a family member with addiction and about the importance of open communication and healthy boundaries during early recovery. 


Educating Family Members On Mental Health

Clients at Samarpan have regular contact with their families. The care team ensures that families have access to information and resources that will help them support their loved one. Misinformation and stigmas often cause families to have unrealistic expectations of treatment. Our facility combats misinformation by telling families about their loved one's mental health and how they can best provide emotional and practical support.

The care team educates families by sharing the following:

  • How their actions, choices, language, and beliefs can contribute to their loved one's positive or negative mental health

  • The symptoms and side effects related to their loved one's disorder and how those might affect thoughts or behaviors

  • How therapy and other treatments can positively impact the client and family

  • Possible challenges they may encounter during continuing care and suggestions for managing those issues

  • Details on the typical stages of healing and how to support their loved one's recovery

Alumni and their families can reach out for more information during ongoing recovery. Samarpan is here to provide assistance and support. We ensure clients continue to heal and recover after they complete a program.

Developing Healthy Family Dynamics

Martin Peters, the Director of Residential Services at Samarpan, has stated, “In India, family plays a significant part in our client's lives, unlike in Western society, families here are much more closely knitted, or generations continue to live within the same family house; this, in turn, can cause significant stress for family members, as well as the individual struggling with addiction. Educating the family around addiction, and providing them with tools that will enable them to support the individual in a healthy manner, are a significant part of the treatment process, both within the residential setting, as well as through continued care.”

According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, "[I]t is vital to preserving family's proven role in the mental health of the patient." Samarpan treatment programs are highly structured and provide an environment where clients can practice healthy family dynamics with peers. In addition, we help families develop a healthier dynamic by educating them and guiding the client through learning practical social and communication skills during treatment.

3 Ways Family Involvement Affects Treatment And Recovery

Family involvement in treatment can directly affect a client's recovery. Below are three common ways family reactions can either interfere with or support their loved one's recovery.

#1. Identifying And Addressing Enabling Behaviors

Families sometimes unintentionally enable unhealthy behaviors by protecting their loved ones from the consequences of their actions or shielding the family's reputation by ignoring certain behaviors. Individual and family therapy sessions can help clients identify maladaptively and enabling behaviors. With the help of our care team, families can learn to undo any damage caused by enabling behaviors and avoid them in the future, lowering the risk of relapse.

#2. Accountability And Compassionate Encouragement

Family can provide accountability that keeps the client on track after they leave structured treatment. In addition, the encouragement and compassionate care of family members often have a positive effect on clients struggling to overcome mental health issues related to depression or anxiety.

#3. Decreased Feelings Of Loneliness And Isolation

Many people struggling with mental health issues or substance misuse self-isolate or feel lonely if the people in their lives cannot relate to their experiences. Family involvement in treatment gives them a better understanding of their loved one's struggles, which can decrease a client's feelings of loneliness.

How Samarpan Encourages Clients To Set Boundaries

Samarpan encourages clients and family members to communicate clearly and set firm boundaries to protect their mental and physical health. We do this in several ways, including:

  • Peer engagement

  • Family facilitation

  • Skill development

  • Mental health education

Assertive Communication Between Peers

Peers play a critical role in the healing and education process during treatment. For many people, it will be the first time they interact with others who understand their experiences on a deeper level.

Additionally, Samarpan uses peer activities and group therapy to help clients learn and practice setting boundaries and resolving conflicts in a healthy way. The structured nature of treatment makes it easier to encourage healthy social interactions. Clients can use them as blueprints for setting clear boundaries at home.

Family And Individual Therapy

Families with loved ones in treatment often benefit from attending individual and family therapy to address the underlying issues that may have contributed to the mental health issues. Samarpan facilitates weekly sessions in person or online to support family engagement.

We believe everyone can benefit from having various degrees of family involvement in their recovery. The Samarpan Deputy Director of Residential Services, Obi Unaka, states, “Our treatment setting is a social microcosm which mirrors the family setting. Clients learn and practice assertive communication by giving and receiving feedback to and from one another. It is imperative that the family members are educated on the nature of addiction and its varied presentation.” Samarpan guides families through the necessary changes to ensure clients continue healing and growing.

Family members have a unique opportunity to learn about mental health from medical professionals during treatment. In addition, they will have a chance to learn how best to show their support and love. Samarpan uses evidence-based methods to educate family members and clients about the importance of family dynamics and how to repair relationships that may have been damaged by substance misuse or unhealthy behaviors. Family can provide comfort, motivation, and accountability for people in recovery. The positive engagement they bring to therapy can improve outcomes. During treatment, clients practice establishing healthy relationships with their peers. The skills they learn will help heal family relationships. To learn more about our programs and dealing with a family member with addiction, call +91 81809 19090.

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