When one family member is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it affects the entire family unit. Whether it is a parent, an aunt, a child or a sibling, substance use disorder of one individual can wreak havoc on everyone’s life. Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford New Jersey believes that substance use disorder is a family disease.
As a result, the family should be involved in the recovery process every step of the way. The best hope for a family member who is in recovery is to actively participate within their support system in the treatment process, starting from day one. Whether the patient is enrolled in residential treatment, outpatient care or partial care program.
Family therapy consists of involving the family unit in the recovery process. Family members and the patient sit down with a therapist on a routine basis and discuss how substance use disorder has affected their daily life and their relationship with loved ones. Family therapy at Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford also works on establishing healthy boundaries and teaching patients and their family members the difference between support and enabling. Upon discharge, Pinelands Recovery provides the following to the individuals and their family to ensure the most successful outcome for the entire family:
- Counselor-supervised family calls
- Two in-person meetings for family members twice each week
- A thorough support plan for the individual and family members after discharge
- Family education programs where family members can learn about the science of substance use disorders and related topics such as codependency
- Community speakers
- An assigned family counselor who is the point of contact for family members
Supporting vs. Enabling within the Family Unit
Enabling behaviors are widespread in the family unit, especially when a substance use disorder is present. It is normal to want to help your loved one, but often the lines between supporting and enabling can be blurred. Rescuing your loved one, bailing your loved one out of trouble and making excuses for your loved one’s negative behaviors are typical examples of enabling. Many family members enable their loved ones without even realizing their actions. Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford New Jersey works with families to help them support rather than enable loved ones.
The Importance of Family Therapy
Pinelands Recovery believes that family members are an integral part of the patient’s treatment and recovery. The clinical staff and treatment team all work diligently to involve the family in every aspect of the patient’s care, and also provides counseling and education to the family separate from the patient. The family members are assigned a family counselor who is in contact with the family to ensure that they are coping well and are benefiting from family therapy. It is essential for family members to be fully educated in substance use disorder treatment so they can support their loved one fully during and after recovery.