The effects of drug and alcohol abuse can be devastating to a family. Finding hope in family recoverycan be very difficult. The lives of the young abuser’s parents and siblings are disrupted. Many of the dreams mom and dad held for years have been shattered. Relationships are in shambles and it seems like no one really understands. Where is there a solution?
Know Where To Turn
Substance abuse, particularly with young people, can be a confusing issue. It’s not that the underlying psychology is difficult to understand. Many of the patterns that lead to a young person using drugs to excess are crystal clear. In many cases there have been several attempts to reach the troubled individual over a period of years. An often overlooked factor is whether the person with the substance abuse issue relates to, or trusts, the counselor or therapist charged with helping. Addicts and alcoholics have a difficult time opening up to anyone in a position of authority. If the counselor has recovered from his or her own substance abuse issue the message will be better understood.
Relax And Let Go
Once a thorough treatment plan is in place it is vital for the family to step back and allow the course of action to be followed. It is tempting for parents to step in at any sign of trouble. Interference from the family can be very destructive. The recovery process involves many ups and downs. It seems for every two steps taken forward there is one step back. This can create an emotional roller coaster for loved ones. It is productive for parents and siblings to seek a program of recovery for themselves. Some basic steps to take in early family recovery include:
- find a counselor who is in recovery or a program that employs recovering counselors
- make sure the program offers support and counseling for parents
- develop a plan of action for the substance abuser and follow the program
The initial stages of recovery are very emotional and scary. It is important to remember to not take temporary for permanent. Hope is generated from being aware of a solution and seeing others who have recovered. With patience and perseverance a family can heal.