What Is The Importance of Family Support While in Recovery?

A family gathered for a photo.

What Is The Importance of Family Support While in Recovery?

The transition into recovery can be a vulnerable stage for some men. This can be especially so for those facing challenges with a dual diagnosis. Not many families understand the level of impact they can make during this time. Serving as a good role model can make for a positive outcome. Recovery at any stage, whether it is early or late, can be difficult to manage. Family support is crucial during all phases of one’s recovery. Taking time to explore different ways to show support can significantly improve a loved one’s quality of life. Addiction and mental health treatment facilities understand the importance of family support. Participating in family therapy and considering family programs can help a struggling family member maintain long-term sobriety. 

What to Expect in Early and Late Recovery

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), addiction and mental health recovery can be defined as the process of gradual change through which an individual makes room for serious improvement. An individual begins to make sacrifices to improve their mental and physical health. During this stage, the individual strives to independently achieve long-term sobriety and mental stability.

Early recovery can be a sensitive phase due to the many changes made to promote long-term sobriety. During this phase, life can feel very busy and one may become extremely overwhelmed. Therefore, intense feelings of stress may increase one’s odds of a substance relapse. Once the individual begins to adapt to their structured routine, life gradually begins to slow down. As everything is set in stone, time passes and one may become bored. Thus, intense cravings may begin to come to the surface. Again, one may be at risk for a potential substance relapse or experiencing suicidal ideation.

The Importance of Family Support

Not many individuals understand the importance of family support. Many families may have the wrong perspective. For instance, it is common for some family members to assume that once a loved one completes treatment, they will suddenly be changed. This is entirely not the case. Many individuals facing problems with a dual diagnosis have difficulty recognizing their symptoms, responding to triggers, and preventing unwanted triggers. 

It is important to know how a loved one is required to make immediate changes, such as removing unhealthy relationships, pursuing a new job, and sometimes moving to a new residence. Ultimate sacrifice can leave one feeling very lonely. This is why family support is crucial to prevent a mental or substance relapse. As recovery can be difficult for a loved one to manage, it may be wise for the entire family to understand their direct role in their loved ones’ healing phase. 

Different Ways a Family Can Show Support During a Loved One’s Recovery

A sudden relapse, whether it is a drug overdose or suicide, can be devastating for a family to experience. Therefore, It can be highly beneficial for a family to stay engaged in their loved one’s recovery process. It can be common for a loved one to accept support, but giving one space during recovery and lightly providing care when needed can develop trust for consistent care. There are several ways to provide support without being too overbearing or pushing your loved one back into isolation. Different ways a family can provide support during their loved one’s recovery might include: 

  • Encouraging a loved one to explore outpatient care
  • Becoming a positive role model 
  • Participating in sober activities together
  • Eliminating unwanted triggers
  • Providing a healthy home environment
  • Attending mutual support meetings

Participating in Family Therapy to Understand the Importance of Family Support

Although showing moral support during a loved one’s recovery can be helpful, participating in family work together can be highly effective. According to a separate SAMHSA study, it is common for families to continue unhealthy habits even after a loved one completes dual diagnosis treatment. This can make it very difficult for a loved one to maintain mental stability while in recovery. Attending family intervention programs and family therapies can help everyone settle into recovery comfortably together. Family therapy can help each family understand their role in the recovery process.

Value of Family Intervention Programs

Surrendering to care as a family can help everyone move forward in the right direction. Exploring different types of family work can significantly strengthen family dynamics. For example, family therapy can help each family member reflect on their current behaviors to make improvements for their loved one. Each session can help the family better understand their loved one’s condition to provide the right guidance moving forward. Participating in family therapy and family programs to help everyone work through the challenges together. The benefits of family intervention programs typically: 

  • Reduce conflict within the family
  • Build empathy and understanding
  • Facilitate healthy communication
  • Promote problem-solving
  • Maintain logical boundaries
  • Provide healthy coping strategies 
  • Help the family recognize the signs of relapse