For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment. Often, over time, daily family involvement has only managed to enable the addict. Family members frequently do not know how to bring up the issue of addiction therapy, and opt to ignore the problem for fear of pushing their loved one away during a confrontation or intervention. These are legitimate concerns, and while families should understand that approaching their loved one should be a gentle and supportive process, they also need to understand that most patients seek substance abuse treatment because of positive family involvement and intervention. It’s also important to realize that, although approaching the addicted individual and helping that person get proper treatment can be challenging, the rewards and benefits are well worth the effort.
Once a treatment plan is completed and deemed successful, that individual who is in recovery has a much clearer picture of his or her family. This also can lead to a greater sense of appreciation for one’s family and friends, and for the hardships and efforts they’ve endured to help the individual cope with their addiction and complete their treatment. This realization of how meaningful and important the family is can make the journey to addiction recovery more profound, and help strengthen family relationships. Of course the end goal in the long term is maintaining sobriety. These enhanced family relationships and healthy family habits will encourage the individual to remain sober, and help the family maintain its equilibrium, even in the case of relapse. In fact, these new behaviors can even help stop a relapse in progress. It all adds up to a positive, client-focused outcome, enabling the patient and their family to become, well, a family again and thrive together.