As an addiction worsens, it can disrupt the entire family dynamic, causing family members’ roles and relationships to shift. Witnessing a loved one’s struggle with substance abuse might also cause you to wrestle with complex emotions like anger, guilt and shame. You want to help your family member and encourage them to seek treatment, but if you’re feeling exhausted and drained, you might not be able to fulfill that role. That’s where support groups for families can help you cope, heal and move forward. Consider these benefits of family support groups.
1. Identify and Change Unhealthy Behaviors
Families affected by substance abuse often lack beneficial boundaries. They may fall back on dysfunctional patterns like codependency and enabling to deal with the addict’s unpredictability and instability. In a family support group, you can learn how to spot signs of these problems and what steps you can take to stop them.
2. Focus on Your Well-Being
Family members might get so caught up in trying to help and care for their addicted loved one that they forget to look after themselves. A family counselor can empower you to prioritize self-care and give yourself the time and space you need to live a healthier lifestyle.
3. Reduce Conflict and Improve Your Communications Skills
Family members whose lives have been upended by addiction can have trouble relating to each other or bringing up sensitive topics. Instead of taking an assertive approach to conversations, you may have passive-aggressive relationships or other signs of family dysfunction. A family support group can teach you ways to listen to each other without judgment and how to take a more compassionate, empathetic approach to problem-solving together.
4. Learn More About Addiction as a Disease
The more you understand about the current scientific understanding of addiction as a chronic illness, the better you’ll be at putting yourself in your loved one’s shoes and understanding why they fell into the cycle of addiction. You’ll also have a better idea of what you can do to help your loved one avoid triggers that might jeopardize their sobriety.
5. Prevent Substance Abuse From Becoming a Problem for Other Family Members
Though we still have much to learn about why some people develop substance abuse disorders while others don’t, we know addiction has a genetic component. By participating in a family support group, you can become a more informed family member and take a proactive role in helping prevent addiction from getting passed down through future generations.
Family Support for Addicted Loved Ones at New Found Life
At New Found Life, we believe family involvement is an essential component in addiction recovery because family members deserve the opportunity to reconcile, recover and make positive progress together. We offer a full complement of family programming, including individual and group therapy, introduction to the 12-step philosophy and multiple educational seminars on recovery, relapse prevention and substance abuse disorder. To learn more about helping yourself and your family rebuild, contact us today.