Loving an addict who is trapped in their addiction can create pain, frustration, sadness, and isolation. Maintaining a healthy relationship with someone who is actively using drugs can be near impossible. We have come a long way in understanding the disease of addiction and help for addiction. Not too long ago, we thought it was simply the addict and the drug of choice or alcohol. Today we understand that’s not true. Addiction can effect anyone and everyone, it doesn’t care about economic background, sex, color, or size, and addiction doesn’t only effect the user itself. Today, addiction effects one out of seven families across the nation. It is easy for one to say that the addict is sick, and they’re the one who needs to make all the changes. That’s just not true, although there is some truth to that statement, change needs to happen within the family setting as well. The addict is sick but so is their family and the whole family needs help with addiction, and the problems is causes. Addicts usually have an enabler inside the family (someone who continues to support them and take responsibility and consequences that belong to the addict) and every family needs to identify their role, and problems to make the necessary changes to accommodate a healthy lifestyle. Think about it like this, at some point in time the family dynamic fit together like a puzzle, then when someone starts to use drugs they change. Their puzzle piece changes and no longer fits into the family dynamic. Frustration will continue by trying to make this puzzle fit together. Understanding that addiction is a family illness, and the disease of addiction effects everyone close to the addict. To get a better understanding of what we’re talking about here try to picture an iceberg in your mind. You can only see 10% of what’s really there, the underlying trauma and pain caused by addiction stretches far beyond the financial burden the addict may put upon you. The unhealthy behaviors and characteristics belong both to the addict and their family. The addict may lie about their usage, which can frustrate the family and usually ends with shouting, yelling, blaming, crying and resentment. Both parties will make excuses. Both the addict and the family may play into the victim role and refuse to take responsibility for their actions, they will put the blame on each other. Secrets will be kept, and slowly but surely the relationship will be damaged. Promises will be broken, and both parties will soon withdraw from everything that once brought them joy in life. Family members may feel hopeless that they cannot solve their addict’s issues, and the addict may feel resentment for the family trying to help. As you can see, addiction can affect the family, even when the family isn’t doing drugs. No one chooses to become a drug addict, and their family don’t choose to become sick. Left untreated both parties can suffer greatly from the disease of addiction. There is help for addiction. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers in Texas offer Family Programs. An intensive Family Program with healing at its core offers help for addiction that effects families. These programs are designed to acknowledge all family members and allow everyone to be heard and begin healing. Here at Nova Recovery Center, we offer a 3 Day intensive experience that combines therapy groups, lectures, homework, experiential work, and deeply moving family encounters designed to let you leave your pain here. Your loved one will have been working on himself in our 90-day drug and alcohol treatment center in Texas, which allows him to get clear headed. Our schedule includes varied interventions and groups, designed to reach people through various methods and models. The Nova Recovery Center Intensive Family Program includes:
Lecture series topics include breaking down the disease concept and addiction’s effect on the brain, communication skills training, and understanding codependency and boundary setting. We have also implemented components of The Daring Way™ modules that unpack ideas around defense mechanisms and self-defeating behaviors of the addict and family.
Homework assignments are given each night. We use Nova’s unique use of Johari’s Window to identify family issues and writing assignments to address the pain, love, and boundaries needed to move forward.
Therapy groups based in the Cognitive Behavioral and Interpersonal Therapy Models centered on discovering root issues in the family system and allowing all family members to have a voice around their experience of the addiction cycle. This involves groups with and without the client present.
Experiential work is done using psychodrama techniques of role reversal, mirroring, and modeling. We engage the entire family in exercises that use everyone’s perspective to break down denial and barriers.
Interaction with community anonymous groups is encouraged, and families are asked to travel off campus with a Nova representative to a meeting to begin finding support.