Addictions professionals agree that the family participation is enormously beneficial to the recovering addict, so why don’t all rehabs include family therapy and programming as a part of standard care?
The issues, as it so often does, comes back to costs of service; and it simply costs more money for a drug or alcohol rehab to run additional and peripheral therapies, educational seminars and family group meetings. Although these are proven very effective, too many rehabs get away with sending family to al anon as a substitute for true and active participation in the therapies of rehab.
How does family involvement in rehab help?
Individual therapy with a psychologist and the whole family, including the addict, can help the family to learn together why the drinking or drugging occurs, learn what family dynamics may be contributing to the problem, and also begin to heal some of the negative emotions invariably created out of the behaviors of substance abuse.
Family educational seminars educate the family about the nature and manipulations of addiction, about the dangers of the drug taken in particular, and about concrete strategies they can use to assist the recovering addict maintain sobriety once out of rehab and back in the home.
Family group sessions, in which the families of all recovering addicts in the program share experiences together, can also help to heal some of the rifts created by addiction; and families learn that their pain and suffering is in no way unique, and they also learn that they need not feel guilty for things beyond their control.
Family participation is important
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Family involvement in a drug or alcohol rehab is incredibly helpful to all members of the family, and really assists the recovering addict tremendously once back home, and as such finding a rehab that is close enough for easy family participation should be a priority in the selection process.
If two rehabs are under consideration, and all else seems equal, choose the facility that offers more comprehensive family involvement. It will help a lot, and it indicates that a good portion of your admissions check is being spent on therapy and programming to benefit the recovering addict, and not on exorbitant profits for the owner.
Even if the family does not intend on participating, rehabs that do not offer family therapy, or offer very minimal familial participation, should be considered a little bit suspect. Family participation helps, and if a rehab doesn’t offer it; why not?