While family is inevitably a person’s greatest source of physical security and emotional support, Unfortunately, sometimes those closest to you can also bring about emotions and destructive behaviors, resulting from addiction and substance abuse. Not only does addiction break families apart, but this ongoing cycle also acts as an enabler. 

Enabling not only creates a permissive attitude toward drug use but also gives the addict no desire to seek treatment. As a result, those enabled, tend to lose faith in themselves and do not respect their loved ones who are supposed to support and get them help but instead is making it easier for them to continue abusing substances. 

At Hope Connections Family Support Group at Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, NC, we specialize in family therapy, our team of substance abuse counselors, family therapists, and intervention specialists are just some of the professionals available who can help families cope with the effects of addiction and mend broken bonds. 

During family therapy at Crest View, we hear about the various unique experiences and struggles that families face while dealing with addiction everyday. We then assess the situation in-depth, and provide the best resources available, to help them and their loved ones cope with those experiences, to make it easier to overcome this all-too-common disease together. 

Addiction is a Family Disease

Having a family member who is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, commonly being drugs and alcohol, is one of the toughest things to deal with, so much so, that the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence defines addiction as a “family” disease. We agree, as this disease not only affects the person going through it but their whole family as well. Members of the family are put in a great deal of stress, disrupting life routines, and causing unsettling and frightening experiences.

Truth be told, it is difficult to calculate the exact number of families today who suffer from addiction, but what we do know from extensive research is that one in seven Americans will face addiction problems. This includes families of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic status. In other words, families of all shapes and sizes are affected by some type of addiction, whether they are single-parent home, step-families, foster families, etc. 

When one person in the family is an addict, that tends to be contagious, like being peer pressured at school. As addiction means being extremely dependent on something, in the case of families, it is very easy for other members to get sucked in. People feed off of other’s addictive tendencies, increasing one’s susceptibility, most commonly, this being children. 

The Center on Addiction reports that parents who smoke, use illegal drugs, or drink excessively put their children, 35 million of them, at a greater risk of adopting substance abuse issues, in addition to physical and mental illness. Understanding this nature of addiction and the options for treatment can help family members avoid this ongoing cycle and remain close during this difficult time. 

As a result, unhealthy coping strategies develop, and as a result, things become fragile and dysfunctional, contributing to one’s addictive tendencies, resulting in destructive behaviors, which impact a family’s dynamics in several ways that are unhealthy, including: 

  • Negative emotions
  • Responsibilities
  • Safety 
  • Communication
  • Structure and boundaries
  • Relationships

When a loved one is suffering from addiction, it is a natural and instinctive reaction for the family to want to fix the problem altogether. While they may be able to offer their support, without professional help, addiction is a powerful disease that often becomes out of control. Therefore, family therapy can help. 

What is Family Therapy Support Group and its Benefits?

While this support and intentions from the family are for the greater good, oftentimes people don’t know the difference between helping and enabling, which is dangerous and may end up pushing the addicted individual further down this negative cycle. 

There are several steps families can take to start helping and learn to stop enabling. To cope and help with these destructive behaviors, families can start family therapy to get to the root of the issues and recover together as a unit. Family support is everything in the scheme of addiction, and really in all aspects of life. This is where family therapy comes into play. 

What exactly is a family support group? A family therapy support group helps families who have been torn apart from addiction heal and recover as a unit. This therapeutic setting provides a safe place for people to speak and heal in peace, all while learning to adjust and cope while supporting their loved ones going through recovery. These sessions are also designed to help implement a treatment plan in place and ways to improve the home environment, which in turn, will also help to mend the relationships within the family. 

A large body of research demonstrates the positive impact that a support system, in this case, a family can have on a loved one’s recovery from addiction. The many benefits of family therapy include: 

  • Improvement in family dynamics and communication skills
  • Mending relationships
  • A better understanding of healthy boundaries and family patterns and dynamics
  • Improving skills to cope with challenges
  • Support helps motivate those going through treatment to keep going and not give up
  • Learning about addiction together and how it is affecting the family will help get to the root of the problem, so that treatment is successful
  • Enabling family members to voice feelings and concerns and ask questions about a loved one’s addiction
  • Easing feelings of fear, anger, stress, and confusion related to the addiction
  • The chance for family members to develop skills and strategies to help a loved one stay on the path to recovery

Hope Connections is Here for You

No matter how much someone knows about addiction, it is traumatizing and can come as a total shock to find out that one of your family members may have a substance abuse problem. While it is heart-wrenching, it is better to confront the problem head-on with the support of professionals and experts who understand the disease of addiction. 

By joining our Hope Connections family support group at Crest View Recovery Center, you will have a confidential setting to ease your mind during the rehab process. These valuable meetings will give allow you to reach out to others in your community.

For example, the techniques and benefits of Hope Connections include:

  • Education
  • Clinically led
  • Open floor format
  • Community support
  • Coping skills

Through education and awareness, you will learn how to maneuver through your feelings while developing coping skills. Moreover, sharing your feelings will greatly benefit your overall emotional stability during this difficult time.

By gaining the support of your own, you will be able to correctly support your loved one through rehab and recovery. Believe it or not, family support plays a huge role in the success or failure of one’s rehab. Therefore, you’re encouragement can make all the difference.

What to Expect from CVRC’s Family Support Group

Support groups bring together people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences. Whether that be, chronic medical conditions, addiction, or someone grieving, and in need of bereavement. If you’re facing a major illness or stressful life change, it is important to note, that you don’t have to go it alone. A support group can help, but it is all about doing your research and finding the right one. With the right form of support, research and statistics show that with a support system, you can overcome a co-occurring disorder, reclaim your sense of self, and get your life back on track.

While attending a family support group meeting, you may wonder exactly how the process will go. First, we’ll begin the meeting with a daily meditation reading focusing on the “Language of Letting Go.” Then, we’ll open up the floor for individuals to share their experiences. CVRC clinicians will follow with 30-minute educational presentations. Furthermore, each meeting will include a different clinician speaker.

At the end of each meeting, different organizations within the community will have time to speak and give their support and resources. As you can see, this is a great opportunity to gain lasting tools during the recovery process.

Hope Connections meets the 1st Wednesday of every month from 6pm-7: 30 pm at Crest View Recovery Center (90 Asheland Ave, Asheville, NC 28805), except for July’s meeting, which will be held on the second Wednesday of the month (July 11th, 2018).

Building Connections Through Our Family Support Group

Are you having trouble coming to terms with a loved one’s addiction or alcoholism? If so, reach out to Crest View Recovery Center today. Our free friends and family support group, known as Hope Connections, will help you heal from the trauma that stems from addiction by sharing your experience with others in a clinically-led format.

Family support is invaluable during rehab and recovery. Addiction makes an impact on everyone’s lives surrounding the individual in rehab. By opening up about your concerns, fears, and emotions, you will gain an understanding while relating to other families in similar situations.

At Crest View Recovery Center, we understand the difficulties each family faces through addiction. From confusion to anger and fear, every family member will cope with this experience differently. Therefore, we take pride in providing these resources for family members to overcome the challenges and emotions in front of them.

Don’t allow your loved one’s addiction to take hold of you as well. The free family support group is completely confidential and is not intended for professionals to network. This nurturing, safe environment will provide you with the resources and support you deserve. 

How to Pay for Family Therapy

Addiction and going through recovery is stressful enough. No family needs the burden of wondering how or if they can afford treatment. At Crest View, we, fortunately, work with most major insurance providers to minimize this worry and financial burden of treatment. Click here to view our list of providers, so we can get your loved one on a journey to sobriety. 

Find peace and understanding through Hope Connections at CVRC. Contact Crest View Recovery Center today at (866) 327.2505 or email  hopeconnections@crestviewrecovery.org to learn more about our family support group, substance abuse programs, and addiction therapy. Join our group on Facebook to connect with others and learn more!

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Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.