If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs, you may be feeling a heavy weight on your shoulders of late, or as though a dark cloud has been hovering over your days. Maybe you feel anxious about your loved one’s whereabouts, constantly fearing where he is or wondering if she’s safe. More than likely, you feel a lot of heartbreak and a little bit of guilt, feeling as though you weren’t a “good enough” parent or sibling to stop this. You blame yourself for not helping your loved one soon enough. Perhaps you still manage to carry out each day with a smile, so that you can avoid talking about it.
What many people do not realize is that addiction is not one-sided. It does not just affect the person who is doing drugs. No, addiction is a disease that impacts the entire family – mothers, fathers, siblings, children, and anyone else who is close to an addict who can’t seem to stop. You are not alone.
Addiction affects about 21 million people across the United States today, and about 10 million youth (ages 12-29) are currently in need of addiction treatment. Each one of these users has family members who are fighting the same fight each and every day – to keep their loved one’s safe; to get their loved one’s the help they need; and, in the same breath, to keep themselves emotionally and mentally intact.
It’s not easy, but it is important to know that there is help available for families of addicts. You do not have to go through this alone. You can be there for your loved one while he or she is in recovery, and you can also take steps in keeping yourself in good health. Turnbridge can help.
Right now, you may be thinking, “It’s not me that needs help, it’s my child.” You may be thinking that you’d rather have your teen’s drug problem or mental health disorder addressed before getting help for yourself. Of course, your loved one’s recovery is your top priority. But families need help and healing too. At Turnbridge, we believe that family members are an integral part of the recovery process – particularly for growing adolescents and young adults.
You see, family therapy for addiction does not just help parents and siblings cope; it also boosts their loved one’s chances at sobriety. In an addiction recovery program that involves family members, broken relationships get restored. In time, trust gets re-established. Healing and support are both in reach.
Types of Help for Families at Turnbridge
By getting help for your family, amidst your child’s addiction, you will become a healthier and more solid version of you. You will not just be a parent, but also a vital and stable resource supporting your child through the healing process.
Whether your loved one is already in treatment or you are in the process of choosing a rehab facility, know that Turnbridge offers several programs, resources, and kinds of help for families of addicts. Below are some examples of the ways families can get involved, and supported, at Turnbridge.
At Turnbridge, we have found that the involvement of family members is paramount throughout the healing process, and often leads to better treatment outcomes. Family is one of the most powerful components in recovery, and studies support this concept. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Involvement of a family member or significant other in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend treatment benefits.” Benefits of family involvement include higher rates of success, increased participation in treatment methods, and greater commitment to sober living programs.
Adolescents and young adults in addiction treatment can benefit from the added support and encouragement of family members, as they work through challenges in recovery and as they rediscover themselves and the importance of family relationships. It is for this reason that Turnbridge encourages residents to call family members on a weekly basis, at least. Always, clients and their families can communicate with one another at any point during Turnbridge’s recovery programs.
Just as those in recovery can benefit from family support, parents of addicts can also benefit from regular communication with their loved one. We find that ongoing, open communication provides parents with great peace of mind, and gives family members the opportunity to truly play a role in their loved one’s recovery – which, ultimately, helps rebuild trust and family bonds.
Family Liaison at Turnbridge
Turnbridge’s Family Liaison is perhaps one of the most valued resources available at our adolescent and young adult rehab center. Family members and parents especially can contact the Liaison at any time throughout their loved one’s recovery journey. The Family Liaison is there to ensure that families receive ongoing, accurate updates about their loved one’s progress. The Liaison also provides help for families of addicts in the form of general information about addiction and their loved one’s recovery programs. The Family Liaison is present at family meetings with loved ones, as well as most intakes, and is therefore the one that family members can call with any questions or concerns.
Intensive Family Healing Workshops
Once a month, Turnbridge hosts an educational workshop for family members with a loved one in recovery. Facilitated by Family and Addiction Consultant Diana Clark, JD, MA, these intensive healing workshops are designed to educate families about the disease of addiction and the way it affects the brain. We also teach parents and family members how to manage expectations during the healing process—like any disease, addiction takes time to heal. It also takes great support. Through intensive healing workshops, parents can gain a better understanding of what their children are facing, and how they can play a role in the healing process. Turnbridge also helps families of addicts understand how to identify, address, and intervene addictive behavior.
Parent & Sibling Support Groups
On a monthly basis, Turnbridge offers separate Parent Support Group sessions, as well as Sibling Support Groups, for those with loved ones in treatment. Family members of current Turnbridge residents meet with one another to share their personal experiences, questions, feelings, and advice for others in similar situations. Parents and siblings can learn from one another, as well as from families of Turnbridge alumni and support staff, who are also present during this support groups. Family members can walk away with more comfort – knowing they are not alone – and also more hope, knowing that treatment is in fact attainable for their loved ones.
Family Education Weekends
Sometimes, Turnbridge will host family education weekends for those with loved ones in recovery. These weekends are an intensive time filled with group learning, facilitated discussion, mindfulness and meditation, and experiential therapy for parents of drug addicts. The goal of Turnbridge’s family recovery programs is really to help family members better understand addiction, accept addiction as a disease, and further support the healing process.
For two days, parents join together to talk about their personal experiences of parenting a child with a substance use disorder. They will share stories and advice with one another, and together, will learn coping skills that they can bring home to the family. Parents participating in this program also walk away with more peace-of-mind and specific plans on how to sustain good mental health and wellness, even in stressful times such as this.
For more information on the teen and young adult rehab programs at Turnbridge, please call us at 877-581-1793. We’re happy to talk to you about getting help for you, your family, and getting involved in your loved one’s recovery journey. You may also learn more about our family program for young women battling addiction, and our family support program for young men with addiction, online.