Addiction is often described as a family disease. This is only in part because the actions of the addict negatively impact the family. The reality is that when a member of a family becomes addicted to substances, the entire family system is altered.
This can be seen most clearly in the case of codependent relationships. A codependent relationship is usually between an addict and an enabler. While the addict depends on the enabler to facilitate their continued use of substances if only on an emotional level, the enabler depends on the addict for continued meaning in the role of helper or savior.
But there are many more relationship dynamics that alter in the families of addicts. For this reason, it is crucial that the families receive help during the recovery process.
These are the top programs for the families of addicts in recovery.
Luxury Rehab Family Therapy
When an addict enters luxury rehab, their family is invited into the program to attend family therapy sessions. These sessions are geared towards treating the family unit as a whole, in the context of the recovery of the addict. Family therapy is carried out on the basis that the addict is unlikely to recover on their own.
Family therapy in luxury rehab will give you a good start on your journey towards recovery as a family. However, the journey doesn’t end when the recovering addict leaves inpatient rehab.
Al-Anon / Nar-Anon (12 Step Program)
The 12 Step Program has a parallel process for the family members of the recovering addict. The family members are not expected to follow the same 12 steps. However, they learn about the steps while interacting in meetings with other families. They get to share their experiences and give and receive support from these families.
It is important to note that Nar-Anon is the meeting associated with Narcotics Anonymous. Narconon, on the other hand, is a program run by Scientology which may take advantage of people mistaking it for a 12 Step Program.
As with all branches of the 12 Step Fellowship, the first steps speak about a higher power. While this does not necessarily need to be a traditional “God” figure, some meetings can be quite religious. If you want to go to a non-religious meeting, search for groups nearby that specifically cater to those who do not want to enter a religious process.
Alternatively, the SMART Recovery program provides non-religious alternatives.
SMART Recovery Family & Friends
SMART Recovery is a non-religious recovery program that is an alternative to the 12 Step Fellowship. As such, their Family & Friends program provides an alternative to Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
In SMART Recovery, the families and friends of recovering addicts are introduced to each other and provided with guidance and resources, as well as the space to share their experiences.
Addiction is a family disease, and it is important for the entire family to get help. This is for the well-being of every member of the family, and not just the recovering addict.