Family therapy recovery

At our Christian Drug Rehab, family education helps interrupt the cycle of addiction. One Christian Recovery Center client not surprised when she found herself addicted to opioids, Xanax and alcohol after a sports injury in her early twenties.

“I was surrounded by addiction for most of my life with family members,” she said.

Yet when she decided to get clean after 10 years of using, she knew that she wanted the cycle to stop with her. She was able to address her relationship with her husband and two children during her Christian treatment episode, starting the family on a healthier course for the future.

“We found a way to stay together through my whole addiction and in recovery,” she said, who has now been married for 16 years.

Now, as the director of client outreach for our Christian Drug Rehab Centers, she is helping to lead a Christian rehab program that focuses on family involvement and healing the wounds of addiction for everyone that substance abuse touches. It’s a mission that is close to her heart.

“It’s extremely important for me,” she said. “We cause a lot of turmoil with our family members in our addiction. Everybody needs to be involved in the recovery process because they’re involved during the bad times.”

Family members see their addicted loved one transform before their eyes, causing pain and hurt along the way.

“It’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” she said. “You’re the non-addict, and then all of a sudden you get stuck in your addiction and you change who you are. Every part of your being becomes different because you’re chasing that drug, you’re chasing to not be dope sick and trying to escape your life.”

Even when someone gets into recovery, the pain and distrust that the addiction brought is often still an open wound for family members. Because of this, our staff believe that it’s essential to get families involved in the Christian treatment process.

“Families are part of that addiction and they have to be part of that recovery,” she said. “Everybody needs to heal because of the damage that takes place.”

An important tool for healing is education. At our Christian Drug Rehab, families are invited to educational sessions that teach about the disease of addiction, underlying mental health issues and the process of recovery. Family members can learn about separating the disease of addiction from the individual, which can open the door for healing and processing.

“We want the family to come in to learn about disease, recovery and how to be a positive support system,” she said.

Learning about addiction can also help family members to absolve themselves of blame for their loved one’s illness.

“We bring awareness that it’s the disease of addiction: it has nothing to do with the family member,” she said.

Addressing the trauma of addiction on the family system is essential for breaking the cycle of substance abuse. When she got sober nine years ago, there was less of a focus on family support. Although her children and husband all did some therapy, the family didn’t fully understand how addiction had affected everyone.

“At the time there was the belief that if I’m getting help, as the addict, and doing aftercare, everyone else will be ok,” she said. “But as the kids started getting older there was some depression and anxiety coming out. It’s because they weren’t being honest about working through what I caused with my addiction.”

Luckily, they were able to address this in therapy.