Family Life Without Substance Abuse
As recovery begins, some family problems resolve with abstinence. Issues of trust and worries about how the family will be different are likely to emerge. Here are a few common questions and some suggested answers on how IOT counselors can help families:
How do we reestablish trust?
- Teach family members that a lack of trust is a normal and natural reaction in early recovery but, at the same time, the recovering person may sense this lack of trust and may become angry or sad.
- Indicate that the newly abstinent member may suffer from a “time warp” in which a week seems more like a month. Such different perceptions of time can add to conflict around the trust issue because the client may expect the family’s trust after what is, in reality, only a short period of abstinence.
- Discuss the idea that mistrust transforms into trust only as the client maintains abstinence and demonstrates positive changes in behavior. Ask the client to accept that family members may not trust him or her for a period.
- Suggest that family members agree to extend their trust incrementally to the client. For example, an adolescent client may be given permission to use the family car for an outing if the adolescent’s school attendance is satisfactory for a specific period.
How do we have fun again?
- Suggest creating new family rituals to replace old ones that involved substance use.
- Suggest establishing and celebrating “family” abstinence anniversaries.
- Encourage participation in events sponsored by Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and other family support groups.
- Urge participation in multifamily groups sponsored by the treatment program.
- Ask each member to identify a favorite “family fun” activity for the entire family to enjoy.
- Ask members to consider separate couples and parent-child activities to create new relationships between family members.
- Ask members to keep a family journal that includes ideas, feedback, and comments from family members on various activities, rituals, and other family events.
What do we say to friends, neighbors, and associates about treatment and recovery?
- Assist family members in discussing and coming to decisions about what information they want to share with others and when. Write down this information, give it to all family members in the form of an agreement, and have each member sign the agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Heartland Recovery Center, we understand the importance of finding the right treatment center. That is why we form our program around the client. Entering a treatment program can be a daunting task. If you or your family have any questions, do not hesitate to call us at 219-690-7025.
Will my current treatment team be able to work with the Heartland Recovery Center team?
- With consent forms signed, we are open to professional collaboration. Your therapist and primary counselor will consult with your previous team for a full treatment history. We will also consult with your family members and loved ones to explore their needs and concerns, and family dynamics.
Can I tour the facility?
- Yes, you and your family are welcome to tour the facility. Please call the center at 219-690-7025 to set up a tour and initial visit to explore your treatment level, clinical fit, and meet the staff.
How much contact does the family have with Heartland Recovery Center?
- We sponsor several family support meetings a week. Family members are strongly encouraged to make appointments for family work and co-joint therapy.
What are my responsibilities as a client?
- Be honest, authentic, a stakeholder in your life path, and abide by the program rules.
How long is the program?
- The length is determined by the clinical needs of the client. The average length is 4 to 6 weeks, but if the client needs additional time at the center, the team will develop the appropriate plan for that client.
Is this a licensed program?
- Yes, we are licensed under the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) and follow the American Society of Addiction Medicine, (ASAM) criteria.
The program is from 8:15 - 3:15, Do I need to bring a lunch?
- No, you do not need to bring a lunch. Heartland Recovery Center caters lunch from several vendors in the area. At your morning check-in, you will be able to select your lunch from several different options on our menu that changes daily.