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Life After Addiction: What Does the Family Healing Process Look Like?

Life After Addiction: What Does the Family Healing Process Look Like?

More often than not, family members witness the destruction of addiction first-hand

Addiction often damages family members as much as it does the addict. Those closest to the addict witness the destruction that comes with drug abuse, and they also suffer from the addict’s decisions and actions. Because of this aspect, the family must heal as well.

Family members and loved ones often personalize the addiction. They wonder what they could have done or said to prevent drug use. They question the love the addict has for them, believing that, if the addict cared enough about them, then she would quit using.

Addiction impacts everyone differently, so family members may experience a wide-range of emotions, from guilt, shame and anger to despair, sadness and fear. No matter what, addiction greatly harms an addict’s friends and family.

How Family Members Can Heal the Wounds of Addiction

The healing process for an addict’s family will depend on the situation at hand. Whether or not a family heals will largely depend on whether the individual is moving forward with recovery or not. Some addicts refuse treatment, relapse or they cause so much damage that their loved ones do not want to let them back into the home. In either case, people can heal the wounds of addiction with or without the addict.

One of the most helpful ways to address the pain of addiction is to research the disease. It is always difficult to cope with something you do not understand, so research credible resources and speak with professionals to understand the addict’s behavior and addiction in general. Considerable helpful information is available through these professional resources, and they can greatly relieve family members to see how much control addiction has. Knowledge can also remove some grudges, animosity and hate for the addict, especially when they see that the addict’s behavior is beyond their control. Like the user, they are the victim of the illness.

Researching addiction and speaking with a professional can not only provide clarity, but it can also help family members determine their roles in the recovery process. Family members can learn how to avoid enabling the addict, overcome codependency, cope with the addict’s behavior and how to bring about change.

Repairing Relations After Opium Addiction

Family members should find healing for themselves, which will come with time and whatever coping tactics they find most suitable to their needs. Therapeutic means can include counseling, therapy, tapping into one’s spiritual-self, taking time to relax, joining a support group and talking with friends. Along with learning about addiction, it is incredibly helpful to speak with people who have gone through similar situations. Family members can find hope, healing, understanding and support from other support groups.

If people are ready to repair their relationships with the addict, counseling sessions can address the many issues that resulted from the addiction. However, it is strongly urged that both the addict and family member try to heal their own wounds before attempting to reconcile the relationship. Rebuilding trust, comfort and fondness for one another will take time and effort, but, if family members can forgive and support their loved one through recovery, then the rewards will be immeasurable.

Help for the Family of an Addict

If you are a friend or family member of an addict, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our admissions coordinators will be happy to help you in any way they can.