Supporting Family Members in Recovery


There are several ways to support a family member in recovery, even if they cannot commit to formal therapy sessions. Understanding why a family member may have begun to use substances can be very hard. Sometimes, parents feel like they may have done something wrong. However, this may not be true. There may be many reasons why someone chooses to use substances. A person’s environment, psychological traits, and stress levels all play significant roles in using alcohol or drugs. Learning about your family member’s addiction with a non-judgemental attitude is key to helping them reach the point of recovery.

Seeking help for young adults struggling with substance use as soon as possible is critical. People who start using drugs or alcohol early in life run a higher risk of becoming addicted. Research suggests that children experiment with drugs based on their perceived risks of using. If a child grows up in a household where substance use is normalized, their risk assessment will be higher than usual. Families need to learn about different substances and their long-term negative impacts on health together. Understanding the details about family-based recovery models and their ideas of non-judgmental support is vital to the recovery process. It’s hard to positively influence family members if there is a misunderstanding of our loved ones’ process.

An open communication flow is critical in any relationship, and many family-based treatment models incorporate communicative skills into their sessions. Having open communication with a family member who uses substances is also vital to their recovery. Free communication channels mean that they may come to you with issues they have tried to hide before. If a substance user feels like they will be judged or given harsh punishment, they may keep complicated matters to themselves, making open communication and a foundation of trust essential. 


In recovery, open communication is essential to making sure a family member is getting the best care possible. A person needs to feel comfortable with their therapist or counselor, to be honest with them. Your family member will likely feel vulnerable during this time, and you need to communicate that it is okay to feel that way – the patient needs to understand that their feelings are real and valid. Family members confiding in each other about emotions they may also struggle with are excellent ways of showing that what they are experiencing are typical human fears and concerns. At Avalon Malibu, we combine evidence-based mental health therapies and effective addiction treatments to provide you with comprehensive care supported by an integration of mind, body, and spirit. If you or a loved one struggles with mental health disorders or substance use disorder, call us today at (844) 857-5992.  You deserve to live your best, healthiest life.

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