Recovery from drugs and alcohol is a family matter, because the disease of addiction puts an enormous strain on the entire family. Many treatment centers offer programs to help families cope with addiction. Addiction treatment provides assistance to help families cope with addiction, pull the family back together and rebuild damaged relationships.

The following five tips can help families cope with addiction and learn to thrive during recovery.

1. Learn About Addiction

The more informed a family is about addiction and recovery, the less fearful and helpless they’ll feel. Addiction is a serious and debilitating disease. Like any other chronic disease, the more education received, the better able family members will be in reacting and coping with it.

To help families cope with addiction, many drug and alcohol treatment centers offer education on topics such as how addiction works, how recovery works, and how to handle stress. Educational programs are important to restore the health of the family unit after addiction strikes a loved one.

Since addiction is a family disease, the whole family needs to be involved in the treatment and recovery process of their loved one. To do so, the family needs to be educated on the best ways to offer support to the recovering individual. Participating in family education is one great way to demonstrate support.

2. Attend Family Therapy Sessions

High-quality drug and alcohol treatment facilities offer family therapy as a part of their recovery program. Family therapy sessions help family members heal by allowing them to work through the effect addiction has had on the family.

3. Attend Support Groups

Family members require support during the difficult times of addiction and recovery. Loved ones can’t help a substance-dependent family member if they are struggling too. Support groups for family members can be an excellent way to stay well and to get support for themselves.1

4. Attend Individual Therapy

To help families cope with addiction, it is beneficial for each family member to go to individual therapy. One-on-one with a therapist is an optimal environment to discuss personal feelings, fears and concerns. What can’t be said in front of a group can be said in the privacy of an individual counseling session.

5. Make Sure Children Attend Therapy

Many adults assume a lot of addiction and recovery issues are going over children’s heads. Children see and hear more than we think, so it’s important to help families cope with addiction by including kids in the therapy process. Individual therapy and group sessions with peers can help children cope with family members who have addiction issues, as well as give them the information needed to understand it.

Professional Help: the Best Way to Help Families Cope with Addiction

Addiction is a complex disease, and most people are ill-equipped to handle addiction and recovery on their own. If you’re in doubt about how to handle a situation involving drugs or alcohol or you feel like you’re in a dangerous situation, consult with a mental health or medical professional.2 Addiction treatment centers have specialized staff you can talk to and discuss your needs. They’re on call around the clock to help families cope with addiction.