Addiction is a Family Disease

It is difficult to overstate the devastation that addiction can wreak upon families. Although the disease primarily affects the struggling individual themselves, the behaviors that result can create a web of interpersonal problems that invariably entangle family members and makes addiction a family disease. It is common for families to be affected by:

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Financial Hardship

Substance abuse is directly expensive due to the cost of drugs and alcohol, but supporting a habit also creates a host of indirect financial consequences. This can be due to missed work, neglected payments, and overspending due to being distracted or inebriated.

Legal Problems

Unfortunately, the disease of addiction is criminalized in the United States. So it’s even worse for people seeking help because addicts and alcoholics are bogged down by things like arrests and criminal records. These afflictions can hinder a person from getting help, causing more strain on the family unit.

Damaged Trust

Shame, self-preservation, and heuristics are only some of the issues that lead individuals struggling with addiction to dishonest behaviors. Although broken trust can feel very personal in a family situation, it is important to remember that the disease of addiction makes people behave in ways they normally wouldn’t.

Disconnected Boundaries

A typical family unit consists of individuals who work amongst each other through nuances of respect, hierarchy, love, and care. These fluid boundaries are broken in addiction, as an addict will put all else behind their drug of choice. The family will continue to try and function with these disconnected boundaries, but to no avail as a piece of the unit is essentially working antagonistically

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Continuing Care for Families

Before your loved one has completed treatment with us, their case manager will help you, the family, establish plans that address individual and family needs such as enabling and setting healthy boundaries. Plans may recommend Al-anon meetings, home accountability contracts, self-care, along with the following services:

  • Phone calls or emails from staff members to check on the family’s status and ongoing recovery progress
  • Family coaching
  • Family Workshops (Live and Remote)
  • Invitation to our closed New Start Detox Family Facebook Group, which helps families stay connected to the program and to other families who share similar histories of addiction-related experiences
  • With support from New Start Alumni staff, out of state families will stay connected  and involved through conference calls
  • Opportunity to attend our Serenity Sunday meetings, which provide family members with a unique, enhanced understanding of the recovery process through testimonies from other recovering addicts and families

Proven Effectiveness

New Start recognizes that addiction doesn’t just affect the addict. Our family therapy methods keep channels of communication and healing open during treatment as well as facilitate the reintegration process as treatment progresses. Family members are given a safe space to express their feelings and process any thoughts and emotions they have while their loved one is in treatment. We want your voice to be heard.

New Start alumni staff and case managers have helped families reduce stress and feelings of anxiety during treatment, improve communication techniques, establish appropriate placement of financial and household responsibilities, and manage realistic expectations upon a client’s return home.

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