Do I Need Familial Support for Rehab?
Familial support during rehab can be especially helpful in keeping individuals accountable and motivated. However, one might wonder if the familial responsibilities differ between the two forms of inpatient vs outpatient rehab.
This article explores the role of family involvement in the two respective settings.
The Importance of Family Involvement
Family involvement will look different for each patient depending upon the make-up of their family system. For some, it may include their partner or significant other, while for others it may include parents, siblings, or their own children. Regardless of how many family members participate, research indicates that family therapy for substance use disorder (SUD) provides many benefits, including:
- Improved treatment retention
- Improved understanding of addiction and how it affects families
- Increased family support for the person in recovery
- A better understanding of what to expect in treatment and recovery
- Increased awareness of the warning signs of relapse
- Helping the family make positive changes related to the SUD, such as their communication and behavior patterns
- Promoting family strengths
- Reduced risk of relapse
- Helping families understand the importance of taking responsibility for their own emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being
Family Involvement for Inpatient Rehab
Traditional inpatient treatment programs provide intensive clinical care in a residential setting while helping individuals with substance use and mental health disorders overcome their addiction. These programs are highly structured, often providing individual and group therapy and other evidence-based treatments to address addiction’s complex physical, behavioral, and psychological aspects.
In most cases, participants in inpatient treatment programs will be isolated from their usual home environments to facilitate their recovery. By choosing this means of treatment, individuals can benefit from being removed from sources of stress or temptation to focus on their recovery without the distraction or pressure of everyday life.
Though traditional inpatient treatment provides a holistic approach that focuses on the individual, inpatient programs often have “family day” or visiting hours for loved ones, but family involvement is typically limited. While the focus is on treating the individual, inpatient programs can also provide a safe place to begin rebuilding family relationships and addressing family dynamics that may have contributed to the development of addictive behavior.
Outpatient Rehab and Loved Ones
Research shows that treatments incorporating significant others in treatment are associated with improved treatment outcomes for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Family and friends can play critical roles in motivating individuals to enter and stay in treatment. … In addition, involvement of a family member or significant other in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend treatment benefits.”
Family involvement in treatment is a critical component of successful recovery. By welcoming friends and family into the treatment process, clients open the door to support and accountability. In addition, those who are welcomed into the treatment process will become educated on the client’s addiction and addiction as a whole. Once family and friends become educated on the matter, their involvement can prevent relapses and increases the likelihood of successful recovery.
Family involvement is an effective tool in treating addiction and mental illness, and it should be encouraged in situations where it will support recovery objectives.
When Family Should Not Be Involved
While family involvement in the treatment process can be beneficial for many clients, there are situations where it can be damaging. An example would be a client who has a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse within the family unit. In that case, the abuser’s inclusion in treatment may prevent a client’s full recovery and worsen the client’s addiction entirely. Likewise, friends and family members who are actively using drugs or alcohol themselves can negatively influence the client’s sobriety. In these cases, it is often best to keep family involvement to a minimum or involve only those individuals who are supportive of the client’s sobriety.
Treating the Family System
Families are complex systems in which all parts are interconnected and dependent on one another. Every family member can have a profound impact on the family as a whole, no matter their role or position within the family dynamic.
For example, if one family member experiences addiction or recovery, this will inevitably impact all other family members. This can strain relationships and create feelings of stress and distress as family members seek to understand what is happening and how they can help.
However, it is also important to remember that family health and wellness can play an integral role in supporting individual family members who are struggling with addiction. Where possible, family members should be actively involved in the treatment process, sharing their perspectives and helping to support their loved ones during this difficult time.
Additional Help for Family Members
Not only should loved ones be involved in treatment, but they may also want to get some help themselves. There are several other helpful treatments or supports for significant others. For example, Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) helps friends and family develop strategies to support their loved ones struggling with substance use and facilitate their participation in treatment when their addicted loved one is not motivated to enter care.
With the right kind of family involvement and support, individuals can achieve long-lasting wellness and begin creating healthier lives for themselves and their families.
Get Started With the Phoenix
Family involvement is an essential part of addiction and mental health treatment and recovery. Families can play a crucial role in helping individual family members achieve long-lasting wellness. Whether through encouraging healthy habits, providing support and understanding, or simply being there during difficult times, strong family ties can help individuals overcome their struggles and thrive in treatment and recovery. Family support and engagement have become important tools for promoting emotional health and overall well-being. Effective treatment programs will have a family involvement component, whether inpatient or outpatient. Family is defined by the individual seeking services, not by the treatment professional.