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Understanding And Supporting Your Loved One's Recovery: Family Support

Home » Understanding And Supporting Your Loved Ones Recovery: Family Support

Julie Bilbrey

Medically Reviewed by Julie Bilbrey

Last Updated on:
April 24, 2024

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When someone develops a substance use disorder, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The entire family gets pulled into the riptide and relationships become damaged. Too often, family members struggle with how to respond appropriately and effectively. Unfortunately, some of them end up trapped in a cycle of codependency that just spins their wheels and gets no tangible results. Nashville Treatment Solutions wants to help family members understand their role in a loved one’s addiction and help them reach out for help.

You are not alone. You deserve to get help.

Nashville Treatment Solutions is an industry leader in addiction treatment. Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treatment and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual. Call us today, we’re available 24/7.

The Role of Family in Addiction Recovery

Just as the damaging effects of addiction do not happen to just one person, recovery also can be something that involves the family. While the person with the substance use disorder has to do the hard work of going to rehab, their loved ones can be active in supporting their treatment. For example, they can do the research to find a program and help the person get enrolled in it. They can offer to help take care of responsibilities that will free up the person in treatment to focus on their program. Examples include childcare, pet care, housekeeping, cooking, and doing laundry. This kind of assistance can also act as a showcase for the person’s future ability to engage in self-care when they are sober and out of treatment.

In addition, any family members who struggle with their own overuse or abuse of alcohol and drugs should look into getting treatment. One of the biggest triggers to relapse for someone in the early days of recovery is being around others who drink or use drugs. Because family members are often around the newly sober person, it makes sense for everyone in need of help for substance abuse to address this issue. Doing so also gives the younger generation role models for facing up to the illness of addiction, getting help, and enjoying happier, healthier lives.

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How Codependency Can Play A Part in Getting Proper Care

Codependency is characterized by a person’s emotional or psychological reliance on someone close to them to the point that it’s unhealthy. This often occurs when the person they rely on has an addiction or illness. With a substance use disorder, the family member becomes overly invested in presenting themselves as the individual the sick person must rely on. Their identity becomes entangled in the addict’s in an unhealthy way.

A codependent family member or spouse might provide alcohol or drugs, offer excuses for or cover up the other person’s behavior, and give them money. They may also buy excuses that the sick person doesn’t need treatment or will get it “someday”. When the codependency is addressed and the relationship is altered, it increases the chance that the person with the addiction will finally go into treatment.


Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Family therapy provides an amazing opportunity for family members to overcome the damage done by addiction. A trained family therapist leads discussions that allow each person to speak openly about their emotions, fears, and hopes. Together, they learn how to resolve the damage done by the substance use disorder and to communicate more effectively going forward. Each person learns how to set healthy boundaries and respect those set by others. As well, the family comes together to engage in the best ways to help their loved one stay in recovery.

Family Support Groups for Substance Abuse

Family members have options for support groups that are usually free and allow them a safe and private space to talk about their experiences. The peer support they gain helps them stay strong, avoid co-dependent behavior, and support their loved ones. Resources for the families of someone with a substance use disorder include: 


National Association for Children of Addiction


Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families

Family Support Groups for Mental Health Disorders

When someone has a dual diagnosis, which is the presence of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, it can complicate how a family approaches dealing with it. It’s important for family members to seek support that gives them a safe space to speak openly and learn about how to support their loved ones with mental illness. Resources for families in need of support groups include:

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (links to support services and advice for families)

Mental Health America Affiliate Resource Center

CoDependents Anonymous

Families for Depression Awareness

Begin Treatment for Substance Use Disorders in Nashville

Millions of families across the country struggle with how substance abuse tears apart relationships and causes them to worry about their loved ones. Nashville Treatment Solutions includes family therapy as part of our roster of therapeutic options to help build bridges and repair the damage done. We provide a detox program and outpatient programs that get to the root of why addiction to drugs and alcohol develops. From there, your loved one learns to heal past issues and plant their feet firmly on the path to healing.

Isn’t it time to help your loved one find the path out of addiction and find true recovery? Contact us now and let us help your family become whole again.