When individuals make the most significant decision of their lives, the choice to get sober and embrace recovery, they learn right away that outside help is vital. Everyone with decades of sobriety under their belt will tell you that they couldn’t get where they are today without assistance. Without a community, made up of other men and women with similar struggles, few would ever manage to abstain from drugs and alcohol in the long run. Fellowship is one of the pillars of lasting addiction recovery.
It’s not just other addicts, and alcoholics, who people turn to for support when embarking on the remarkable journey of progress, in many cases family support proves invaluable. We understand that many people’s addiction cost them the ability to rely on family for help by the time they chose to go to treatment. When an individual spends years, decades even, manipulating others, it’s easy to see why some family members become skeptical about their loved one’s intentions. In such cases, only time and action will convince a family member that you are serious about recovery.
Those of you who still have family in your life as you begin the journey of change, be grateful. Such support is a gift that no one should squander, there are peers among you who have great lengths of sobriety, but still have not reëarned the trust of their family. If you are one of those people, just remember, when you stay honest you will never risk the loss of familial support. In the field of addiction medicine, we cannot overemphasize the value of having loved ones in your corner.
Fellowship in Recovery, For All
Love is a remarkable thing, even in the least whimsical of ways; no one can quickly explain our affections for others, but its value is priceless. It’s evident in recovery, when the love of a family is in the picture, the afflicted benefit significantly. But, what about mom, dad, sister, and brother? What about their needs during the laborious process of early recovery. How is one supposed to make sense of a mental health condition that does not adhere to human logic and reason?
The questions above, albeit rhetorical, have existential implications. If the addict and the alcoholic are to benefit from the support of loved ones, it stands to reason that the love ones will need help, too. After all, the fallout from addiction radiates, its effects can linger for years after one embraces recovery. Simply put, the family needs support too; just as recovering addicts rely on each other for guidance; so too do our families as they make sense of their role in all this and address how they were affected. Naturally, a program like Al-Anon, for example, is a recovery group for the family; a fellowship for those with family in the Fellowship.
We can never lose sight of the fact that addiction is a family disease, all its sphere are affected. If family members want to see their loved one succeed, they too can benefit from talking about their struggles.
Affected by Addiction
Mental health conditions will always be a problem impacting families across the globe. There isn’t a cure, and without treatment and a program to rely on, the outcomes for those touched is the same. In America, the last two decades has shown everyone the actual cost of unchecked substance use disorder. Overdose deaths are at or are around all-time highs. In the blink of an eye, one’s loved one can succumb to the disease. Millions of family members have lost those they love in recent years in America. Some of them live in remote parts of the country cut off from accessing vital support networks. Fortunately, the internet provides such people an outlet for finding fellowship.
Seeing the need to discuss the effects of a loved one’s addiction or overdose death, a group of family members has taken to the internet in search of fellowship. A private Facebook support group called “Affected By Addiction,” has over 60,000 members, ABC News reports. Those who take part in the discussions all have one thing in common, addiction. The loved ones of addicts turn to the group to educate themselves about the disease.
“When my active heroin-addicted son finally admitted he had a problem, I didn’t know where to turn, where to educate myself,” Dawn Campbell told ABC News. “So I turned to Facebook.”
Please take a moment to watch a short video about Affected By Addiction:
If you are having trouble watching, please click here.
At Hope by the Sea, we place great emphasis on the importance of family in recovery. We know that when the family takes part in their loved one’s recovery, everyone benefits. Clients of ours have access to an intensive three-day Family Program that focuses on educating, empowering and supporting families. Please contact us to learn more.