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Family Education and Counseling

What is Recovery, and How Can Family and Loved Ones Help?

Put simply, recovery is restoring the life that was lost during active opioid addiction. As a complement to medication-assisted treatment, there are many ways that family and loved ones can help the person suffering from addiction. Family and significant other involvement is an important part of a recovery program. The following is a list of ten ways you can help:

Learning about the disease – the biology, psychology, and sociology of addiction.

Understanding that addiction is not a problem of poor will-power or poor self-control.

Understanding that this is a hereditary disease that results in long-term changes in the structure and function of the brain that lead to behaviors that are potentially fatal.

Learning about the behaviors that occur during addiction, why they occur, and how they can be changed.

Learning how living and social environments play a key role in triggers, cravings and relapse.

Learning how easily family members can get drawn unwittingly into supporting their loved one’s addiction (co-dependency).

Encouraging and motivating your loved one to attend and complete treatment even when they don’t feel like it.

Understanding that you cannot make the addict get better, but you are not helpless. You can make changes that promote recovery for your loved one, and for you.

Participating in support groups that help the family of the addict recover (such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon).

Attending the family education sessions with your loved one.