Malibu Wellness Ranch

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Recovering as a Family

Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. While the initial impact is on the individual, that impact spreads beyond and affects those closest to them. Encouraging family recovery and supporting family relationships helps create a healthy, sober environment. Therefore, educating the family about addiction supports the recovery journey and ensures that the family is facing the challenges of recovery together. 

How Addiction Impacts the Family

Families are a primary source of love and support. The concept of family is where an individual learns their values and ideals. Family is also the introduction to relationships and social constructs. When one family member experiences addiction, it makes sense that there is an effect on the rest of the family. 

The impact of addiction on families isn’t limited to the toll the addiction takes on the person who is using substances. Addiction can cause financial, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual stress. The implications of addiction can be devastating and cause impacts that last for years. Addiction changes the framework of a family, and it can create divides among those who were once close. This is why it is so important to understand that recovery is lifelong. 

All Members Must Work on Their Recovery

Many times, when the focus is taken off the individual in recovery, other family members have a chance to heal. So much time and effort are spent on the individual struggling with addiction that focus can move away from other needs. Relationships between parents, relationships between siblings, and family dynamics; all of these can be affected. Allowing the family to recover both as individuals and together can create a better bond between everyone. 

Strengthening Family Bonds in Recovery

Families are an individual’s most significant support. Involving the family in treatment and recovery will help strengthen the family bond and support recovery for everyone involved. 

Family is important because it is typically the base for everything. It is where the individual in recovery lives, who they are around, and whom they depend on. However, taking a healthy individual and putting them in an unhealthy environment makes their efforts to stay sober more difficult. Creating a healthy environment and family helps create a healthy, sober individual. 

The more a family can work together, the further their efforts will go. Finding the motivation to keep going can be difficult when someone feels like no one is supporting their success. However, creating a team of people who believe in their loved one will influence the individual working on their sobriety.

Process Emotions

We tend to associate the stages of grief with death. This isn’t the only time we experience these feelings. Processing the addiction and recovery of a loved one can cause us to walk through the same stages. Acknowledging the needs of the family helps in the healing process and promotes open communication and expression. Teaching the family skills to improve communication and better their relationships helps to create an environment conducive to sobriety.

Recovery and Family

Recovery is just as unique as the person in recovery. The focus tends to be on the individual who struggles with addiction. They are the primary target for treatment and resources. In addition to prioritizing the individual, we must also give the same attention to those closest to the individual. The purpose of providing resources to families of the individual in recovery is to heal the unit. Often family members of someone struggling with addiction have needs that were unmet or experienced trauma themselves. Addressing these concerns with the family benefits everyone. 

Helping the entire family recover allows each person to develop healthy coping skills and learn new ways to manage their emotions. Healthy behaviors among family members promote a healthy family unit. Acknowledging the uniqueness of each family member aids in developing a more effective long-term plan. 

Resources for the Family

There are many resources available for family members and loved ones of individuals in recovery. One of the first resources are 12-Step programs that focus on family support. These may include Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, which focus on individuals who have loved ones struggling with addiction or in recovery. 

Family support 12-Step programs are specifically designed to address the challenges of caring for someone who struggles with addiction. There are also more specific groups, like Ala-Teen, designed for individuals under 18. There are also groups like Adult Children of Alcoholics that address adult behaviors resulting from having an alcoholic parent. 

The National Institute of Mental Illness (NAMI) also offers resources for supporters of individuals living with mental illnesses. Malibu Wellness Ranch offers family programs to help families and their loved ones learn about addiction and how it affects them individually and as a unit. Remember, resources and support are out there; all it takes is reaching out. Start your journey of healing today.


At Malibu Wellness Ranch, we understand that the family unit is important in the recovery process. The way family members process and handle a loved one’s substance use can vary. Each member may have their own way of dealing with the addiction, but support and guidance should be available to everyone. Families are important to recovery, so ensuring that the family is working through their own recovery is key. Our programs offer family group therapy and activities to help support families and their loved ones in recovery. Healing the family further strengthens the recovery of the individual struggling with addiction. If you and your loved ones need help managing addiction, call (800) 862-5428 today and find out more.