Family and Addiction

Support for families when their loved ones return from addiction treatment

The Importance of Recovery Tools for the Family

The families of people in addiction treatment or leaving treatment often have specific concerns. What are healthy boundaries? What about manipulation? What if things revert to the way they were before treatment? Janelle Wesloh, the Executive Director of Recovery Management at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, along with Jenna Koski, Supervisor of Recovery Management, address evidence-based solutions to these and other questions, emphasizing that support is needed for family members, too, and that it is available in this on-demand webinar.

Key Takeaways:

  • Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family
  • Support, guidance, and education is needed at every step along the recovery journey
  • Families experience extreme worry, stress, deteriorating relationships, lack of trust, feelings of powerlessness, loss of family cohesion, and co-dependency
  • Families often experience compromised emotional, physical, and spiritual health due to a loved one's addiction
  • It is estimated that 90-100 million adult family members are impacted by substance use disorders worldwide
  • Research shows that even one intervention based on the stress-strain-coping-support model helps reduce ill-health symptoms and maladaptive coping among family members of addicts
  • Making a "return to home" agreement can be helpful for answering the fears experienced by some family members about what life will be like after addiction treatment
  • A "return to home" agreement is a collaborative document that helps to define expectations, boundaries, and conditions for what will become the "new normal"

When family support might be needed:

  • When a loved one is actively using alcohol or other drugs
  • When getting a loved one into addiction treatment
  • When supporting a loved one during treatment
  • When supporting a loved one after treatment
  • When gaining education about the disease
  • When determining new roles and expectations
  • When setting boundaries and learning detachment
  • When learning new coping skills and ways to grow
  • When cultivating their own wellness

Support for families includes:

  • Family programs in treatment facilities
  • Family therapy
  • Family coaching
  • Al-Anon/Families Anonymous
  • Family education series
  • Literature
  • Social networks and apps

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation also offers a wide variety of specific support options for families.

Obtaining support and education helps families to:

  • Put the sanity back in their lives whether their loved one gives up using or not
  • Improve the quality of their lives independent of their loved one's behavior
  • Learn new ways of interacting and relating with their loved one

Watch The Importance of Recovery Tools for the Family webinar on-demand now.

Janelle Wesloh, the Executive Director of Recovery Management at the Hazelden Betty Ford FoundationJanelle Wesloh has been in the addiction treatment field for over 20 years and contributed most of her career at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Wesloh has held many roles at Hazelden, including youth addiction counselor, intake counselor, continuing care counselor, electronic medical record designer, and privacy officer. In October of 2009 she assumed the role of Director of Recovery Management where she oversees the online recovery support program called MORE (My Ongoing Recovery Experience) and the Lodge program and weekend retreats at the Dan Anderson Renewal Center at Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota. Wesloh has also added the Hazelden Connection to her area of responsibility, an intensive support and monitoring program for those in early recovery and their families.
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