A Healing Way Out

Family Disease of Alcohol and Drug Addiction

This webinar was facilitated by Jerry Moe, national director of the Children's Program for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and Andrew Rohrer, Family Program professional at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage.

"Those hurt the most by the ravages of alcohol and drug addiction don't even drink or use. They are the children."

The webinar focused on developing effective strategies and tools to begin the process of healing in recovery, for family members young and old. In developing positive strategies, there are four important aspects to realize about addiction:

  • Addiction is a disease. Over the past few years, our understanding of addiction has transitioned from a perspective of acute care to viewing addiction as a longer term, chronic disease that must be treated and monitored, much like other chronic conditions such as diabetes.
  • Denial is a defense.
  • Family members deserve a chance to heal. Even though it impacts approximately one out of every three families in America, the majority of families truly believe they are the "only ones" struggling with this issue. For family members with a loved one in the throes of addiction, it is essential to break through the stigma and get the help you need. Call a friend, read a book about addiction and recovery, confide in a member of the faith community, talk to someone you trust, or find the location of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or the Al-Anon meetings in your area.
  • The way out is to reach out. Addiction is a disease of isolation, silence, secrecy and shame. Through breaking the silence and reaching out to others for help and support, the chaos of addiction within the family unit will begin to diminish. As family members practice positive self-care and work on their personal healing, they are then able to turn around and parent more effectively and have more balance in their own life.

Recovery requires more than intellectual effort—it requires feeling and sensitivity. For some, this can be an extremely difficult effort, especially since it requires honesty— both within the individual and with any extended family and friends. In group processes, it's imperative to use the appropriate tools and establish experiential priorities that increase self-awareness and align with group guidelines:

  • Identifying habitual patterns of avoidance
  • Inviting expression
  • Inviting direct, personal communication
  • Identifying and amplifying assets and resilience

In all stages of treatment, the purpose is to create awareness and acceptance, and this webinar explored Process-focused Counseling, Al-Anon and the Twelve Step Process.

Watch the complete webinar now

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