Addiction is a family disease; it creates deep suffering within the entire family. When addiction is introduced into a family system, the family’s ability to regulate its emotional and behavioural functioning is severely challenged and can leave them in a state of perpetual chaos. Family members often feel hopeless, confused, frustrated, angry, helpless and ashamed. Addiction can completely disrupt family life if help is not sought and the longer the addiction is left untreated, the greater the consequences are to both the addict and the entire family.
The biggest challenge to family recovery is the belief that fixing the addict will fix the family. It is very common for family members to say that the addict needs help, not them. However, it is essential for families to understand that addiction is a family disease and family members are responsible for their own recovery just as the addict is responsible for theirs. The entire family needs to be involved in the addict’s treatment so that everyone can get well, learn how to communicate in a positive manner, establish healthy relationships and recover together.
No family is born with the knowledge of how to effectively deal with addiction. This is why ARC has an intensive family programme that offers family members help and counselling for addiction, a chance to understand how their actions can play a role in achieving sobriety and how best to support their loved one in recovery. We invite family members to visit ARC on Sundays and attend our family programme that consists of educational lectures and family group sessions. In addition, we also provide individual family sessions on weekdays (for more details contact ARC). Furthermore, we strongly encourage family members to attend self-help meetings such as the Al-Anon, so that they can connect with like-minded individuals who have been through similar experiences and can be a source of support for each other.