Many of us care for, know, or love someone who has or is battling addiction. When a family member is battling an addiction, it’s important to remember that they can feel trapped, alone, isolated, and unsure about how to get help.
This is why we share a variety of client testimonials and online resources to help families better understand that addiction doesn’t just affect one person, it affects the entire unit. Family engagement is crucial to a loved one’s recovery. It helps family members be aware of possible warning signs and provide support when needed.
There are many different types of support that can benefit one’s growth and recovery. Having a strong network of people or a safe place to turn is essential to staying on track. Many people battling addiction and substance use may need a friend or family member to offer support before they actually ask for it.
People Magazine recently shared actor Rob Lowe’s story about his battles with addiction at a young age. Now 57–years–old, he is preparing to celebrate 32 years of sobriety. Rob’s journey helped him recognize when his son John was going down a similar path. He tells People no one can fully receive someone else’s help until they make the choice for themselves, so to help his son he offered his:
- Steady support
- Own experience
It can be challenging living in a household where a parent is struggling with a substance use disorder. It can be equally as painful for a parent to see similar tendencies in their child. When asked about his father’s help, John Lowe told People:
“He was always there for me. I credit that with being one, if not the main, reason that I’m sober and living a healthy lifestyle. Having the whole family rallied around and having someone with experience in the realm of sobriety leading the charge was so invaluable.”
For Rob, sharing his recovery journey with his son was so powerful, and he hopes his story may resonate with families in similar situations. He wants them to know that it is okay to speak up and to seek resources to support one another to stay on track.
Once we feel supported by our loved ones, we need to remember to stay engaged. It can be hard at times, but the small steps we take are better than no steps taken at all. The road to recovery can be daunting and it can feel like there is no end in sight, but by setting smaller, attainable goals you will be able to see progress overtime. This will help increase your overall confidence and motivation going forward. Looking into online resources and programs can help you and your loved one continue to grow and navigate your recovery journey.
As a family member, we understand how hard this process can be, especially if you have not struggled with addiction yourself. We find that family members often have a hard time understanding the nature of their loved one’s addiction and realizing that relapse is often part of the recovery process.
At NERC, we use Family Engagement Specialists to involve the whole family and help everyone understand that addiction is a disease. A large part of our Family Engagement Specialist’s role is to serve as an educator, guide and facilitator, helping the client and family achieve mutual understanding and better communication.
We hope Rob Lowe’s story and the tools and services we offer clients here at NERC will help everyone feel comfortable seeking help when they may need it. At the end of the day, remember that you are not alone.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction or a substance use disorder, call the New England Recovery Center today at 1-877-MyRehab.