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Your family loves you and wants you to be healthy, happy and successful – even with the strained and complicated relationship dynamics that addiction often creates. But it’s hard for people who have never personally experienced the turmoil of substance abuse to understand what it is, how it feels and how to help.

The New England Recovery Center believes that involving family in the recovery process is an important element for success and continued sobriety. Our Family Engagement Program seeks to counsel and educate loved ones about the disease of addiction. And that is the first thing they need to know: addiction is a disease.

While first use is typically voluntary, illicit substances quickly rewire the brain and make it very difficult to resist taking them repeatedly. This rewiring is long-lasting and capable of coaxing even people in long-term sobriety into relapse. This is why willpower alone is not enough to quit, despite common misconceptions. Luckily, there are numerous evidence-based treatment models, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), available to combat addiction.

It is also imperative that family members fully understand the recovery process. What does detox entail? How long will you be in residential treatment? What will you be doing while you’re there? How long should you continue with outpatient treatment? What are the medications you’ll be taking, if appropriate, and what do they do for you?  Being armed with all this knowledge will empower your family members to stay involved and supportive throughout your recovery journey.

The recovery journey is never over. Even if you’ve completed inpatient and outpatient treatment, addiction remains a part of you and your life. It is a chronic illness, and relapse is a natural part of it. It is not a failure. It does not mean your treatment was unsuccessful. It simply means it’s time for a visit to your recovery provider to get back on track. Knowing this, your family will approach the situation with support, understanding and compassion.

If you or your family members have any questions about addiction and treatment, call the New England Recovery Center anytime at (844) 233-6372.

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