Families in Recovery
Who Makes Up a Family?
Members of your immediate family (parents, siblings, partner, children)
Extended family
Colleagues from work
Anyone who will support recovery
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is a physical and emotional response to chemicals we put in our bodies.
Addiction is a medical disorder.
It is not helpful to think of addiction in terms of morality and willpower.
Cognitive ProcessBeginning Stages of Addiction
Cognitive ProcessDisenchantment
Conditioning ProcessMild Cravings
Strength of Conditioned Connection:

Conditioning ProcessStrong Cravings
Strength of Conditioned Connection

Conditioning ProcessOverpowering Cravings
Strength of Conditioned Connection

Development of Obsessive ThinkingEarly Use
Development of Obsessive ThinkingContinued Use
Progressive Phases of Addiction
Family Members’ Response to drug UseIntroductory Phase
Unaware of problem
Confusion regarding occasional odd behaviors
Concerned about occasional neglect of responsibilities
Family Members’ Response to drug UseMaintenance Phase
Are aware of the problem
Attempt to solve the problem
Take on all responsibilities
Family Members’ Response to drug UseDisenchantment Phase
Avoidance of problem
Blaming the person who is using
Blaming selves
Guilt and shame
Family Members’ Response to drug UseDisaster Phase
Internalization of bad feelings
Resignation and hopelessness
Establishment of unhealthful family rules
Benefits of Family Involvement
Participation by family members is associated with better treatment compliance and outcome.
Family members gain a clearer understanding of recovery.
Family members and the person in recovery understand their respective roles and goals.
Family members and the person in recovery get support in the recovery process.
Stages of Recovery
Lasts 1 to 2 weeks
Craving and depression
Low energy, difficulty sleeping, increased appetite, and difficulty concentrating
Lasts about 4 weeks
Increased energy, enthusiasm, and optimism
People often feel they are “cured” when they reach this stage
The Wall
Lasts about 12 to 16 weeks
Hardest stage of recovery
Depression and irritability
Difficulty concentrating
Low energy and loss of enthusiasm
High risk of relapse
8 weeks or longer
The person in recovery and the family begin returning to more normal lifestyle
After extended abstinence, the person in recovery and family members begin working on marital, emotional, and psychological issues that will strengthen the family
Goals for Withdrawal
Person in recovery
Discontinue use of drug
Learn specific techniques for avoiding relapse
Learn about the process of addiction and about drug effects
Family members
Decide to be part of recovery process
Recognize that addiction is a medical condition

Goals for the Honeymoon
Person in recovery
Improve physical health
Identify personal triggers and relapse justifications
Use targeted techniques to stay abstinent
Family members
Work to support recovery
Recognize and discontinue triggering interactions

Goals for the Wall
Person in recovery
Maintain stable abstinence from all drugs
Repair significant relationships
Develop a recovery support system outside the treatment center
Recognize and cope with dangerous emotions
Family members
Decide whether to recommit to the relationship
Begin finding ways to enrich own lives
Practice healthy communication skills

Goals for Readjustment
Person in recovery
Monitor components of successful recovery
Recognize relapse indicators and prepare responses
Clarify new roles in healthy relationships
Set goals for continuing a new lifestyle after the program
Family members
Accept limitations of living with a person in recovery
Develop an individual, healthy, balanced lifestyle
Monitor self for relapses to former behaviors
Be patient with the process of recovery

Key Relapse Issues for People in Recovery
Friends who use drug
Environmental cues associated with drug use
Severe cravings
Protracted abstinence—the Wall
Connection between drug and sex
Key Relapse Issues for Family Members
Fear of the person in recovery returning to drug use
Fear of being alone
Lack of individual goals and interests
Inability to release responsibility for the person in recovery