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Specialized Programs: Family Outreach Program

Treating the Addict–Treating the Family

treating the family

The Addiction Recovery Center recognizes that addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. We teach family members that they didn’t cause the addiction, they can’t cure it, but they can contribute to the recovery of their loved ones. While patients are helped to address their co-dependency issues, families are aided in repairing the damage caused by the addict’s disease. We offer regularly scheduled “Family Therapy Workshops” free of charge to help with family recovery.

When in active addiction, it is easy to point out the faults of the addict because those symptoms are quite clear. What is harder is to see are the problems the addict’s family members have developed and how they contribute to the suffering of both the addict and the family as a whole. The codependency, heart ache, and loss of trust, significantly and negatively has affected everyone.

Jackie Glass, psychotherapist for The Addiction Recovery Center Addiction Treatment Programs and program director for The Addiction Recovery Center Family Weekend Program, says one of the biggest challenges facing family and friends is learning to trust again. “It is normal for friends, family, and co-workers to be anxious when the addict returns home and back to work after treatment”.

The Family Program at The Addiction Recovery Center is designed to create a recovery foundation for you, your family, and significant others. This program aims to expand self-awareness and knowledge of family dynamics as well as increase communication skills. The process we teach introduces family members to a variety of self-care tools and provides resources for continuing care.

The Addiction Recovery Center Alumni Program is designed to keep the patients and their families involved and connected with us after treatment is complete. The Alumni Department conducts meetings, stays in contact with our alumni, sponsors events, sends out newsletters and helps with the alumni website. We are in constant contact with our alumni to promote a strong bond. We encourage you to contact us at 1-888-510-2481 or through the website .

Does the cycle of addiction ever end?

At The Addiction Recovery Center, we often refer to the addict as the only patient, but addiction is a family disease. In order to successfully treat the addict, we must treat the family, too. That is why we offer a family program: to restore a healthy family dynamic and begin healing co-dependent relationships.

The family program includes interactive sessions with a therapist via phone, in person and during our weekend Family Programs. While the patient is in recovery, families are invited to The Addiction Recovery Center in order to receive therapy for the damage addiction has done to them and their relationships. Significant others can benefit from education and therapy as well as attend meetings and both group and individual therapy with the addict in treatment. We give everyone the opportunity to address issues that have developed during the addiction process and support the beginning of the family recovery process.

At The Addiction Recovery Center Addiction Treatment Programs, we believe that addiction is a family disease and you, the one who supports the addict during and following treatment, deserve and need a champion, as well. The Addiction Recovery Center’s carefully designed and effective Family Program gives addicts’ family members the ability to participate in the process through trained addiction specialists. The Addiction Recovery Center provides the option of family counseling after the addict’s admission, in addition to the Family Weekend Program. We have created several helpful online resource materials, unique to The Addiction Recovery Center, for you to use before, during, and after your loved one enters The Addiction Recovery Center.

The Addiction Recovery Center is committed to saving and healing the lives of the addict and their significant others by giving everyone the tools to live happy, functional, and productive lives.

For Families and Loved Ones

families and loved ones

You have made the first step in recovery from the disease of addiction. Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your loved one. We also know that you may have questions and concerns and we are happy to address anything that you may need. We are here to educate you about this disease so that you have the tools to navigate the life-long journey of coping with the disease of addiction.

Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. You are not alone; we are also here for your support. We want to help you understand their treatment process so that you may begin to understand their disease. We encourage you to visit our family resource sites at: and at:

The Addiction Recovery Center provides comprehensive addiction treatment including a safe, comfortable medical detox; Inpatient Rehabilitation and three different levels of extended outpatient care, including: Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient Programs and a Halfway House. A full course of treatment through this continuum of care is a critical part of successful long term recovery. Each patient’s clinical needs are assessed and reviewed by our clinical team to determine when it is appropriate to move on to the next level of care. We teach them coping and life skills while slowly introducing responsibility back into their lives. We want them to learn to live sober and see that recovery is a reality. This process can take time and we hope we can help support you in this journey.

It is not unusual for some patients to be resistant to treatment. These individuals may ask you to help them leave the treatment setting or make promises to change. It is vital that you promote the benefits of treatment so they gain the tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Their disease has brought them to clinical treatment, and we must work together to encourage and reassure them that they are in the right place. You must know they are safe and being cared for by a highly qualified treatment team which includes physicians, nurses and licensed therapists. Many times the resistance to treatment will disappear and they will continue on in their treatment. For the families, persistence and encouragement is vital in getting them through this challenging yet crucial time.

The recovery process is not just an adjustment for the addict – it is an adjustment for you as well. Over the past several years, you likely assumed roles or took care of tasks in the place of your loved one. Now, you may need to learn new ways of relating to each other and learn different ways of sharing activities and chores. As the parent of an adolescent in treatment, you will need to be closely involved in treatment planning and treatment activities. You may need to adjust your life and family relationships to allow for the extra time this involvement will take.

You may have many questions about how your family member will behave in these early stages of recovery. Everyone acts differently. Some people are very happy to be getting treatment at last; others suffer a great deal while they adjust to a new life and attempt to live it without alcohol and drugs. They may be sad, angry, or confused. It is important for you to realize that these are normal reactions and to get support for yourself. To speak with someone now, please call 1-888-510-2481 or visit

Will Treatment Work?

will treatment work

Treatment is just the first step to recovery. During this process, family members sometimes have mixed feelings. You may feel afraid that if this does not work, nothing will. You may feel as if you are walking on eggshells and that, if you do something wrong, you may cause your loved one to relapse. It is important for you to remember that you cannot cause a relapse-only the person who takes a drug or picks up a drink is responsible for that.

Jackie Glass, program director of The Addiction Recovery Center Family Weekend Program, says that because relapse is a common occurrence; the chemically dependent person in early recovery needs to be extra vigilant and aware regarding their personal signs and symptoms of relapse, triggers, and scenarios that could result in relapse.

“Addicts and alcoholics don’t just use to self-medicate; if it’s a good day they’ll want to use and if it’s a bad day, they’ll want to use,” Jackie says. “Addicts tend to associate drug (or alcohol) use with things like celebrating a pay raise, anniversaries, holidays – even the fact they’ve achieved what they believe is significant clean time.”

Jackie says the primary reason people relapse is because of denial, the hallmark of the disease of addiction. Denial is an acronym, of sorts, for “Don’t Even Know I Am Lying.” Because chemical dependency is a brain disorder, the brain subscribes to denial and defense mechanisms such as euphoric recall and magical thinking. Euphoric recall is romanticizing the ritual, use and effects of the chemical and denying, minimizing or ignoring the consequences of the use. Magical thinking is the addict believing that he or she can “control” their use or believe that others won’t know or find out.

It is impossible to predict whether your family member will find lasting recovery, but many people who receive treatment do get better. The longer people stay in treatment, the more likely they will remain drug and alcohol free. About half the people who complete treatment for the first time continue in their recovery. However, this means that about half will return at least once more to drinking alcohol and using drugs (called relapse) before they finally give them up for good. Adolescents are even more likely to use drugs or alcohol or both again. It is not uncommon for a person to need to go through treatment more than one time. Often the person needs to return to treatment quickly to prevent a slip or relapse from leading to a chronic problem.

Do not be discouraged if your family member uses alcohol or drugs again. Understand that relapse is often a part of the recovery process. Many times relapses are short and the person continues to recover. A treatment program will involve you in relapse prevention planning and help you learn what to do if your family member relapses. Your family member will benefit if you do not drink or use drugs around him or her, especially in the first months after his or her treatment begins. When you choose not to use drugs or alcohol, you help your loved one avoid triggers. As you both begin to understand and accept the illness, the risk of relapse decreases. The changes in attitudes, behaviors, and values that you both are learning and practicing will become part of your new recovering lifestyle.

The Addiction Recovery Center Addiction Treatment Programs 24 hour Helpline:
“It’s never too late to call.”

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From a Parent
“We are so thankful our daughter went to The Addiction Recovery Center for her start in recovery! Last fall we participated in the Family Weekend. My husband and I met with our daughter and her therapist. I had to bring up the subject and asked him if they had discovered the “why” of it all.

He said something like this to me, “It is not so important to find the cause of a person’s drinking as it is to pursue the treatment. To look for a cause would imply blame.” Wow! That was something I needed to hear. Then he added, “There are many people who know the ‘why’ but never do anything about it. It is far better to look ahead and work the steps of recovery.” I felt a weight lift off me. Maybe it is not for me to ever understand. I can accept that now.

With my questions put aside I feel our task is to support our daughter in her new path of recovery. Now we can be her cheerleaders instead of (in my mind) the suspected villains. Our daughter didn’t drink because of us. She drank because she is an alcoholic. The past can’t be changed, but the future has great opportunities. We’ll all take this journey “One day at a time.” — Lydia —