If someone in your family has recently reclaimed their sobriety, there is a good chance you are experiencing a lot of emotions. Chief among them might be happiness and worry. 

You are probably experiencing happiness because it is a big deal when a member of the family gets sober. Your entire family has been dealing with the impacts of your loved one’s substance use disorder—maybe for a long, long time—and their return to sobriety offers an opportunity for a fresh start for everyone.

What about the worry? Well, you might be concerned that you (or another member of the family, or multiple family members in combination) will somehow do something that undermines your loved one’s recovery. To put it bluntly: You may be worried that you will cause a relapse.

Your concern is understandable. It is certainly true that relapses are common among the newly sober. It is also true that family dynamics—even among the happiest of families—can be complicated. 

That is why Wooded Glen Recovery Center offers a robust family program intended to help the entire family unit move forward as their loved one gets—and works to say—sober.

Sobriety Can Bring Big Changes—And Open Old Wounds

It is tempting to think of sobriety in simple terms. If a person does not use drugs or alcohol they will remain sober. True enough as far as it goes, but that formulation does not take into account all the lifestyle changes that necessarily underpin any serious effort to stay sober. Often, families are not prepared to integrate essential changes into their collective lives. 

Meanwhile, it is possible that a lot of resentment, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings have arisen during the period your loved one was using drugs or alcohol. Those feelings do not simply vanish when someone reclaims their sobriety. In fact, part of the work of staying sober is working to repair good relationships (as well as working to end toxic relationships).

These sorts of challenges are common. Happily, however, families can learn to face them effectively and together.

Topics at the Heart of Our Family Program

Families who take part in our program designed to support them and their newly sober loved one learn about a range of important topics. These include:

  • What substance use disorders are—and what they are not
  • How to support a loved one’s ongoing progress in recovery
  • How to avoid codependency and/or enabling behaviors
  • How to improve communication among family members and rebuild trust in relationships
  • How to manage stress and practice ongoing, effective self-care

Making a commitment to supporting your loved one’s recovery through positive approaches to family life is a big step—one that can truly make a difference for each and every member of the family. There will still be difficult moments and challenges to overcome—and people who are doing their best may still make mistakes, but the commitment to working together toward long-term sobriety is a powerful thing. Even if your loved one experiences a relapse, you and your family will be armed with the tools to start again, knowing that progress is always possible—even after a setback.

Additional Reading for Family Members of Someone Struggling with Drugs or Alcohol

Here are some previous blog posts that are relevant to helping someone in your family who might be dealing with a substance use disorder:

We Are Here to Help You Move Past Drugs and Alcohol

Located in Henryville, Indiana, Wooded Glen Recovery Center is dedicated to helping people overcome substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our approaches to treatment are grounded in evidence, expertise, experience, and empathy. 

Equally importantly, we personalize our treatments to meet the specific needs of each individual we serve. By providing intensive individual counseling and group therapy, we can help you develop the skills and strategies necessary to maintain your sobriety over time and improve your overall mental health. We are committed to a holistic approach—meaning we are concerned with the well-being of your mind, body, and spirit.

And when your time in residential treatment comes to an end, we provide a continuum of care to ensure you can start your recovery journey with confidence. Via the CaredFor app and our alumni programs, we stay in touch to provide ongoing support and resources. 

If you—or someone you love—need help, we are ready to help you reclaim your sobriety and your quality of life.