To start let’s talk about treatment and what treatment offers. Treatment offers stabilization for the addict and alcoholic in the acute phase of their recovery. Most addicts and alcoholics can stay clean and sober while in treatment. There are some exceptions, but for the most part it’s doable. Treatment programs seem to know the value of family involvement. They have family programs and engaged the family while the individual is in treatment. This is all good. Over time the family involvement lessens.
Three to six months into this process the addict is no longer in treatment. He or she disengages from 12- step meetings. The family may or may not have engaged in 12- step meetings. If they have started many stop after feeling secure around their addicts recovery. The family has limited understanding of what addiction recovery is. They seem to know even less about what family recovery is. Their accountability system is little to none.
The family needs a foundation for recovery. Having an accountability system in place is essential. Addict and the family rarely “do” recovery together. This is usually at the request of a well-meaning therapist who talks to each about boundaries. Some would think this makes sense. I wonder if families did recovery together would this make a difference? Could they figure things out together? Can you focus on your self and still recover together? When you think about it, it is possible that families can recover together. When I say families I am including the addict as a part of the family and not separate from the family. So this means the family can commit to recovery.
The families can work together and create a recovery plan. They can also identify relapse-warning signs and manage them. The plan for recovery starts at the beginning. We all know that the physical relapse happens when individuals leaves treatment. Addiction is a chronic illness and if not prepared things go way wrong for too long. Families need to be prepared. I believe treatment saves lives and without treatment we would have lost many. Treatment offers one more shot for the individual who is suffering. With this being a chronic illness their needs to be something more in the way we treat this disease. Families need a long-term approach so they can get into long-term recovery. Structured Family Recovery™ is what I use to help the family.
Over 80% of the general population going to treatment relapses within the first year. Doctors who have been addicted have a recovery rate of about 80%, so what the difference? Doctors have eight essential elements prescribed by the physicians health program. This is what they must follow to be able to continue to practice medicine. As described in Debra Jays book “It Takes A Family”.
1) Positive Reward and negative consequences
2) Frequency random drug testing.
3) 12 step attendance and the abstinence standard.
4) Viable Role Models and recovery Mentors
5) Modified Lifestyles
6) Active and sustained monitoring
7) Active Management of Relapse
8) Continued Care Approach
Providing these eight essential elements recovery rates can rise. This structure is for the whole family, not just the addict. Structured Family Recovery™ can begin even before treatment starts. This starts with bringing the family together as a team to address the situation. Moving the family from crisis to health.
When family understands the process of recovery and makes a commitment change, change happens. Structured Family Recovery™ is a weekly program that enables recovery. Everyone becomes apart of the solution. SFR asks that each participant focus on himself or herself. SFR’s solution requires one meeting and one phone call per week. The entire family can take part wherever they are because we use the conference calling. SFR believes that change happens when actions taken.
I am a Certified Structured Family Recovery™ counselor, one of just a handful worldwide. I am working with families who are moving forward in their recoveries. SFR can begin before the addict goes into treatment, during treatment and beyond treatment. The entire family can engage in this process. I recommend that families engage in SFR for at least 6 months. If this sounds like something you or someone you know could use just give me a call.