During the holiday season many families get together for dinner and reunion. For many the holiday season is a joyful time, for many others it is too traumatic to endure. The mixture of personalities can and often does bring about a mixture of behaviors. Old memories of events are brought to light and often make for great conversation.
Then there are those incidents that were not favorable, which bring up emotions that sometime have negative reactions. The fun and mirth can all go downhill once “that family member” decides to drink or drug to make the season bright. For a family member in recovery watching others drink and or drug is very difficult. Many do not realize the recovering addict still needs the help of family and friends, to remain in sobriety.
To balance the multiple mindsets at the holiday reunion for those in recovery and those who are inclined to imbibe is quite a task. The families who do best are the families who are engage and support in a recovery process. Many members will notice the personality differences of “that family member” who was usually the reason the last holiday was ruined has now become more reserved or withdrawn.
Some may even try to entice a recovering addict to try it just one more time, not realizing this could start a terrible downward spiral. Others may say, “you have the problem not me, I can drink or drug if I choose. If you are not fixed you should go back for more treatment”.
Many treatment programs offer family education programs and family therapy while the patient is in treatment. These programs are a good start, but once treatment has concluded for the patient, the treatment concludes for the family. The family expects the patient to continue the recovery process. The most successful stories of recovery are the ones where the family engages in recovery for themselves. Short-term follow up care or no follow up care is not effective for the patient or the family.
This program is focused on getting families into recovery. It is support for families to engage them in the process of recovery. What is known is that when families get involved in recovery the recovery rates go up and the relapses are less. Doctor’s and Pilots have incredible success in their recoveries when a structure is created for them to follow for an extended period of time. We are creating a norm for families Family Guide is the continued care program that has been missing from treatment programs.