These are my people.
When I worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for over 5 years one of our jobs was to run the family program once a week while also doing group therapy for the addicts/alcoholics in the program. Many family members came to our family nights hungry for information, understanding, compassion, validation, and to just have a place to vent their frustration at the changes that have occurred in their life due to the damage of addiction.
Then-when the person finished treatment-the family was left with no where to turn.
That’s where I come in. I meet with family members who still have an active person in their lives, and help them to find out what is their comfort level of support and commitment to the addict. I do not tell people to do or not do something that they’re not comfortable with. I also work with family members of people who have recently returned from an inpatient stay, or are beginning their recovery. These family members are sometimes confused about what to say and do with their “new”, sober family member. They also sometimes want to know, need to know, how the family member is doing, without the support any longer of the drug counselor now that they’ve returned from treatment.
I help family members educate themselves on the ongoing process of recovery, enable them to access recovery for themselves, and help them make the decisions necessary for their lives to return to them.