Oasis Bradford believe that a well-rounded recovery in an individual with addiction or co-occurring illness, includes the recovery of the family and significant others also. This is why we have setup a specialised Family Recovery Programme. Addiction doesn’t just affect the addict, its ripple effect is far reaching; but it is those that are closest to the addict that suffer the most. Their whole life revolves around worrying, intervening and trying to save their loved one from consequences and harm. Many rehab clinics neglect this vital component of the individual’s permanent recovery from addiction. We recognise that through the addicts illness, the family will have been hugely affected and believe that a full and permanent recovery from addiction starts at home; healing the family from the years of suffering they have endured at the hands of their loved one’s illness.
By providing a Family Recovery Programme, we can assist the individual and their family in the process of healing the past and moving forwards to a healthier and more conducive relationship, that enables both parties to start living and rebuilding their own lives again. Unhelpful and destructive behaviours in all that are involved, need to be addressed, if all are to move towards a brighter future, free from the pain and misery of addiction.
There is no doubt that loving an addict or alcoholic is incredibly painful; their self-destructive and selfish behaviour, putting their addiction above all else, causes years of pent up frustration, anger, shame, blame and guilt in an individual close to them. In order for the whole family to recover and start a fresh new chapter in their life, one that is supportive, loving and healthy, there will be issues from the past that need to be aired and addressed.
Recovery is all about change for the better; so with this in mind, the family too will need to make some changes in order to adapt to and support their newly sober loved one.
For an addict or alcoholic to regain trust and rebuild their personal relationships, stopping the drink or drugs simply isn’t enough. The family will have endured years of manipulation, lying, stealing, cheating and fear. At times they will have taken on some of the addict’s traits and may even have developed a problem with co-dependency to the addict. Trust takes time to rebuild but only one negative action to break.
The truth is, that the newly sober and clean addict will make mistakes, especially whilst they are adjusting to life without substances or destructive behaviours. But it is how they deal with these mistakes that is important; mistakes can provide a useful experience for learning and growth with the appropriate attitude.
For the family, at first, they are likely to be on very apprehensive and fearful, waiting for their loved one to return back to their old ways. After all how many times have they heard “I am never going to drink/use again” or, “I’m sorry”. These words no longer cut it with the family; change in the individual’s actions and behaviours is what will earn their trust over time.
Indeed, the family and significant others will find that they too have much healing to do themselves. Most will want to support their newly sober loved one but not know how to, as all previous attempts in the past have failed miserably.
Our Family Recovery Programme is designed to assist in clearing away some of the wreckage of the past and help each individual to prioritise their own needs first and foremost so that they can be of real support to their loved one. We aim to educate the family on the illness of addiction and how not to enable the addict in active addiction. Our hope is that we can help to set them free from the constant fear and worry around their loved one; so that they too can rediscover themselves and the things they used to enjoy before the addict’s life took over.
Many family members make the common mistake of thinking that the addict had a choice in the lifestyle they have led prior to getting clean and sober. They therefore cannot understand how their loved one could inflict so much pain and destruction on themselves and to those that love them. We will educate the family on the truth of addiction; that it is a recognised mental illness and that without correct professional treatment, no one on the planet can help save an addict. The desire has to come from within the addict themselves; from there we can show them the steps they need to take in order to make a full recovery. Addiction is classed as a chronic relapsing brain disease; characterised by an overwhelming obsession and compulsion to take alcohol, drugs or indulge in unhealthy behaviours. This compulsion is far stronger than the individual’s own want to stop, the love of their family and even the love for their own children. They are completely powerless when it comes to resisting the power of their addiction. It is important for family members not to blame themselves; this too is pointless, as no one is responsible for another person developing an illness.
Understanding that your loved one is very sick mentally, physically and spiritually will help in the process of forgiveness and go some way to explaining why they have behaved the way that they have. Family members are not medical or mental health experts, so are simply not equipped to deal with or heal addiction. By understanding the nature of the illness, they will be able to support their loved one more productively by encouraging them in their recovery. We will have educated your loved one and helped them to come to terms that this is a lifetime illness; that they will have to apply the principles of their recovery in order to stay clean, sober and content on a daily basis. Addiction never goes away; an addict or alcoholic will need to implement the new coping strategies and tools that we will have taught them, back home, living life on a daily basis.
With the family and the addict in full possession of the facts of addiction and what is needed in order to maintain recovery on a permanent basis, each can support each other into moving forwards to a brighter and happier future, both as a family unit and also independently on their own.
At Bradford Oasis we are able to facilitate individual therapy sessions for individual family members/significant others and the individual in our care. This is particularly helpful in situations where all communication has broken down, or where there is deep resentment present, on one or both sides. The Counsellor or therapist present will conduct the session to ensure that both parties are able to have their say in a constructive and helpful way. They will also assist in helping to find an agreed solution that is tangible for both parties and conducive in moving forward.
Most families are full of fear at doing or saying the right thing by their loved one, on their return home from treatment. This is perfectly natural, as in the past loved ones will have used any excuse to drink or take drugs. However, having been through our treatment programme, the individual will now be equipped with the tools to stay sober and clean. It is their responsibility to use these tools as and when required. The family are not responsible for their loved one’s recovery, just as they are not responsible for their addiction. Treading on eggshells or wrapping your loved one in cotton wool is often a big mistake. The newly sober and clean addict or alcoholic needs to adjust to life on life’s terms and integrate back into normal day to day living.
Recovery is very much a process of learning and change. Each individual has to find their own path and be allowed to make their own mistakes. Providing they learn from their mistakes and do not pick up a substance or destructive behaviour, then this is progress in the right direction. At Bradford Oasis, we will equip your loved one with the tools and coping strategies that they need to face life on life’s terms, sober and clean. It may be, that in the early days of their recovery, all they can do is focus on laying the foundations for a sober and clean life and have little time for anything else. We encourage this process, it is important that they do not take on more than they can cope with, especially in the early vulnerable days of recovery. Once they have built a good support network locally and learned to practice the basic principles of recovery we have shown them, they will be in a better position to make up for lost time with family and friends. We cannot emphasise enough that just because your loved one is clean and has undergone rehabilitation, does not mean that they are fixed. There is a long road of adjustment, change and learning ahead of them.
Family and loved ones are allowed to visit our centre once a week, on a weekend, at an allotted time slot. During this time, as well as spending time with your loved one, you will be able to speak to staff regarding any concerns you have. If there is an indication that family therapy is required, we will arrange for this to be facilitated in house. Whilst we have a strict policy that we adhere to around protecting our patient’s confidentiality, we are able to advise and educate families in a constructive way that benefits all that are involved. We can also advise individual family members how to best access support and help for themselves and how to best support their loved one.
Our Family Recovery Programme is aimed at assisting both the addict and their family during the treatment process and through the early days of their recovery. We appreciate that your loved one returning back home is a very frightening prospect for all concerned; we will do all we can to support you during this time of readjustment.
Bradford Oasis are extremely passionate about helping addicts to recover from this deadly illness. One of the greatest rewards we receive from the work we carry out, is seeing our patients get well and being reunited with their family and loved ones.
For further details and information on our family programme, please call and speak to a member of our clinical team, or chat to us LIVE online now!