Family Involvement in Rehabilitation Proves Effective

by Bart Traynor, Clinical Psychologist

Drug addiction is very serious issue that can have disastrous impacts families and communities. In the below referenced article ABC’s Katherine Gregory highlights a new collaborative program with Drug and Alcohol facility “The Glen” together with “Relationships Australia” to target families of people with addiction problems.  They highlight that while funds are often directed towards drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment, very little often find its way to supporting families.  This project aims to support the wider network of people struggling, including "loved ones", partners and children. Programs delivered by the project will offer counselling, support and create new experiences (including outings) for families to assist in repairing relationships and connection to overcome the impacts of addiction.

Healthy, meaningful connection to others is one if the strongest protective factors we have and connection to family/ community and culture are paramount.  One commonality of those who have addictions is that there is usually a trail of lies, deceit, manipulation and broken promises of recovery and abstinence to those closest to them, often for many, many years.  Those who have addictions often have difficulties with impulsivity and delayed gratification and therefore can struggle to accept that others around them are not as willing to forgive and move forward as quickly as they are.  Let’s hope that programs such as this are given the opportunity to provide support for a significant enough time period that significant, meaningful change can occur for not only those with addictions, but also those who have long suffered alongside them.

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