Recovery is a family process

With September being recovery month, we decided to focus this blog on how important support from family can be for an individual suffering from addiction throughout their recovery journey. Individuals battling addiction regularly can feel completely isolated and feel as if they are facing this immense challenge entirely alone. But family support can play a pivotal role in helping a loved one with their recovery. Having the encouragement and understanding from loved ones can lay the foundation for achieving long-term recovery.

Your Support can make all the difference

We have discussed previously the substantial impact an addiction has on the entire family, and not just the individual suffering from addiction. But this translates to recovery as well, with recovery also having an impact on the entire family. Often family members, friends or loved ones can be integral to the success of their loved one’s recovery journey. Your supporting role can make all the difference in helping your loved one. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong journey and undoubtedly requires love, empathy and support from those closest to the individual in order to give them the best possible chance.


The early stages of your loved one’s recovery can be difficult, and may require a lot of commitment from you. It won’t be plain sailing from the beginning, it is important to accept that there will be ups and downs along the way for you both. We would recommend developing a plan in order to deal with potential issues and challenges such as financial issues, gaining employment, physical or mental health issues and even for repairing damaged relationships and building trust with loved ones.

No Quick Fix

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix with addiction. Addiction treatment programmes, such as the ones provided by Tabor Group, is an excellent start for lifelong recovery, but it’s just the beginning of the healing journey. The recovery will continue well after they come home as a result of the consequences of substance abuse being so far-reaching. If you expect that your loved one will return home from their addiction treatment “cured” from addiction, it’s unrealistic and can even potentially set-up a relapse. Your understanding of how the consequences of addiction may continue after treatment can be pivotal to their recovery.

Lifestyle Changes

It may be required for your entire family to commit to lifestyle changes once your loved one returns home from their treatment. Recovery is hard enough without the temptation of seeing everyone around them using the substance they are addicted to. We would recommend families to maintain a complete drug and alcohol-free home environment from the moment your loved one returns. By creating this healthy, sober environment and stable atmosphere can dramatically reduce the likelihood of a relapse, particularly in the beginning of their journey.

Understanding Stress

Another recommendation we would give loved ones of individuals suffering from addiction is to try to understand stress and work on helping your loved one reduce any stress they have. Studies have shown that stress is a significant factor in both alcohol and drug abuse and can trigger a relapse. It can be helpful to understand that your loved one can possibly be more vulnerable to stress during their recovery and the connection this can have with the risk of a relapse. If your loved one is suffering from stress due to health, work, financial or relationship issues, simply acknowledging these stress factors can make a positive impact. You can then help them cope with these stresses by using mechanisms such as exercise, creating a diary, meditating or even speaking with a therapist.

Take Care of Yourself

Finally, living with an individual either suffering from an addiction or in recovery can be exhausting. You also need to take the time to care for yourself. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help and do your very best to avoid self-blame. At Tabor Group we have designed a Family Support Programme to help concerned persons of the individual with substance use disorder. Our Family Support Programme includes education, one-to-one support, peer support groups, telephone support, intervention advice and more. Coping with addiction has serious mental, emotional and physical consequences for family members. You can go for months and years coping with the shame, fear and stigma of another’s addiction hoping that somehow it will stop. But if nothing changes, nothing changes. We support you to help yourself, your addicted family member and the whole family system.

Understanding what’s involved and being properly prepared for living with a loved one in recovery can substantially help both you and your loved one in their recovery journey. There is no doubt addiction is a family disease, but equally recovery is a family process.

Tabor Group

If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, get help today. We can help you recover in a healthy, friendly environment and beat your addiction. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our counsellors today for information at +353 (21) 488 7710 or email us at info@taborgroup.ie. We can help you.