Our Family Programs are evidence-based and designed to educate and inspire our patients and their loved ones. Families learn what addiction is on a scientific level, the ways substance use disorder affects whole families, and how both recovering addicts and their loved ones can support each other while also taking care of themselves. Educated and armed with a more nuanced understanding of addiction and one another, families are better prepared to transition into life in recovery.
We cover a lot of ground in our Family Programs. The sessions open with a detailed look at the Science of Addiction by our Medical Director Dr. David Cummins. Dr. Cummins explains what happens in an addicted brain and body. He explains why addiction happens, why it’s so difficult for addicts to stop using, the process of withdrawal, and how we heal during sustained sobriety.
We also learn about how addiction affects whole families. Dysfunction, miscommunication, codependency, enabling behaviors, and a broad range of complicated emotions accompany addiction in any family system. We learn how these struggles affect the physical and mental health of the whole family—not only the addict. Equipped with a more sophisticated understanding of addicted family dynamics, we learn how family members and patients can take responsibility for their own needs and actions while still offering healthy support to one another.
Other topics we cover include relapse and the importance of a long-term continuum of care for those recovering from substance use disorder. We explain 12 Step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon and how they support both addicts and their loved ones. We spend time learning effective communication skills. And we talk. Patients and their loved ones are guided through a letter-writing and reading exercise that airs thoughts and emotions – sometimes long-hidden or repressed – which keep families from healing. They express their deep love for one another, but also their frustrations, worries, and needs. After this exercise, many family members and patients feel closer and bonded in their commitment to healing.
We hope you will take advantage of these Family Programs, which are open to both current and past Parkdale Center patients and their families. For many, they are the turning point in helping the addict and their loved ones learn to live with and heal from addiction.
Our Family Programs are scheduled roughly every 5 weeks, and current patients are informed about upcoming sessions. Please feel free to call us with any questions. 219-929-5367.