One of the things that people in recovery have to come to terms with is that their actions affect others. Usually the people that are closest to the addict to are the ones who suffer the most.
Here at St. Christopher's we place a lot of importance on healing the relationships that were hurt, or even lost, due to addiction. We try to involve families and loved ones in the recovery process, because we want everyone to recover.
Throughout the course of treatment there a few different family therapy sessions that we ask families to attend. These family sessions allow families and loved ones to express themselves in an open, structured, and safe environment.
The work doesn't stop there though. The clients in our care are not only encouraged to go to meetings, but also to read the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous. There is a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, time takes time. Recovery doesn't happen overnight, it is something that has to be cultivated, and it takes a continual effort.
Just as we encourage our clients to continually build upon their own sobriety, we ask their loved ones to do the same. Just as Alcoholics Anonymous has become a worldwide organization for people recovering from alcoholism and addiction, Al-Anon is there for the loved ones and families of people in recovery. We encourage family members to attend Al-Anon meetings in their area so that they can begin to heal, and also to learn how to deal with their family member who is in recovery.
Another great resource for the families of people in recovery is the book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Codependency refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another person. This book can be a great help to the families of people in recovery who have lived their lives around the addiction of a loved one.
If you are tying to understand more about addiction, and how someone struggling with addiction thinks, you could read "Addictive Thinking" by Abraham Twerski. This is a book we use here at St. Christopher's to help our clients understand their own addiction. It is a short book, and very easy to read, but it provides a lot of insight.
For information about AL-Anon meetings in your area you can visit the Al-Anon website here: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/