Substance Abuse and Broken Relationships, Does It Get Better After Rehab?

Whether you yourself are currently battling with addiction, or you have a loved one that is, its likely you have seen, or fallen victim to the strain that addiction puts on relationships. You have stolen from or lied to someone close to you, and now you are struggling to trusted. Maybe you have found yourself enabling when you were trying to help, and this has put a strain on your mental health. Perhaps the realization that your partners addiction is more of a priority than your relationship has had you overcome with resentment. Unfortunately, this is often the case when addiction is present in your life. Fortunately, it’s not too late to mend these broken bonds. With proper rehabilitation, therapy and inner work it is possible to re-establish and even improve the relationships in your life that were destroyed by addiction.  

How Does Rehab Repair Relationships?

The reason inpatient drug rehab centers have the ability to mend even the most severely broken relationships is because of the structure of the programs. When a patient first begins their rehabilitation journey, they will be focusing on their relationship with themselves to figure out what it is that has led them to turn to substance abuse. Through therapy and with time, the patient will begin to break down these barriers, and at the same time they will start to become settled into their daily routines without their dependency. Once the patient is ready, they will start family therapy.

Family Therapy is Equally Challenging As It Is Necessary

The closer you are to someone, the harder it is to navigate addiction. An addict that is struggling with addiction is likely scared to hurt their family while simultaneously seeing them as the only resources left to feed their addiction. This will cause them to steal, lie or put loved ones in dangerous situations. Perhaps you are a parent dealing with guilt for giving your child money for food, only to understand later that it was used to buy drugs. These are the realities of addiction, and it can cause you to feel far from those you once felt closest to. Firstly, family therapy will allow all members to express their thoughts, feelings and concerns in a safe space. The goal is that by the time the patient has completed the program, all family members have the tools and knowledge to: 1. Understand that addiction isn’t a choice 2. Not blame each other 3. Take responsibility 4. effectively communicate 5. Support each other

How Do You Get Everyone On The Same Page?

1. Mediation

One of the biggest reasons therapy is so effective at mending relationships both with the self and others, is that there is always an unbiased individual present, also known as a mediator. A mediator will give everyone the space to express themselves while guiding them to communicate in a way that doesn’t make anyone present feel attacked or blamed. On top of that, a mediator helps everyone establish clear boundaries and communication skills that will be useful long after the patient has completed the program.

2. Communication

A mediator will also help break down communication barriers. It is likely you have been or a loved one was put into a situation that either embarrassed, seriously hurt or scared that individual. These are crucial to talk about despite it being difficult. Through therapy, the conversation can be guided in a constructive way that will allow for understanding and forgiveness, and therefor resolution and progress.

3. Compassion

Compassion and understanding live side by side and is probably one of the most important things to have in your tool box as you try and recover, or help someone recover from addiction. No matter which side you are on, it’s likely that addiction has caused you to feel angry, resentful, lonely and misunderstood. These are all unwanted feelings, and it is certain that the individual who is battling with addiction did not want to cause those feelings for themselves or others. Therapy will help show that addiction is not a choice and that it is an illness. You would never be angry at someone for catching a cold, and though its hard, it is important to extend this same attitude towards those struggling with addiction.