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Why Do Treatment Facilities Restrict or Limit Contact With Family Members During the Initial Stages of Recovery?

When entering a treatment facility or sober living home, you may be asked to surrender your cell phone for much of your stay. You may be surprised at the restrictions put in place to contact your family members or friends during the first stages of recovery. Successful treatment of addictions may involve limiting the distractions of the outside world to focus inward. Naturally, you may feel that giving up your contact with your close relationships may restrict access to your support systems. However, the point is to learn to be better once you return to your family following treatment.

Recovery is about finding healthy ways to cope with stress. Camelback Recovery believes that replacing unhealthy habits with healthy ones can bring success to those suffering from addictions. When using drugs or alcohol or other addictions, you may have been treating your family relationships in unhealthy ways. Your family may have been covering up for you or enabling your behaviors. They may have been negatively affected by your addictions and also need time to regroup while you are in recovery.

Your success in treatment may also depend upon the health and stability of your life outside of treatment upon discharge. If you and your family are not taking a break from one another, you are not allowing the necessary time for change to occur. Addiction can affect an entire family system. By limiting contact with your family, you are giving yourself and your family time to heal. Change can be difficult for anyone to manage–even change for the better! Your family has likely adopted some of the typical roles of people in homes affected by addictions, such as:

  • The Enabler: this person denies the problems of addictions and creates excuses for the addict. Typically, this person is the spouse or partner of the person addicted.
  • The Hero: this family member tries to balance the dysfunctional environment by becoming an over-achiever or perfectionist. The hero is trying to overcompensate for the problems within the home.
  • The Scapegoat: the family member who is most often blamed for problems within the home. This person may be getting in trouble themselves and distracts the family from the issues of the addict.
  • The Mascot: this family member tries to deflect any problems in the home with humor. This person uses humor to cope with their own emotions. Often, the seriousness of the family issues is masked by humor or jokes.
  • The Lost Child: this person tends to lack getting or seeking any attention from the family and chooses solitary activities to cope with the problems at home. This person may appear withdrawn and shy, as they seem to give up on participating within a dysfunctional home environment.

Addiction can create chaos in the home that affects each member of the family in different ways. While your family may not be engaging in addictive behaviors themselves, they may have learned other unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with stressors both inside and outside the home. Treatment is a time for both you and your family to adjust to life changes moving forward. Your family needs time to heal as you learn better ways to manage the stressors in your life. Moving on from recovery will take time. You and your family deserve the gift of healing and the time to heal from dysfunction. During this time, your family may choose to enter counseling or groups to care for themselves. They may have been allowing stressors in their own lives build up and can address these needs during your treatment.

While you may feel that you need your family for support during the challenges of treatment, remember that you also have support within your facility or sober living home. Most recovery programs will allow contact with your family; however, you may have some restrictions in terms of how often or when. Limiting your contact via cell phone or other handheld devices can limit the number of temptations and distractions that these devices present. Sometimes, taking a break and learning new ways of living can be the best thing for relationships. By learning to cope with your problems in healthy ways, you can set a better example for your loved ones. You can help create a healthy home environment by learning the best way to care for yourself. Focus and engage in your recovery to give your family a healthier version of yourself upon your return home!

 

Camelback Recovery realizes that addiction affects entire families and not just the person addicted to substances. Each family member might take on different roles of unhealthy behavior to cope with the stress within the home. Some family members may have neglected their own health and wellness while distracted with a loved one struggling with addiction at home. While you are in treatment, you may have restricted or limited contact with your family. Take this time to heal and to allow your family to care for themselves. You and your family can learn to grow as individuals while being apart. Once you and your family have had time to heal from the dysfunction and chaos of addiction, you can lead a healthier life in your home environment. Call Camelback Recovery today to inquire about our sober living homes and treatment services at (602) 466-9880. Give yourself and your family the gift of recovery!