Why should I take my time to learn about addiction recovery when I’m not the person addicted? Good question! Did you know, according to NIDA (National Institute for Drug Addiction), families (loved ones) who engage in recovery, along with their addicted family member, increase the success rate of their loved one finding long term sobriety by 80%? Addiction is most definitely a family illness as everyone in the family is affected and potentially contributes to the behaviors in a family struggling to find freedom from the bondage of addiction. Addiction is an enslaving midbrain disease which has the capacity to take away one’s free agency, leaving them a prisoner in their own body. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Addiction has the capacity to disconnect the human will and nullify moral agency. It can rob one of the power to decide.”
I believe if my husband and I had not been educated on the disease of addiction, negative and positive contributing behaviors, and how shame (the core center of all addiction) keeps a loved one cycling in their addiction, my marriage would have been destroyed and my sons may not be alive today. I know that sounds dramatic but nevertheless, it is true! Today, over 16 of my sons’ friends are dead because of addiction. If only their families could have also engaged in recovery and 12 step addiction recovery meetings! I remember thinking, “You mean I have to take time out of my busy schedule to attend meetings because of their poor choices?” As I pondered my decision to attend family group meetings and the fact that addiction is chronic, progressive, and deadly; I determined that I would do everything in my power to learn all I could so that if the unthinkable happened… I would have no regrets!
The good news is …“YES”, family members who choose to become educated about the addiction recovery process learn the tools and principles that not only improve the success rate of their addicted loved one by 80% but also find peace, healing, and unlimited growth for themselves. The truth is that regardless of the choices that family members are making around us, we are the directors of our own destiny and happiness. We can choose to learn those healing principles that free us from the bondage of fear and obsessing over a loved one’s addiction. We learn how to recognize the underlying causes of our own negative emotions; whether that is fear, lack of faith, judgment, pride, holding grudges, etc… We learn how to increase our trust in God to turn our weaknesses into strengths which not only benefits us but positively impacts all critical family relationships, not just those with our addicted family member.
Since one of my sons graduated from the Renaissance Ranch Inpatient program six years ago, my husband, two sons and I have continued to be actively involved in addiction recovery through serving in the LDS 12 step addiction recovery program as facilitators and/or group leaders. My husband and I teach family support education classes at the Renaissance Ranch outpatient center. Our combined personal witness to you is that when families get involved in recovery there is indeed a much higher success rate for the addicted family member. Families are healed through true recovery principles, which are eternally linked to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the enabling power of His Atonement. We have experienced the miracle of recovery for our family and invite you to reach out and learn all you can to begin the miracle of healing in your family.
This website is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.