Just as families are impacted by a loved one’s addiction, they are integral to the recovery effort. Teens often enter treatment, stay in treatment and commit to long-term recovery, at least in part, because of their families.
When teens complete drug treatment at The Meadow Lodge, they usually return home to their families. Because addiction breeds dysfunction in the entire family system, unhealthy patterns and family roles must be addressed before the adolescent leaves drug rehab. If nothing changes at home, teens are more likely to fall into old patterns and relapse.
We establish contact with families upon admission, complete a family assessment, utilize family counseling as needed, and share continuing care plans with appropriate family members. The Meadow Lodge also offers an intensive family program that takes place every other weekend and includes three days of lectures, discussion and group activities. Our staff works gently, but purposely, to move the family forward.
A therapist teaches families about the disease of addiction, with a goal of taking the blame, shame and criticism out of recovery and dispelling myths that addicts are somehow weak or morally flawed.
The Meadow Lodge’s clinical team educates families about the ways drugs and alcohol affect the still-developing adolescent brain, changing the user’s ability to think, feel and make rational choices. Families spend the afternoon with a therapist learning how to distinguish between codependency and healthy displays of love, how to spot behaviors that unwittingly contribute to the disease, and how to best support their loved one in recovery.
Families also benefit from the expertise and insights of outside speakers, including community representatives and recovering addicts. Understanding the disease of addiction is a first step in changing the way families view their addicted loved one.
A certified drug and alcohol counselor prepares families for what to expect during the teen’s stay in drug rehab and how to set goals and establish healthy boundaries. Patients are invited to participate in therapeutic exercises with the following goals:
- Understanding and embracing the disease concept of addiction
- Learning how to allow the adolescent to assume responsibility for their own recovery
- Learning how to access information and resources for aftercare support
- Adopting strategies for setting boundaries and supporting recovery
- Practicing and mastering effective communication skills
- Discovering how to tap into powerful support groups to allow healing for the adolescents as well as their loved ones
Family therapy occurs in a group format, allowing families and their addicted loved ones to practice healthy communication skills in a supervised, therapeutic setting and in a way that is understandable for both adults and adolescents. By sharing with other families, they discover they are not alone in their struggle.
After the group meetings, families can arrange single-family counseling sessions. Families are also invited to stay for the balance of each day for informal visiting and to participate in some of the seasonal activities The Meadow Lodge offers, such as swimming, basketball, tennis and volleyball.