Having family support can be very important because it reminds the addict that regardless of what may happen, they are always going to have a loved one there to care for them and support them. Many addicts are able to work towards overcoming their addiction easier when they realize that their family still loves them and that they are not being judged for their actions. The knowledge that they can still turn to family members for care and support is major, because it pushes away the fears of rejection and helps them to ultimately focus more on their goals within the program. This is especially true when dealing with children, because many addicts feel as if they have failed their kids by getting involved with an addiction.
One of the most common concerns that most addicts express regarding child and family involvement in the feeling of shame and frustration that is associated with the awareness over the issue. Some people feel very uncomfortable with the idea that their children are learning about their addiction. They don’t want their children to view them differently because of the addiction or think that they are ‘bad’ people because they have become addicted to something. Some parents feel uncomfortable because they try to keep their addiction away from their children, so they don’t want their children to see them going through rehab.
Generally speaking, children tend to be very forgiving of the situation. This can be more challenging when you are dealing with teenagers because they have a different level of understanding than younger children do. A younger child will be more likely to forgive the situation because they only few you as mommy or daddy and know that they love you -- they haven’t reached a stage where they’re going to be angry because you have become addicted to drugs. They only know that they want their family back to the way that it used to be because they likely miss you very much and realized that your behavior started changing toward them at some point.
Teenager involvement is a little more challenging. Depending on the age of the teenager, they may feel as if you’ve abandoned them because of your addiction. When you decide that you want to get them involved with your program, you have to explain to them that you’re sorry and that you’re in this program to help you get back to the way that you used to be. Another consideration here would be to get them involved with your counseling sessions or your support group sessions so that they can hear different opinions and offer up their own opinions. Going to group therapy or family therapy can be a good way to get them involved because it will encourage them to talk about how they feel about the situation and how they feel about you. As long as you can maintain frequent communication and make it clear that you love them, there’s nothing wrong with getting your kids involved with your rehab experience.