Family Involvement in Treatment

Addiction is a disease that affects the entire family. So much so, that many professionals refer to addiction as a “family disease.” Dr. Joseph Lee, CEO at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation describes addiction in the family this way:

Even though we know addiction is a disease, there are behavioral aspects that hurt families. People with addiction do things that betray trust and sever relationships. It’s difficult not to take betrayals and other harmful behaviors personally. And families tend to suffer silently with addiction, working hard to keep a lid on everything.”

According to research recorded by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, treating an individual without family involvement may limit the effectiveness of their treatment. Individuals with addiction left untreated can leave a devastating impact on family members’ lives and wounds that will need to be healed. Dr. Lee also states, “It’s imperative that families get addiction counseling and help to work through the pain and chaos of addiction, or they will eventually implode.”

A family’s attitudes about addiction and recovery have a strong influence on their loved one who is trying to get sober. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that some people have a genetic predisposition for developing a substance use or alcohol use disorder; they may be at greater risk for having grown up in a home with a history of addiction. It is important that family members be open to attending therapy, which can improve the effectiveness of treatment by supporting the whole family.

What is the impact of drug and alcohol addiction on relationships?

It takes courage to decide to make the changes in your life that will bring peace and health. When the decision is made to seek treatment, many questions are asked and frankly, it can be a very emotional time. No one enters into an addiction treatment program without some doubt about their decision or even denial that treatment is necessary.

At Plum Creek Recovery Ranch, we can help answer your questions and bring clarity to the goals you would like to achieve. The role of family or loved one’s involvement in recovery cannot be overemphasized.

The family or loved ones will undergo similar feelings, emotions, and questions as the individual seeking treatment. Their concerns are legitimate and rooted in their desire to care for the individual, or because they are perplexed at not knowing what to do. Either way, family can be a key piece to the positive outcomes in the recovery process.

Essential questions, such as “How do I help my loved one get the care they need?” or sentiments like “I’m at my wits’ end and about to give up!”, can be heard in an addict’s home. Finding ways to cope with these difficult situations can seem overwhelming. Realizing there is hope out there and seeking it out may require a great deal of effort. Connecting with recovery resources can be a substantial comfort.

What is the role of a family in substance abuse treatment?

Engaging families in the Family Program at Plum Creek Recovery Ranch is encouraged, as it has been proven that the support of the family has a positive effect on the success of treatment. Our goal is to repair connections with those who have been affected and to build new connections with those who can be trusted.

When it comes to long-term recovery, research shows that chances improve when families also receive the support they need. Plum Creek Recovery Ranch knows that not all family dynamics are positive, especially given the social-emotional effects of living in a household with an addict. We see that assisting the individual to repair these relationships can improve outcomes for lasting recovery that our treatment provides.

Why is it important to involve the family in the addiction treatment plan?

From a therapeutic standpoint, Plum Creek Recovery Ranch’s Family Program can provide proven practices that can aid the success of a positive recovery journey. The treatment goals for those who participate in the Family Program include:

  • Learning about the disease concept model of addiction – a disease with biological, neurological, genetic, and environmental sources of origin
  • Understand the dynamics of codependency – relationships with others can be healthy and have well-defined boundaries
  • Improve communication skills – communication with less distress and more suitable interactions for building positive relationships
  • Participation in therapy sessions – opportunities in group or individual sessions to learn and practice skills
  • Exposure to Al-Anon and Al-Ateen – groups who are worried about someone with a drinking problem
  • Focus on self-care – one becoming able to meet his or her own needs

How can you involve family in the treatment and recovery process?

Plum Creek Recovery Ranch’s admission process has a comprehensive evaluation of each prospective patient’s physical and behavioral health needs. These sessions are where many questions are answered and an individualized treatment plan begins to come together. Goals are decided in collaboration between the patient and the therapeutic staff. The family’s involvement in the patient’s treatment plan is discussed during intake. Each patient is given a thorough explanation on how the Family Program works and asked if they want it to be included in their treatment plan. Once consent has been given by the patient, family members will be given weekly progress updates and to be included as part of the Family Program.

If the family is included in their loved one’s treatment plan, they will see several benefits. This can include improved relationships and communication, a better understanding of the conditions that surround addiction, how their loved one should be caring for themselves, and what support systems exist in the public sector. These benefits can support healing at home and better prepare a family for their loved one’s return home.

What family members and loved ones can expect during residential treatment?

At Plum Creek Recovery Ranch, we create an environment where an individual can immerse themselves in our residential treatment program for addiction while detaching themselves from the distractions of everyday life. We also offer the best practices in cognitive-based behavioral therapies combined with the knowledge of trauma-informed care. Living onsite provides a comprehensive schedule that fills the resident’s day with therapeutic and recreational activities, healthy living skills, and a normal daily structure. This includes three meals and an appropriate amount of time to sleep and rest, which gives each resident a healthy balance of learning, living, and therapy.

Although residential treatment means you are separated from most of the outside world, adding family can be an important piece in creating a successful plan for ongoing recovery. What’s more, the chance for long-term recovery is greatly enhanced when the family has been educated on the disease of addiction and provided the necessary tools to offer support to their loved one on the road to sobriety.

Looking for Residential Treatment in Central Texas?

Located just outside of Austin, Texas on 200 acres of working ranch land, Plum Creek Recovery Ranch offers a comprehensive, clinical program that addresses the whole person–body, mind, and spirit in a residential substance abuse treatment facility.

We offer inpatient residential treatment in a relaxed setting. Once you finish your individualized treatment plan, we can support you with follow up check-ins at 30, 60, and 90 days and After Care Services. For those patients who will need medication management services, we will connect you to our psychiatric care network.

Because we want to offer you a full slate of comprehensive services with a focus on success in recovery and mitigation of relapse, we also offer an Alumni Program and can connect you to 12-Step Support Groups.

For more information about our Inpatient Residential Treatment Program or for a confidential, free assessment with one of our professionally licensed counselors, call 512-398-3000 or send an email to us at

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