At Any Length Retreat, we take the opportunity to create an experience that is both educational and positive. Our family program is truly for the family and loved ones of the alcoholic or addict. We take the time to educate the family about issues like “enabling” and how to react when the loved one is dishonest or in denial. Our Holistic family program also helps families understand the importance of getting help for themselves. We explain the 12 steps of Al-anon to help those dealing with family members that are Alcoholic/Addict in a spiritual manner. We take time to allow families to understand their loved one’s addiction but also how they may behave in their path to recovery. There are Monthly BBQ’s with Alumni of our retreat that Family is always encouraged to attend. Our program is meant to not only help families understand but also to help them mend.
Facts About The Wreckage That Addiction Can Cause Families
Shocking national statistics indicate that the entire family often suffers when one member is addicted to drugs or alcohol:
- More than half of all spouse and child abuse is directly tied to alcohol and drug abuse.
- Alcohol and drug-addicted persons are seven times more likely to divorce.
- More than 4 million women in this country, many of whom are mothers, abuse drugs.
- More than half of all traffic fatalities are related to alcohol and other forms of drug abuse.
- Non-alcoholic members of alcoholic families take considerably more sick leave than members of families in which alcoholism is not present.
- Alcohol is implicated in 25 to 50 percent of cases of maltreatment of women, and in 20 percent of cases of maltreatment of children.
- An estimated 6.6 million children under the age of 18 live in households with at least one alcoholic parent.
Unfortunately, even if an addict is able to keep up appearances to the outside world, family life often becomes intolerable for his/her loved ones. Yet they sometimes attempt to cover up what is truly happening because it’s just too painful to admit their family is being destroyed by something they cannot control or understand.
Desperate for change, family members may try to control events involving an addict or his/her behavior. They may dispose or conceal any alcohol or drugs in the home. They may constantly reprimand the addict or try to shame him/her into promising to get sober. They may call in sick for the addict or lie to ensure the outside world doesn’t find out the truth. Often, families become drawn into the addicts disease; they become co-dependent while trying desperately to make family life seem “normal.”
Unfortunately, ignoring the problem or helping to cover things up isn’t helping anyone. It certainly isn’t helping children who may be living in the home. While they may seem oblivious to daddy or mommy’s addiction, they are most certainly being affected – and not just temporarily.
If your family is being affected by drug or alcohol abuse, don’t give up hope. It is statistically proven that when family, friends, or co-workers come together to help the Suffering face his/her addiction and realize the wreckage he/she is causing to loved ones, that person agrees to enter treatment more than 90 percent of the time.