As a clinician, when first meeting a patient I am very interested to learn about their family and relationships. For some, sadly, they may have exhausted all ties to family and their relationships may be slim to non-existent.

In other scenarios, the person in active addiction has significant relationships within their family system and people who are invested in their loved one’s sobriety. In both of these cases the information is critical to building out a recovery plan.

Living With Active Addiction

Active addiction threatens the home environment, disrupts family life, confounds relationships, and often undermines finances, along with emotional, mental, and physical health.

When a loved one is suffering from addiction, it raises many difficult questions and feelings for their family and friends. They may find themselves struggling with painful and conflicting emotions, including anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, shame, guilt, self-blame, and fear.

The Path to Freedom Starts Within

Once a person has cleansed their brain and body of substances, they can begin the healing process. A significant part of that healing process involves taking inventory of their lives and making the changes necessary to live without the use of substances. They are challenged to evaluate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and replace them with healthy alternatives.


It is critical that the family also acknowledge that they too need to learn and practice how to think or practice things differently, and begin their healing process. Both need to start implementing change and learn to connect with each other within a new relationship.

Healthy Family Life and Healthy Recovery

Families may benefit from consultation and possibly treatment to help explore creating healthier communication, expression of feelings, and expectations. Recovery is a journey, one that requires exploring new options, choices, and may push people out of their comfort zones. Our hope is that everyone finds their path to recovery and new ways to explore a healthier life!

Amanda Pitts