Addiction Recovery for the Family


Family Involvement in Addiction Treatment

Years of research and practice in addiction medicine affirm over and over again how vital the role of family is in the recovery process. Summit Behavioral Health strongly believes in integrating family during treatment and offers involvement at all our locations, at every level of care.

Summit Behavioral Health treats addiction as a disease, a disease that not only affects the individual, but impacts the family as a whole. In turn, not one, but many suffer. Family issues during recovery understandably rise from the hurt experienced during the active addiction. Through education, support, and intervention, our caring professionals work with families to heal as unit while supporting their loved one with a substance use disorder.

The family role in the recovery process is a significant one. Summit Behavioral Health welcomes any member of our client’s sober support system to be involved in our Family Programming.

Serenity at Summit: New England

  • Family Workshops
  • Family Therapy

Serenity at Summit: New Jersey

  • Family Education
  • Family Therapy

Summit Behavioral Health (all outpatient locations)

  • Multiple Family Process Groups
  • Family Education
  • Family Therapy

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Family Support Groups


Aside from playing an important role in the recovery of the person struggling with alcohol or other drugs, family members are strongly encouraged to access their own support. Current professional literature suggests that the single most predictive factor of a person successfully pursuing recovery from addiction is the involvement of family members in their own support system.

Summit responds to the needs of our communities and is partnering with local organizations to offer a series of community based Family Support Groups, open to anyone affected by another’s substance use. These No-Fee meetings offer education and support for families and friends, even those not in our care.

Find a Meeting at One of Summit’s Facilities:

Serenity at Summit: New England 61 Brown Street – Haverhill, MA
Wednesday Evenings: 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Serenity at Summit: New Jersey 1000 Galloping Hill Road – Union, NJ
Wednesday Evenings: 7:00PM – 8:00PM

Summit Behavioral Health: Doylestown 702 Hyde Park – Doylestown, PA
Thursday Evenings: 6:30PM – 8:00PM

Summit Behavioral Health: Union 2780 Morris Avenue – Union, NJ
Tuesday Evenings (2nd and 4th of the month): 6:30PM – 8:00PM

For more information about our Family Support Groups, contact Paul Lavella, Director of Alumni Services:

How to Support an Addict in Recovery


When your loved one is working through their addiction and is making efforts to make changes in their daily lives, family support is needed more than ever. Without doubt, any person entering into recovery will have emotional challenges ahead of them and will be faced with making difficult decisions that will push them outside of their comfort zone. It is important that they know they are not alone and that there is hope, no matter how much pain may have been caused during their active addiction.

It is common for family members to carry anger and resentment toward their loved one with addiction. These emotions are valid and deserve to be discussed and explored in a safe setting where both the family members and the person with addiction can be heard. Summit Behavioral Health recognizes the needs of families while providing the compassionate care the client needs to recover.

Family Role in Addiction Recovery

When your loved one enters into treatment, it can be a time of great relief and anxiety. Participating in therapeutic interventions and getting connected within a recovery network are positive steps in sobriety. At the same time, you and your loved one may experience uncertainty about the path moving forward and are likely going to experiencing changes in your relationship. Although uncomfortable, these changes are to be expected. Questions such as “What should I do?” and, “Am I saying the right thing?” are echoed from many family members who are looking to support their loved one with addiction.

Caring professionals at Summit Behavioral Health can work with your family to navigate through these concerns. Here’s some suggestions to keep in mind when going through this process:

Practice Self Care – When you get on an airplane, prior to takeoff, flight crew provide safety instructions. In the event of an emergency, oxygen masks will fall from the overhead compartment. Safely secure your mask first, and then help other secure theirs. The overarching premise is that you will not be able to help those you care about if you are not well yourself. Self care is critical for all family members, including the person in recovery from addiction. Go for a walk, read a book, connect with a friend or personal confidant – do anything that will help to recharge your energy and replenish your livelihood.

Make the Home a Safe Environment – One of the most common pitfalls of the early recovery process is that the home may still contain some triggers for the person in recovery. Whether it is alcohol that is still in the home, or a specific space where someone routinely used substances, environmental triggers need to be discussed and relieved.

Educate Yourself – Addiction is a disease. The same way we may consult with professionals if a family member received a diagnosis of a serious medical condition, we can also gain much from receiving education about addiction. Education can be sought by contacting licensed professionals, attending community based self-help groups, and by participating in family therapy with your loved one.

Practice Responding Vs. Reacting – Have you ever said something out of anger and then regretted it later? Many others going through this process have as well. Emotions can run strong during active addiction and early recovery. Although we cannot control our loved one’s actions, we can control how we participate in them. Reacting is a term used when we have a strong, emotionally driven impulse, whereas Responding requires us to regulate this initial impulse and speak from a place of rational thought.

Set Healthy Boundaries – During the course of active addiction, boundaries may not have been followed to and in some cases, may not have existed. As a family member, mart of your self care may be to create healthy boundaries for yourself and practice maintaining your boundaries with your loved one who may struggle to maintain their own.

Make All Efforts to Support Recovery – Recovery may be a difficult journey, not only for your loved one, but for yourself as well. On occasion, family members may feel a sense of loss, as the early recovery process is rather time-demanding for the person in recovery. Therapy programs, self-help meetings, and other recovery centered activities may require quality family time to be adjusted for a period of time. It is important to discuss and validate your needs, and equally important to discuss and validate the needs in your loved one’s recovery.

Discuss Plans for High Risk Situations – Holidays, vacations,weddings, & other family events may be cause for higher risk for relapse. Discuss with your loved one and your family, together, how to best enjoy these events while keeping recovery as a priority.

Communication is Key – One of the most common effects of addiction on the family is decreased or strained communication. Rebuilding communication is going to be key during recovery. Make time to check in with your loved one to talk about how you both are doing. Recovery is all about connection, spending time to communicate is one of the best ways to do just that.

Participate in Your Own Support – As mentioned earlier in this page, current professional literature suggests that the single most predictive factor of a person successfully pursuing recovery from addiction is the involvement of family members in their own support system. An added benefit, is that through participating in a support group, families will receive helpful tools and tips on ALL of the suggestions made in this listing. In addiction recovery, family members who are looking to best help their loved ones are best served by seeking help for themselves as well.

The path to hope & healing can be filled with many questions. Reach out to Summit Behavioral Health today

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