Role of Family during Rehabilitation of Relatives Suffering from Mental Illness

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Dependence on substances has adverse effects on all facets of life. Addiction to substances such as alcohol and tobacco has detrimental effects on both psychosocial and physical health, which in turn can lead to major mental health concerns and even mental disorders. Further consequences may include difficulty in decision making, quitting a job, severing ties with close relatives and family members, etc. which leads to long-term repercussions.

A habit of abusing substance(s) links intensely to all spheres of a person’s life. This is one reason why dependence on substance(s) can be hard to overcome without assistance.

While undergoing treatment, in order to quit the habit and to quit for keeps, an alcoholic or an addict must make holistic changes to his/her lifestyle, which includes but is not limited to avoiding or successfully coping with conditions which may result in a relapse, building around oneself an atmosphere which is best suited for performing professional tasks efficiently and more significantly, re-establishing ties with family members.

Because of the fact that close relatives are a priceless resource of recovery, it is imperative for these kith & kin to participate in the rehabilitation of individuals struggling with substance addiction.

The families of individuals struggling with addiction play a major role in the rehabilitation of these individuals in order to leverage the strength of family support & also to mitigate the passive effects of substance addiction on the relatives, such as inhalation of second hand smoke by family members of an individual addicted to smoking, who also smokes at home.

In addition to educating the family about the mental condition and other aspects, making family members understand how some of their non-verbal cues or actions can instigate their young ones to relapse and resort to substance abuse, and helping such family members find alternatives & solutions to minimize such threats to continuing sobriety, can facilitate the rehabilitation process.

Assisting family members with using more effective communication tools is another feature of involving family members in the rehabilitation process of their relative.

Re-establishing responsible relationships with either parent (mother or father) goes a long way in rehabilitating an individual residing with his/her parents, as the parents can then put in remedial efforts into reviving the struggling patient’s relationships with the society and with other members of his/her family.

Families of individuals can assist with formulating strategies for an addict or an alcoholic to recognize social, economic, medical or psychiatric threats to ongoing rehabilitation and revitalization to prevent the onset of a relapse.

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