When someone struggles with a substance use disorder, it often creates a ripple effect among family and friends. There may be questions about addiction and how to encourage the loved one, as well as a fear of isolation because of lingering stigma toward behavioral health.
Rosecrance provides a supportive community to ask questions and learn about recovery through a Family Program each weekend. These two-day, virtual lecture-based sessions focus on the science of addiction in adults to help families understand what loved ones are experiencing. This knowledge is useful in showing how to look beyond an individual’s choices and attitudes to the real problem, which is addiction itself.
The program equips families for the recovery journey by providing connections to supportive networks. It also offers an honest look at challenges people face as they strive to maintain a fresh way of life, as well as the joy of that new experience.
“Families may come with anxiety about what has happened because they don’t intuitively understand addiction,” said program coordinator Peter Mowris. “Once they know how powerful it can be and the science behind it, they are able to build healthy relationships with the loved one that will benefit the entire family unit.”
In addition, Mowris launched a weekly virtual support group to keep conversations going. In contrast to the information-saturated lectures, this is a safe space for family members to process what they have learned, ask follow-up questions, and make sense of what they are experiencing. It has steadily grown in popularity, with many participants frequently attending meetings to engage with peers.
“This has become a unique way to develop a relationship with Rosecrance and others in similar situations,” Mowris said. “It’s difficult to suddenly be facing a situation like this, and there often are a lot of questions to work through. Families really benefit from having this relaxed time to talk with each other or ask me whatever is on their mind.”
The family program is available for anyone interested in addiction, not just those who have a loved one in treatment. Virtual meetings are scheduled each Saturday and Sunday, with the support group on Saturday afternoon for anyone who wishes to attend.