Members of AdCare’s Family & Friends Group Tout Family Support, Treatment, and Involvement in Patient Care

Members of AdCare’s Family & Friends Group Tout Family Support, Treatment, and Involvement in Patient Care

As part of AdCare Hospital’s Professional Education Series, a Panel Discussion on the Importance of family support, treatment, and involvement in patient care was moderated by Jessica Noto, LMHC, CADC II, LADC I. The panel featured veteran members of the Family & Friends Support Group at AdCare, Dot and Steve.

Both Dot and Steve have been coming to Family & Friends on Thursday evenings for twelve years!  “It’s been a life saver for me,” said Steve, whose adult sons ages 28 and 32 both have two years of recovery. “Together, they seem to have covered most addictions.”  Steve’s younger son used marijuana before moving onto Oxycontin and heroin. His older son began drinking vodka at age 13, and later became addicted to Percocets and gambling. “The fact that both of my sons have about two years of recovery is incredible,” he exclaimed. “In retrospect, I’ve learned it’s best to look at recovery as a journey.”
After 13 years of sobriety Dot’s husband returned to drinking heavily. He is no longer a part of her daily life. She runs the family business along with her adult children and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. Yet, Dot described the toll that her husband’s relapse and decline has taken on her  as  “unimaginable”. “The Family & Friends group at AdCare has helped me regain and keep my sanity,” said Dot.
Although the stigma around substance use has decreased, both Dot and Steve agree there’s still a lack of information about substance use and treatment. “Many of the people that come to the Family & Friends group don’t understand what detox is, the importance of continuing in treatment, or the options available,” said Dot.  Dot and Steve continue to attend Family & Friends to stay strong and share their experience with the group.
Family Involvement in Treatment
“Family involvement in treatment is paramount,” noted Steve. Unfortunately for Steve, it was not often possible for him to have counselor contact because his sons would not sign the release of information mandated by HIPAA. “It’s typical for patients to decline family meetings because they want to keep their family members in the dark about their substance use and their intentions for further treatment,” said Dot. Without having open communication with the counselor, it is nearly impossible to get accurate information about treatment and aftercare plans. “It can become a game, and I’ve learned to hate the game but not the player,” said Steve.
Saturday Family Educational Program
A Saturday Morning Family Educational session at AdCare Hospital is open to the adult family members of patients, as well as to members of the community. The Saturday Family Program provides comprehensive information about:
  • Substance use disorders
  • The effects of substance use disorders on the patient, including the alteration of brain functioning
  • The need for continuing care
  • Treatment and support options for patients, family and friends
  • Medication Assisted Therapy
  • Signs of opioid overdose
  • Narcan medication for overdose
  • Recovery
Individual Family Counseling
Family Counseling is also provided at all AdCare Outpatient Services locations to help family members increase their understanding of substance use and learn how to manage its effects on their lives. For more information about Family Services at AdCare, please visit our website.