Close up of man pouring alcohol into a shot glass with his daughter behind him watching from afar

 Family Addiction Program

According to the National Institutes of Health, family support therapy should be included in the efforts for a successful ongoing addiction recovery treatment of an individual with a substance use disorder. The support of family has been clinically proven to aid in long-term recovery for individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. At Hotel California by the Sea, our monthly programs for families of drug addicts and alcoholics allows family participation in the healing and treatment process in the inpatient or outpatient rehab setting. The family addiction program at Hotel California by the Sea offers services such as supportive family therapy and access to local family addiction support groups. 


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Sad little girl standing in the middle of her parents holding a drawing of her mom smoking and dad drinking, each one has a hand on her shoulder

 The Effects of Addiction on Families of Drug Addicts 

When an individual in a family experiences a behavioral change as a result of drug and alcohol abuse, this change affects the entire family. Substance use disorders have a tendency to cause impairment of emotional and physical intimacy, poor communication, and difficulty forming healthy relationships with peers, friends and family members. They often also lead to increased isolation and feelings of depression and anxiety.

These negative impacts are in many cases experienced by members of the entire family, not just the individual suffering from the disease. A few major issues a family of an addict faces are the physical and mental abuse related to addiction, strained relationship the addiction has on the family and sometimes the financial burden it can carry. 

Hotel California by the Sea’s family addiction program, we aim to provide support and guidance to families as they navigate emotional struggles and their loved one’s journey to recovery. Our programs for families of drug addicts and alcoholics receiving treatment at the inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities aims to address the important components necessary for family healing. Components such as encouragement of the individual’s recovery, participating in family recovery support groups such as AI-Anon, and learning to set healthy boundaries between the family and the individual suffering from SUD or AUD. 

Strained Relationships From Addiction

Drug and alcohol abuse is often the center of harmful and strained relationships, especially when it becomes the main reasoning for broken relationships. It can affect intimate partner relationships as well as familial relationships. Hotel California by the Sea’s programs for families of drug addicts encourages patients and their families to communicate how the addiction has affected them and their family dynamic. By encouraging patients to be transparent about their feelings in relation to the negative impact substance abuse has had on their relationship, it can help create a better understanding to all parties involved. Essentially breaking the cycle of addiction. 

Financial Burdens of Addiction

Excessive usage of drugs and alcohol is not only a dangerous problem, but also an expensive problem. The more addicted a person becomes, the more money they are willing to shell out in order to keep using. In extreme cases, individuals will result in maxing out all of their finances, going into financial debt or stealing money to fund their addiction. Finance is often an uneasy topic of discussion between families and their newly recovered loved ones. After all, financial stability is associated with feelings of safety and security. When this stability has been threatened by a substance use disorder, support and guidance on how to approach these subjects can be extremely beneficial to patients and their families.

Physical and Emotional Abuse

Substance and drug abuse can cause harm to both physical and emotional wellbeing. The more a person uses drugs, the more they become dependent on them in order to feel normal and participate in daily activities. With long term use, the drugs alter brain functions and alter emotions eventually leading to the usage of more drugs in order to achieve that “good” feeling. Drugs and alcohol can also take a heavy physical toll on a person’s body. The excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol can begin to take effect on the kidneys, lungs, cardiovascular system and even the brain. 

Mom, dad, and two kids reunited after a family addiction program - sitting on a couch and smiling while watching dads cellphone

How does Family Therapy work in Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

The benefits of inpatient and outpatient rehab for an individual have been proven to increase a person’s chance of maintaining long-term recovery. When family support programs addressing issues related to drug and alcohol abuse are added to an individual’s treatment plan, it further increases the chances for a successful recovery. Both the individual and their family benefit. At Hotel California by the Sea, we offer support programs, which include family therapy for families of drug addicts and alcoholics. We are dedicated to supporting our patients through every aspect of their recovery including familial support. 

Family support programs and family therapy are often recommended as part of a patient’s treatment plan. Patients at Hotel California by the Sea’s inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities regularly meet with their addiction counselors and licensed therapists, who encourage family involvement as part of recovery treatment. Mental health professionals, certified addiction counselors and family therapists, facilitate the group counseling sessions. The goal is to increase awareness of the cognitive and behavioral patterns that can contribute to substance use disorder and how families can support loved ones while maintaining healthy boundaries for everyone. Allowing for this open and honest communication between the individual suffering from addiction and their loved ones, helps in the recovery of the patient.

Individualized Therapy

With individual therapy, patients will work closely with their therapist to unpack and examine the emotions and behaviors linked with their addiction. Patients will focus on changing negative and problematic thoughts and learn effective coping techniques, all with the guidance of licensed clinicians. These individual therapy sessions have been clinically proven to help patients with substance abuse maintain long-term sobriety because it focuses on fixing and understanding the major underlying causes of the addiction. There are many types of individual therapies including CBT, DBT or EMDR

Group Therapy

At Hotel California by the Sea, our group therapy sessions for families of drug addicts and alcoholics were created using the family therapy model. Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy designed to identify family patterns that contribute behavioral disorders and mental illness. In the group sessions, patients and their loved ones put an emphasis on substance use disorder and advocate for an open and honest communication about their emotions. Relationships and behaviors between individuals struggling with addiction and their families are explored and used to strengthen the family unit. This will in turn be a motivation for drug abusers and addicts to maintain recovery and live a healthy life outside the influence of drugs and alcohol. 

Family Therapy Treatment Methods

With addiction treatment, family therapy has been clinically proven to help patients maintain long-term recovery. Patients and their loved ones go through the process of unpacking emotions, understanding behavior and making positive changes in order to help the individual struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. There are many types of family therapy or family counseling. A few common therapies used include psychoeducation, Bowenian, strategic and systemic therapy. Each of these types of family therapy approaches a different aspect of addiction and how it affects the patient and their loved ones. 


Oftentimes families of individuals suffering from substance use disorder do not understand the effects of what the addiction can do to their loved one and the family as a whole. Psychoeducation aims to educate patients and their families about addiction and mental health conditions in order to empower and support the recovering patient. Psychoeducation is based on four main principles: transfer of information, medical treatment, training and support and availability of a safe environment to vent. 

Bowenian Family Therapy

Bowenian therapy is a form of family therapy in which family members or loved ones are not closely involved. In some situations, patients cannot or do not want to involve their family members in treatment. The treatment primarily focuses on venting out emotions they have about their family and learning to become less reactive emotionally to family relationships. This can be a very effective form of healing for some patients suffering from substance and alcohol abuse. 

Systemic Therapy

With systemic therapy, patients and their families focus on how their unconscious feelings are communicated through their behaviors. In this type of psychotherapy, family members are encouraged to look into the deeper issues and problems within the family dynamic as it pertains to communication and relationships. Patients and their loved ones create a stronger bond as they slowly begin to unpack emotions and how the addiction has affected their feelings for each other. 

Strategic Therapy

Strategic therapy is based on five main principles which include: the social stage, the problem stage, the interactional stage, the goal setting stage and the task setting stage. Using a combination of various psychotherapy methods, families learn how to make assessments and adjust the way they communicate and make decisions in relation to their loved one suffering from substance addiction. It is a great way to improve open communication skills when addressing the many emotions families go through with addiction. 

Structural Therapy

In structural family therapy, patients and their loved ones examine how their habits, routines and behaviors can negatively contribute to the family dynamic.  This in turn, can majorly impact an individual’s addiction. In this type of therapy, families are addressed and treated as a single unit. All parties involved will learn how to change problematic thinking and behaviors when dealing with the patient and their addiction. When these positive changes are made, support, encouragement and accountability are major factors in a patient’s long-term recovery. 

close up of older hands holding younger hands with the sun coming through

How is Family Therapy beneficial to my addiction recovery?

Family therapy is a highly encouraged treatment program for patients suffering from substance use disorder. Those who participate in the therapy have been clinically proven to yield a greater result in maintaining long term sobriety. The family addiction program that includes services such as family therapy, is used to help develop and maintain healthy relationship boundaries and facilitate effective communication between the addict and their loved ones. It can also help family members build empathy and understanding for what their loved one may be experiencing while in recovery. And it is a great way to reduce conflict caused from the addiction, within the family unit. 

Family Support Services at Hotel California by the Sea

Families and support networks of patients at Hotel California by the Sea’s inpatient and outpatient rehab are encouraged to participate in family support programming. This not only helps their loved ones during their recovery process, but it also helps with their own healing when dealing with emotions related to the drug and alcohol addiction. Substance abuse and alcohol abuse can have a ripple effect on patients and their loved ones. Our goal is to provide the necessary help to families needing to recover in their own way. 

At Hotel California by the Sea, our family addiction program is held on the first Friday of every month. Patients and their families will have the opportunity to engage in group therapy with our licensed therapist and certified counselors. By focusing on the family dynamics, boundaries and healthy communication with the family, our team of mental health professionals can assist both the patient and their families in working towards effective conflict management. This in turn leads to a higher rate of maintaining long-term recovery among patients.

Get Help

If you or a loved one are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, there is treatment and help for you. At Hotel California by the Sea, our residential and outpatient programs aim to treat the underlying issues of your addiction. Family therapy has been especially proven to help maintain long-term recovery. Contact our admissions team today to find out more about our programs for families of drug addicts and supportive family therapies to help you and your loved ones overcome addiction. 

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