Design for Recovery is more than just a sober home for young men who are working to heal from their substance use disorders. It is a community. Addiction is not an individual problem. Recovery from a drug or alcohol use disorder involves admitting personal limitations and having the courage to reach out to others. It also involves working to heal broken or damaged relationships. As such, when a new person enters the Design for Recovery community, we welcome not only that individual, but everyone who has ties to them. When a young man begins their residency at Design for Recovery, we consider not only their well-being, but their family’s.
Addiction is a family disease. Research shows that not only do genetic factors influence addiction, but interpersonal factors within the family. Often a person turns to substance abuse because that behavior was modeled for them by parents or other family members. Even when this is not the case, unresolved traumas, abusive family dynamics, and feelings of alienation can lead young men to seek relief in addictive substances. This is not to say that
families are to blame for the addictions that their loved ones suffer from, only that there is often a larger dynamic at play.
Recovery is also a family process. It is not the individual addict alone who suffers from the harmful consequences of addiction. Often close loved ones and family members suffer just as much. The effects of addiction on the immediate, and sometimes distant, family are numerous—from the financial impact to the impact on physical health or psychological well being. People who have relationships with addicts often find themselves hoping to “fix” or “cure” the problem. They may find themselves behaving unlike themselves. Years of trauma, financial distress, and unresolved issues can mean that family members often need just as much help as their substance abusing loved one.
This is why Design for Recovery involves families as much as possible throughout the recovery process. We invite and encourage family members to take an active role in their loved one’s journey to get clean and sober.
Family Services Include
Weekly phone calls to family members for updated progress reports about their loved one
We believe that a sober living should be a safe space where residents can remove themselves from triggers and toxic relationships. However, keeping in touch with family members and loved ones is an essential part of the recovery process. Not only is it a good opportunity for family members to demonstrate their care and support during this difficult time, but it provides residents with opportunities to show off their progress. Whether it’s due to a note of hope in your loved one’s voice or merely increased comfort with being vulnerable in conversation, family members are often the first people to notice positive developments, sometimes even before residents notice these changes in themselves. These weekly catch-up sessions are also opportunities for residents to heal damaged or tense relationships, which is as beneficial to their long-term sobriety as it is to the peace of mind of family members.
Immediate notifications in case of emergency or more pressing concerns
At Design for Recovery, we aim to offer a safe and supportive space. As such, emergencies are rare. However, if a resident has a medical emergency, is on the verge of relapsing, or is posing a danger to themself or others, we make sure to notify family members immediately. Not only is this often the best way to rectify a situation or prevent an emergency from escalating, we also feel it is our duty given that, family members are putting a great deal of trust and faith in us.
Open-door policy for members who wish to visit their loved one at the house
In addition to weekly phone calls, Design for Recovery also maintains an open-door policy so that family members can visit their loved ones whenever they wish. Whether you want to celebrate a birthday, check out their new circumstances, or merely catch up over lunch, you’re free to stop by. This is a great opportunity not only to bond with your loved one and observe his progress, but to familiarize yourself with Design for Recovery’s sober living facilities and community. After a few days, your loved one likely has developed more than a few strong friendships in the house, and they’ll be curious to meet you. Given that a sober social support system is a pivotal part of our program, meeting other residents who have more time sober can give you a greater understanding of the path your own loved one is following.
Conference calls between staff, family members and loved one
At Design for Recovery, we work to facilitate meetings and conference calls among staff, family members, and your loved one. Sometimes family members have questions or concerns about the program that need to be addressed. Other times they have questions regarding what may help their loved one. We work to meet the unique needs of all of our residents, and if anything needs to be brought up, we are flexible and ready to accommodate at all times. Conference calls and meetings are also useful tools for repairing relationships. If tensions or a fraught history with your loved one makes communication difficult, staff members at Design for Recovery are available to mediate and facilitate healthy dialogue.
Helping Family Members Recover
Family members of addicts suffer just as much. Loving or living with a young man with a substance use disorder is enormously painful. People with addictions are often unpredictable, violent, or even abusive. However, merely knowing that someone you love and care about is harming themselves can be heartbreaking. It can be tempting for loved ones to try to “fix” the addicted person’s problem, and control (or lack thereof) can become a fixation. Post-traumatic stress disorder, codependence, depression, and anxiety are all common to loved ones of addicts. When a person begins working on their addictions, it is often a chance for family members to begin to examine their own healing needs. While Design for Recovery is not a facility for non-addicts, we can facilitate this process by enabling family members to repair their relationships with their addicted loved ones. For family members who want to pursue outside support on their own, Design for Recovery is happy to suggest support groups, Al-Anon meetings, and outpatient counseling programs. Since addiction often stems from interpersonal problems, working on your own mental health conditions, even as a nonaddict, is not only the best thing you can do for yourself, but the best way of helping your addicted loved one.
We understand that every family has different financial circumstances. It can’t be denied either that addiction is often an enormous financial drain. Young men with addictions are liable to depend on their families to make ends meet. While financially supporting someone with substance use disorder can often mean enabling substance abuse, it can also often keep someone of limited means afloat. No one wants their child to be homeless or be unable to purchase food. However, families often strain their own financial resources to support their addicted loved ones. Circumstances can be even worse when addictions drive young men to manipulate or steal in order to procure funds. At Design for Recovery, we understand that recovering from an addiction costs money and that different families have varying financial means at their disposal. However, we believe that achieving sobriety is ultimately a sound financial investment in the future. With that in mind, we make it our mission to assess each family’s unique financial circumstances and develop payment plans or financing options that are appropriate to their needs.