Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) affects the addicted person as well as their family. Recent research proves that family involvement is often the biggest factor in a person seeking treatment and having long-term success in the recovery process.
Addiction researchers have identified three categories of family interventions: (1) working with family members to encourage a loved one to begin and engage in treatment; (2) involving family members in the treatment of the patient; and (3) providing services specifically for family members.1 There is a growing movement to implement these practices in the treatment of OUD.
Family and friends can play critical roles in motivating individuals suffering from OUD to enter and remain in treatment.2 According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the key is locating information on the appropriate care for a specific individual. Online resources are abundant to help families find information on talking to a loved one about their addiction, getting information on treatment options, and choosing a treatment provider or facility. Professionally assisted interventions are another resource for finding help. Arming families with the most up-to-date and effective methods give an OUD sufferer a greater chance at getting into treatment. Positive family involvement and intervention drives most patients to seek treatment.3
The American Addiction Centers lists “family and social environments” as a top factor in a patient’s treatment success. Treatment providers have long recognized that family support throughout the treatment process and beyond maximizes a person’s chances for long-term recovery. A study by the Recovery Research Institute found that programs that incorporate significant others in treatment are associated with improved addiction treatment outcomes for patients.4
The final piece of family involvement is providing direct services to the family members who have been impacted. Once recovery has begun, an important aspect for many families is to support each other through counseling. Family therapy can help the entire family recover and heal together. It can help all family members make specific, positive changes along with the patient. These changes can help all family members heal from the trauma of mental illness or addiction.5
Finding New Resources
When researching detox and initial treatment options, families will need resources to address the issue of withdrawal. Speranza Therapeutics offers a new treatment solution to help relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms. Its S.T. Genesis device can play a pivotal role in reducing the withdrawal symptoms many opioid-dependent patients face when attempting to stop or reduce use. The FDA-cleared device supports the reduction of opioid withdrawal symptoms by targeting the areas of the brain responsible for pain and anxiety. The noninvasive, drug-free device is easily applied to the ear by any provider and administers treatment for 5 days, helping the patient during the most critical time as they reduce opioid use. Speranza can provide informational materials as an important tool for those helping families making a recovery plan.