Family Program

Why is it important to include family in your recovery?

The Family Programs at Sanford were created to include the loved ones of our clients during treatment and beyond. Family involvement is one of the most important components for a healthy, long term recovery. Because of this, we provide these programs at no charge to the families of our clients. 

Family members can be powerful allies in the recovery process. And while a person is in treatment, it is the perfect time to involve family members. During the course of their loved one’s care, family members may begin to recognize behaviors and habits that have developed while trying to cope with addiction in the family. Family members will also be supported in shifting their focus to areas of their lives that may have become neglected.



It’s a Family Disease…

Quite simply, addiction is a family disease. And it will continue to impact the whole family. For many family members, accepting their loved one’s changing behavior in early recovery is difficult. These family members are at a loss as to where their responsibilities lie. What is their new role? Often, as contrary as it may seem, they don’t feel needed anymore.

Many family members are not practicing self-compassion. Nor have they for a long time. And they may have developed negative physical, psychological, and social symptoms. This is a result of trying to adapt to the stressful living conditions that take place when a loved one is actively using.

Sanford has developed its Family Program to work with all members of the family. And to help them define their new roles as they move forward. Also, the program gives family members the tools they need, to handle the inevitable bumps on the road to recovery.



The Family Program

The Family Program is a psycho-educational group to help family members more fully understand the disease of addiction. They also learn effective ways to support their loved ones through treatment and recovery. The Family Program is a repeating cycle of four educational sessions. These sessions are:

1. Addiction as a Family Disease

2. Understanding the Process of the Disease of Addiction

3. Understanding Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) and Early Recovery

4. Communication Skills for Recovering Families

Family members of Sanford clients in any of our programs are welcome. A master’s level clinician facilitates the group, and it’s open to all supporting friends and family. We define “family” as parents, spouses, siblings, adult children (and accompanied adolescents), significant others, and encouraging friends.

The Family Program is now virtual!

Email the address above for login information.

Sanford Family Program is:

  • An educational program to help family members understand the disease of addiction
  • An aid to understanding substance use and co-occurring mental health issues
  • A discussion about each family member’s role in the recovery/aftercare treatment plan
  • The development of effective and healthy communication skills and boundary setting
  • Assistance in providing effective resources through books, articles and community support groups

Friends and Family Support Group

The Friends & Family Support Group provides continuing help and connection. It is guided by the common experience of loving someone with a substance use disorder (SUD). The group provides an opportunity for people to share and discuss their challenges and successes. Topics to be discussed are selected by the group.

Anyone who has been through our Family Program or a previous Sanford Family Program is welcome to attend. The 1-hour group is a support group, not a therapy group, and is facilitated by Sanford Family Program staff.

The Friends & Family Support Group is virtual!