Family Affair: The Recovery Team’s Family Weekend

By Annette Marvin

Family Weekend

Family weekend, the Recovery Team strives to do everything possible to help those suffering from the disease of addiction to lead a sober and healthy life. In order to accomplish this goal, it is important for all avenues of recovery to be explored, including the family unit. “The disease of addiction has destructive physical, emotional and social implications not only on the individual seeking treatment but also for the family and significant others,” explains Family Liaison and Program Specialist, Annette Marvin.

“Although family members and significant others may not suffer from the disease itself, it consumes a large part of their lives when someone they care about is suffering from addiction. For this reason, we offer a unique family program to further enhance our client’s recovery and to aid those who have a loved one in treatment.”

“Research suggests that family participation is important and has a direct effect on long term sobriety”, says Marvin. “Our family program was designed to educate family members on the disease of addiction and provide support and suggestions on how to assist in the recovery of their loved one so they can achieve long term sobriety. We understand that any admission to a treatment facility is a major transition for both the client and the family, which is why our family program is there to make that transition as easy as possible and to educate the family on the process of recovery. Without family education there is a greater risk of the addict/alcoholic successfully manipulating the family to help them relapse or leave treatment prematurely.”

“Our convenient weekend program is held every two months (which includes breakfast and lunch) and is where many of the most crucial topics are discussed”, says Marvin. “The main goal is to assist family members to better understand the disease of chemical dependency and to provide an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask questions from the experts.” There are also many activities to take part in, including the chance to listen to guest speakers, attend an Al-Anon meeting, and participate in the reading of impact letters, which are a crucial part in jump starting the recovery process. The family recovery weekend is overseen by two veteran law enforcement workers who have firsthand experience with substance abuse and its effects on family members.

Annette Marvin is an active veteran member of the law enforcement community with 26 years’ experience. She facilitates our Family Weekend program and weekly Al- Anon meeting for the families of recovering clients within the law enforcement and public safety community, as well as those within the Recovery Team network.