One person’s addiction affects many more than that one person. Parents often feel helpless and guilty in the face of a child’s addiction, and loved ones often want desperately to help, but don’t know how.
At Portage, we recognise that a healthy family support network is the bedrock of an individual’s recovery from addiction, which is why we work in collaboration with parents and significant others to help them help both themselves and their loved one throughout the rehabilitation journey at Portage.
“We want parents and significant others to be a part of the solution,” explains Peter Vamos, Executive Director of Portage. “Our Family Services seek to turn energy typically characterised as co-dependence into a partnership in recovery.”
Regular family groups and individual support sessions empower family members by helping them to better understand what their loved one has been going through in his or her addiction, and what he or she is living and learning while at Portage. They help them to prepare for when the resident comes home on regular social reintegration outings and for when the residential program will be completed and the individual will be back out in the real world with them. They also learn what to do and where to turn if they need help supporting their loved one.
“I didn’t really like talking about the fact that my son had an addiction problem, not even with my close friends,” explains Julie, a mother of a Portage graduate. “It was such a relief to be able to talk to other parents in the Family Group who were in the same boat as me, to better understand what my son was going through, and to develop tools to be able to better support him and my family in dealing with his addiction and his recovery.”