Resuming Responsibilities in Your Household after Addiction

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Recovering from an addiction means the gradual rebuilding and restructuring of your life and learning how to become a functioning member of society again. This may involve the development of healthy coping mechanisms, learning new skills, discovering time management and more.

Because many basic skills and abilities are often lost in the throes of an addiction, many aspects of recovery often involve learning how to regain these skills that can make a person successful and independent in their own life.

Learning How to Function as a Family Again

For some individuals who struggled with addiction, learning how to function as part of a family can be a new concept. While engaged in addictive behaviors, time, energy, and resources are often completely consumed with the habits of an addiction – like drug seeking or getting high.

Addicts often spend the majority of their time engrossed with the behaviors and habits of their addiction lifestyle, which leaves little room for anything else. In this process, addicts can lose a sense of responsibility, caring for themselves and others in an appropriate fashion or upholding responsibilities that benefit an entire family unit.

Reintegration Takes Time and Effort

If you or a loved one is in recovery from an addiction, it is important to be reintegrated into a home/family like that benefits both the individual and family. It is helpful to remember that recovery is a gradual process, and it may take a person some time to adjust to a new lifestyle and to build different habits.

If you are welcoming home a loved one after addiction treatment, work with this family member to find out what might be an appropriate way to integrate them into family life. Delegating responsibilities and chores around the house can help a person feel as though they are contributing in a beneficial way.

Man cookingBe sure to find out what chores/responsibilities your family member is able to do successfully. Chores may need to be integrated slowly over time as a person establishes being a home and part of a household again.

A Small but Important Step in Recovery

Resuming responsibilities in a household again is a small but important aspect of recovery for individuals who are recovery from addiction.

Having responsibilities that benefit the entire family can help give a person a sense of importance and accomplishment, both which are essential aspects of finding a new sense of self and independence from an addiction.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you had a loved one in treatment for addiction? If so, how did you integrate your family member as part of your household again once they returned from treatment?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 1st, 2015
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