Family therapy; Addiction treatment center; drug & alcohol treatment; The Plymouth House; New England; New Hampshire

The Plymouth House
Heal the Whole Family

Addiction is called “a family disease” because the effects of addiction ripple out to every friend and family member who cares about the addicted individual. Family systems learn to adapt to the addiction, creating deeply ingrained, unhealthy patterns of codependency, dysfunction and hurt. The sickness of one person creates new sickness in everyone else around them. At The Plymouth House we believe that the entire family needs healing. We offer family therapy to work through issues within the family system. Additionally we offer family support groups, weekly family visitations and a designated Family Weekend, during which the loved ones of our clients can come see — firsthand — all of the progress being made.

Many men and women who struggle with addiction convince themselves of things that are far from true. Addiction is a brain disease – one that leads to a host of complex symptoms including denial, defensiveness and harshly flawed patterns of thinking. Active addiction leads to false beliefs like: “Things really aren’t that bad”; “People should worry less about me and worry more about themselves – I’m fine”; “If I want to drink, I should be able to drink!”; or “I am only hurting myself.”

Of course, anyone who has watched a loved one grapple with substance abuse understands that addiction significantly impacts everyone it touches. If your loved one has been struggling with a drug addiction or alcohol abuse disorder for any length of time, you are likely feeling hopeless, alone and entirely powerless. We understand the feeling completely — many of us have been exactly where you are right now. No matter how impossible a situation might seem, recovery is always possible with the right tools in place.

Active addiction impacts the family unit in a variety of ways. The age of the individual who is struggling with addiction will affect how the family unit is impacted. For example, if a young adult is struggling with addiction, his or her parents will lose sleep on a nightly basis, fearing for the life of their child. If an older adult is struggling with addiction, his or her children or spouse might take on the role of caretaker.

Generally speaking, addiction affects the family in the following ways:

  • Children are severely impacted by addiction – Numerous studies indicate that as many as one out of every five children under the age of 18 has a parent that struggles with addiction. Having an addicted parent plays a major role in the development of the child. It has been proven that the children of addicted parents are far more likely to experience issues later on in life. These issues could include difficulties in interpersonal relationships, mental illness or struggling with substance abuse and dependence themselves.
  • Increased stress levels – Having someone in the household who is struggling with addiction is extremely stressful for a number of reasons. Their behavior is likely erratic and unpredictable. You might not know which “version” of your loved one you are going to get on a day-to-day basis. Stress can lead to a number of maladaptive coping mechanisms. We focus on teaching the loved ones of our clients how to deal with stress in a healthy and productive way.

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  • Decreased trust – Healthy relationships are built on trust. When a person is struggling with active addiction, he or she typically goes to great lengths to continue using, including lying to loved ones. Your son might have convinced you to send him rent money, promising to pay you back. You might have later discovered he spent the “rent” money on his drug of choice. Your wife might be dishonest about her whereabouts, convincing you she has been working late when she has really been spending long hours at the local bar. Once trust is broken it takes time to regain. But with a long-term program of family-oriented recovery, relationships can be wholly mended and trust can be rebuilt.
  • Confused familial roles – Regardless of whether or not you are conscious of it, you are fulfilling a designated role within your family unit. Active addiction disrupts these roles and leads to dysfunction. One family member might jump into the role of caretaker, another might become an enabler. At the Plymouth House we work to restore healthy family functioning by helping individuals return to their appropriate roles.

Our Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Include


Family Involvement

At The Plymouth House we believe that family involvement can be extremely beneficial to the recovery process for most people. Upon admission to our program, each client is assigned a contact person (case manager) who is responsible for his or her needs over the duration of his or her stay. Family members are encouraged to address any questions or concerns to this staff member.

The 12 step model of recovery is the backbone of our addiction treatment program, but it does not simply benefit our clients – the 12 step model can also immensely benefit the loved ones of our clients. Al-Anon is a mutual support group for people who have been personally affected by the drinking or drug use of a loved one. The Plymouth House hosts several family recovery meetings throughout New Hampshire and the remainder of New England. These meetings are open to anyone who has someone they care about struggling with addiction issues. These meetings assist families in making the right choices for themselves and their loved one and are often the first step toward recovery for many families. To learn more about these meetings or for more information on the benefits of Al-Anon, contact us today.

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Visiting a Plymouth House Guest

The family often acts as a built-in support system. When the family is supportive of recovery, they can have a significant positive impact on the client. For this reason, we allow family visitation that takes place once every week. We do have several guidelines in place to help protect the confidentiality of our clients, and to make the visiting hours as productive as possible.

These guidelines include:

  • Visitation is on Saturdays from 1pm-5pm.
  • Plymouth House guests must fill out a visitation request slip for each person they wish to visit by Thursday evening for Saturday visitation. All visitors must be approved before Saturday.
  • We ask that visitors be limited to family members and those instrumental to the recovery of our guests.
  • All visitors must sign in at the main office upon arrival and at departure.
  • Visitors may bring dogs but they must be leashed and well-mannered.
  • Any items visitors bring to guests must first be inspected and approved by staff.
  • Visitors are not allowed in the guest rooms or lounges.

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    Our Designated Family Weekend

    Our designated Family Weekend is a full weekend that focuses on family therapy, individual healing and an eventual restoration of healthy family functioning. Visiting hours are extended and the loved ones of our clients have the opportunity to participate in a range of recovery-related workshops, educational presentations and intensive therapeutic sessions. We are proud of the progress that each and every one of our clients makes while he or she is immersed in our recovery program, and we are excited to share their transformation with the ones they love the most. To learn more about our Family Weekend, contact us today.

    Healing the Familial Unit as a Whole

    We offer extensive support to the loved ones of our clients, and we remain dedicated to ensuring that everyone benefits from our comprehensive program of recovery. To learn more about our  family program or for a more detailed list of family-oriented resources and services available throughout New England, contact us today.