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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Powers, LMFT

Falsely Accused? Why Families need Alanon …


You may have tried to get sober many times with no success of long-term sobriety. This is very discouraging. Your family has tried to help you and, then, they get mad at you because you cannot quit. You want to quit but you just can’t. Your wife or husband takes it personal. They might think you are not trying. This makes the attempt to get sober even harder. You may go into detox or rehab and think, “ this is it, I am fixed”. Or the family did an intervention, paid A LOT of money to get you into treatment against your will, and, while you are in treatment you decide to try sobriety. But then you go home, and without even realizing it you have relapsed. The family is MAD… and mad at you.

Some believe in Alcoholic Anonymous that relapse is non-existent. I have heard it said from those, “ you just haven’t hit bottom yet”. Well, this may be true and the research shows that addiction is a relapse condition. In fact, we relapse many weeks before we actually embrace the alcohol or drug into our system.

Recently, a client, who has put together over a year of sobriety, told me, “Debbie, I am scared I am going to relapse”. Yes, once you get sober and feel the joy of living sober, it can be a scary thought to relapse. I think it may be that fear that contributes to long-term sobriety. Do you really want to put your hand in the rattlesnake cage again?


After you have put together some sobriety, you may find that your family does not trust you. I have seen families, withhold money, track your phone, listen to your calls, read your texts, follow you, drug test you, and FALSELY ACCUSE you of lying, drinking or using. These actions are pretty normal. The family has been lied to so much during the active time of the addiction they really have no cause to trust you.

When you get sober, you have to re-earn the trust of the family. In all the years I have been doing this, it takes about a year and sometimes longer.

Remember this, you are sober, you are in treatment, be it, AA, outpatient, therapy, smart recovery, or your church recovery group. Some families do not choose to in treatment.

This is why we encourage family members to get into their own program. When they don’t you will see this “FALSELY ACCUSE” behavior escalate.

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