Brookdale’s Family Educational Program

Addiction Education for Families of Addicts | Family Programs at Brookdale Recovery Center in Pennsylvania

While the addict may want to believe their behaviors do not harm those around them, the effects of substance abuse go far beyond the person caught in the center of it all. Addiction, like many other diseases, can have a strong hold on loved ones, destroying any semblance of hope.  

At Brookdale Recovery, we believe it is imperative for the family to participate in the treatment process, as it strengthens the potential for long-term success.  At our Family Educational Program, loved ones can begin to heal emotionally, understand the complexity of addiction, and address how they have played a role in the cycle of addiction 

Why is a Family Program Important?

The effects of substance abuse are astronomical, for both the user and their loved ones. The role of the family and how they’ve suffered, is often underestimated compared to that of the addicted person. At Brookdale, we take a strong stance on helping the entire family unit heal, because after all, addiction is a family disease.  

Families who live with addiction often experience high levels of stress, patterns of denial, and feelings of anger and sadness. While the addict is certainly suffering, those who love them the most also endure the pain of this disease. You may ask yourself, “How could this have happened to my family?” or “Could I have done something differently?”  

Firstly, addiction does not discriminate. It does not care who you are, or what kind of family you come from. It knows no social, economical, or religious bounds.  Secondly, you cannot blame yourself for your loved one’s addiction, and you, alone, cannot stop it. Al-Anon reminds us of the Three C’s: 

  • “I did not Cause it.” 
  • “I cannot Cure it.” 
  • “I cannot Control it.” 

It’s certain that the patient coming to us for treatment is not the only person in need of help. During our Family Program, loved ones can begin to address how they have been affected by addiction. Common feelings and behaviors among family members include:  

  • Guilt 

  • Enabling/Codependency 

  • Control 

  • Blame 

  • Anger/Resentment 

  • Sadness/Grief

  • Hopelessness 

  • Helplessness

  • Fear 

  • Denial 

  • Shame

It is time to be a part of the solution, for both yourself and your loved one. When the entire family participates in the recovery process, they learn how to become a supportive role in the patient’s future. More importantly, families can begin to heal from the emotional turmoil, ultimately finding peace for themselves.   

What to Expect from Brookdale’s Family Program 

Brookdale Recovery offers a Family Educational Weekend Program, as well as an educational lecture on Sundays during visitation. It is strongly recommended that families and loved ones of the patient participate in both events. Our Family Program will provide support, education, and hope for those that have experienced the effects of loving someone with an addiction. This also serves as a great opportunity for families to be actively involved in the treatment process, a crucial component in the patient’s success.  


Brookdale’s Family Educational Weekend Program 

When your loved one is admitted into our program, you and/or other family members and loved ones will be contacted by someone from our Family Department. It is this individual’s responsibility to gather any vital background information, on both the patient and family system, that may aid in the treatment process. Additionally, this family counselor will provide you with support resources in your area, as well as information on our Family Educational Weekend Program.  


Our Family Educational Weekend Program is held twice monthly at The Chateau Resort, in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, just a 10-minute drive from our campus. The goal of this program is to meet the needs of the family by providing education and support to alleviate any fears, as well as offer tools which will aid in ongoing recovery.   

The weekend begins on Friday at 6 p.m. and ends on Sunday at 11 a.m. The schedule for this weekend is as follows:  

  • Friday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with refreshments and sandwiches served. 
  • Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with lunch and dinner served.  
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  
  • The hotel also offers a buffet breakfast for an additional price. 

While you and other family members are participating in this weekend program, you will not be able to visit or call your loved one in treatment. This time is extremely crucial for the family to receive as much information and resources for recovery as possible. At the conclusion of the weekend, you will rejoin your loved one at Brookdale’s campus for lunch and visitation.  

Any family member that is close to the patient or has been directly impacted by their addiction is highlyencouraged to attend this program.


Sunday Family Lecture 

Brookdale also has a family lecture that visitors will attend every Sunday. This lecture serves as an opportunity for the family to receive educational and support resources, as well as become familiar with Brookdale’s message about recovery.  

During this time, we will also provide family members with meeting lists in their local communities for support programs, such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. We believe it is crucial that family members keep an open mind to these resources, as they will benefit the recovery process for them and the patient. Again, we strongly encourage all family members to attend these meetings while their loved one is in treatment.  

Family is an integral part of our patients’ ongoing recovery and we ask that family and friends become involved in the treatment process.  


Frequently Asked Questions About the Family Program


  • I’m not the one with a problem, why should I attend a program?  

Attending the program gives the family tools to help their loved one through treatment and early recovery. It also allows Brookdale to address any fears and concerns the family may have. Families that get educated, dramatically increase the chance of their loved one’s recovery and success.   

  • Can anyone in the family attend the weekend program? 

Anyone, family or friend, that is 12 years or older can attend the Family Educational Program.   

  • Is there an age restriction for the family weekend? Should small children stay home? 

It is recommended that children stay home with a sitter or relative during this weekend.  Nevertheless, if children do come to the hotel, family must bring a relative or sitter to watch that child during the program. They may join the family for meals 

  • What kind of activities/groups will I be attending during this weekend? 

The weekend is comprised of lectures and groups to educate the attendees on the disease of addiction, the effects on the family, and the recovery process. These groups take place in a very comfortable setting and at no time, is anyone put in a position to speak about something they are uncomfortable with.  However, attendance at all groups and lectures is required.  

  • Why can’t I visit with my loved one during this weekend?  

The patient stays at Brookdale while the family is attending the program. This gives the family an opportunity to ask any questions they may have, without worrying about their loved one’s reaction. It also gives the family a chance to experience any feelings and express any thoughts or concerns they may have.  The family will visit and have lunch with their loved one on Sunday at Brookdale, at the completion of the weekend.   

  • I’ve already attended these programs in the past, why should I have to do it again? 

 Oftentimes, family members have been to day long programs in the past but havenever attended an entire weekend program. At minimum, if family members have not been to a 3day program in the past, Brookdale encourages them to participate in ours. For families who have been to a weekend program in the past, it is important to remember that their loved one is now in a different stage of their recovery journey, and it would be beneficial to attend.  

  • If I live close to the hotel, and do not want to stay overnight, can I still attend? 

If attendees live close to the hotel, they can commute and not incur the cost of the hotel room. 

  • What SHOULDN’T I bring with me? 

Please try to leave any work at home, so you can focus on the information over the weekend. Alcohol/drugs are also prohibited during the weekend.  

  • What should I bring? 

Bring comfortable, casual clothes and a bathing suit if you want to use the pool. Remember any medications you need to take. 

  • Can I have my cell phone during this time?  

Cell phones are asked to stay off during groups and to be used at a minimum during breaks. 

  • How many family members can go at a time?  

There is no limit to how many family members/friends can attend. You can fit up to 4 people in a room. 

  • I have a busy work schedule and cannot attend until after my loved one has been discharged. Can I still attend?  

If someone cannot attend during their loved one’s stay at Brookdale, they are welcome to attend at any time after discharge.  

  • What is the cost of the Family Weekend Program? 

Brookdale’s charge for the Family Weekend Program is as follows:  

  • Adults: $150  
  • Minors: $75  

These prices include the cost of the Program, food for Friday night, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and lunch on Sunday. The hotel also offers a buffet breakfast for an additional $11 per person.  

If you are staying at the hotel, we have reduced rates which are as follows:  

  • One King or 2 Double Beds: $83 +tax per night 
  • Suites: $99 +tax per night 
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