While it might seem like addiction is an individual disease that only wreaks havoc on the addict’s life, this isn’t entirely true. Addiction is a disease that affects everyone in the family unit.
Holistic Treatment For Mental Health and Substance Abuse
While it might seem like addiction is an individual disease that only wreaks havoc on the addict’s life, this isn’t entirely true. Addiction is a disease that affects everyone in the family unit. This can be difficult for families to accept, because in doing so, it also means they are suffering too.
Now, it’s important to understand that addiction is never the family’s fault. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone of any background, socioeconomic status, education level, etc. Some people are more at risk for developing an addiction due to biological and environmental factors, but the disease can impact anyone.
Even if you recognize addiction as a family disease, finding help for the family unit continues to be a challenge. Most treatment centers provide addiction treatment services to individuals, but the family is left to heal on their own. Fortunately, treatment centers like Southeast Addiction are hoping to bridge this gap by offering a Family Program for loved ones.
How Does Addiction Affect the Family Unit?
Addiction is a gradual, progressive and powerful disease that changes families over the months and years. Even the youngest family members witness things that can affect their social and emotional development.
Let’s cover some of the ways that substance abuse impacts the family:
- Financial troubles. It’s not easy to support an addiction. As the disease progresses, addicts will do anything to continue their habit, even if it means stealing from their loved ones.
- Loss of trust. As the substance abuse persists, addicts tell more elaborate lies. This damages trust, which is an essential part of healthy relationships.
- Increase in domestic abuse. Many people who struggle with addiction have displaced anger and resentment towards themselves or others. This can fester and boil over at any time, resulting in domestic violence.
- Risk of disease. Another unfortunate symptom of addiction is disease. This is most common in people who inject drugs, though it can come from risky behaviors like unprotected sex.
- Mental illness. Living with someone who abuses drugs and alcohol is stressful. This can lead to anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Importance of Family Involvement in the Recovery Process
Because addiction is a family disease, it’s crucial that the family is involved in the treatment and healing process. Usually, there are feelings of guilt, shame, jealousy and anger that must be addressed. Family therapy provides a safe, non-judgemental space that allows family members to share their feelings in a productive manner.
Also, as the addict works on their recovery, it creates new dynamics in the family structure. It’s important for family members to recognize their new roles and healthy ways to support their loved one. For example, enabling and codependency are common in families with addiction. In order for a healthy recovery to occur, family members must recognize these unhealthy patterns and how to stop them from sabotaging their loved one’s recovery.
Southeast Addiction offers a Family Program that works closely with families to provide them with the support and guidance they need. With this program, our families can work through their struggles, identify negative behaviors and learn how to create a supportive environment that promotes sobriety. A full recovery is within reach when you have the right tools available!
Topics Covered in Our Family Therapy Program
At Southeast Addiction, we strongly encourage family members to be involved in the recovery process. Not all addiction treatment centers offer a family component. Some assume that the client doesn’t have family or that involving the family would be more of a distraction than a benefit.
However, we believe that involving the family in the recovery process is essential. A Family Program like ours gives families the opportunity to work through their own struggles so they can heal and grow stronger as a unit. After all, their loved one will be returning home from treatment soon and it’s important that the home is a safe space.
While many issues are covered in our Family Program, our goal is to support families in the way they need it. Our program is flexible and can address a number of topics such as:
- The disease model of addiction
- The impact addiction has on the family unit
- How to establish healthy boundaries
- Tips for maintaining excellent communication
- The value in the 12 steps and spirituality
- Dangers of ‘unhealthy helping’ like enabling
- Healthy ways to express emotion
- Ways to rebuild trust
Who Can Attend Our Family Program?
The term “family” is highly inclusive when talking about addiction recovery. Any direct relatives of the addict are likely impacted by the addiction and can benefit from our Family Program. They can be siblings, parents, spouses, children and even close extended family members like aunts, uncles or grandparents.
Any of the above individuals are welcome to participate in family therapy when possible. The only requirement for these programs is a willingness to learn about addiction and how to better support their loved one.
Start Our Family Program Today
Our Family Program is open to all clients and included with our standard treatment services. Not only do we offer family therapy but also we are available for in-person and online consultations. We realize that most families want to stay in the loop about their loved one’s progress – and we encourage this!
When our clients leave our program, we want them to have a healthy home, a strong family and accessible support tools. Anything we can do to make this happen we will do. Long-term outcomes are strongly linked to an addict’s living environment.
Addiction is a powerful disease, and people in recovery need all the support and compassion they can get. To learn more about our Family Program, please contact Southeast Addiction today.
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If you or a loved one need help, we are available to guide you through every step of your recovery. Call us today and speak with a recovery counselor to get started.