It’s often said that addiction is a family disease. What this means is that substance abuse can not only run in a family, but that the addict also has a profound effect on everyone in the home. A person with a substance abuse issue can impact a home’s stability by disrupting the family’s unity, finances, and mental health.
At some point, the entire family becomes sick to a degree, which is why addiction recovery is also a family process. Here are some reasons why family therapy is so important when a person is overcoming addiction, and the various ways that your family can address its needs.
Family Therapy Prior to Addiction Treatment or Sober Living
It is often the case that loved ones are ready for a family member to get clean and sober well before addicts have made that decision themselves. If you are struggling with an addict in the family, you can seek out a trained drug and alcohol counselor in your area to help you deal with your issues at home.
You can also discuss the intervention process with a substance abuse therapist to begin breaking down the walls of denial. If you schedule an intervention, it helps to choose a treatment center ahead of time so that your loved one can begin the process of recovery immediately.
Family Therapy During Substance Abuse Treatment
Once a family member is enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program, family involvement should continue. When a mother, father, or child goes away to treatment, the rest of the family is often left feeling hurt, angry, and suspicious. Fortunately, the best addiction treatment centers have family programs that can help ease some of these feelings and provide valuable services that include:
- Teaching the family about the disease of addiction
- Helping addicts and their families to re-establish lost connections
- Explaining the addiction treatment process and the family’s role
- Differentiating between helping an addict vs. harmful enabling
- Explaining the role of codependency in addiction and its dangers
Ongoing Family Therapy and Support
Whether your family attends the services available at a substance treatment center or not, you are encouraged to continue seeking support and encouragement at home. Most communities have counselors that specialize in family therapy and addiction-related issues.
Loved ones are also encouraged to seek support through twelve-step groups such as Al Anon or Nar Anon. These groups provide support to alcohol and drug-addicted families and loved ones around the world. You will not only find lasting support in these groups but will also be able to help other families who are struggling to cope with a loved one’s addictive behavior.
At The Recovery Village, we believe that family and friends play an important role in the addiction recovery process. Recovering addicts require a strong support system, and the encouragement from loved ones is always welcomed. Contact us to learn about admissions and speak to an addiction recovery professional about our family support and counseling programs.
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