Addiction is a Family Disease
The importance of family counseling
Addiction does not only impact the individual who is struggling with substance abuse, but also family and friends closely involved in their lives. Addiction is a family disease that often leads to strained relationships and choosing sides, especially if you are truly trying to help a family member overcome their battle. Understanding how addiction and family are intertwined is essential to truly develop a plan of action that is beneficial for everyone involved.
How addiction and family are connected
Addictions not only harm the individual who is using drugs or alcohol, but often seeps into the lives of family, friends, and even coworkers. If you have a loved one who has an addiction, it is common to notice erratic and irresponsible behavior. Your loved one may have difficulties maintaining steady employment or may have trouble with friendships and romantic relationships. Severe addictions cause individuals to overspend on their habits, triggering financial debt and long-term consequences.
In many instances, an individual who has an addiction relies heavily on family members and friends for financial support while also requiring assistance to help with day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Even those who are “high functioning” with their addictions tend to stray from hobbies, socializing, and managing their finances properly.
When family members become responsible for a loved one who has an addiction, it quickly becomes stressful and at times overwhelming. Knowing how to connect with your loved one and provide the proper resources such as therapy and rehabilitation is essential for them to regain control of their life.
Why is family therapy important?
Family therapy is extremely important for anyone working to recover from addiction. Family therapy models work to keep the peace among family members when they are helping a loved one with their habits and addictions.
Attending therapy together as a family helps the individual struggling with addiction to feel supported and loved, especially as kicking a serious addiction is extremely mentally and emotionally taxing. Choosing to participate in therapy as a family helps to strengthen bonds while also providing useful insight into how addictions impact everyone involved in a situation. With therapy for families, speak your mind and remain open to the thoughts, concerns, and questions other loved ones have regarding addiction and how to provide the right type of guidance and support.
What are the goals of family therapy?
There are many goals of family therapy that are both beneficial to the individual struggling to overcome addiction as well as family members themselves. Family therapy models are developed to help communication between family members without the individual who is trying to overcome an addiction from feeling alienated, judged, and shamed. The more supported an addicted individual feels, the easier it becomes to share the challenges and obstacles they face each day throughout their journey to sobriety.
Therapy is a useful tool to help guide an individual with an addiction to a happier and more fulfilling lifestyle again. During therapy, family members and the individual affected learn how to communicate with one another while also implementing new goals to stick with together.
Other goals of therapy for families includes rebuilding healthy relationships and letting go of the past. While it is difficult and aggravating to watch a loved one succumb to their addiction, it is also imperative to stand by their side when they are in need of support and love. When a loved one confides in the family about their addiction and their need to change their life, therapy is one route to keep everyone in their support circle on track and with the same mindset.
How to Help a Loved One With an Addiction
There is no right or wrong way to help a loved one with an addiction, as the disease itself is individual and impacts each family differently. The first step to overcoming an addiction is allowing your loved one to admit they are struggling and in need of help. When an individual is able to admit that they are addicted, it is much easier to encourage them to participate in therapy, group meetings, and even rehabilitation centers or programs.
Remain open-minded with those who are trying to overcome an addiction, as it is not always easy and often leads to relapses (especially in those who have quit for the first time). Proper support and reaffirming your belief in a loved one is the best way to reassure them of their progress while motivating them to maintain their sobriety.
Although addiction is a family disease, it does not have to cause loved ones suffering and pain. With the goals of family therapy in place, reach and help your loved one with as much support as possible. Having a clear and thorough understanding of how to approach and tackle the obstacles of addiction, families are better prepared to stop addiction in its tracks.
MD Home Detox
Contact MD Home Detox today to learn more about how our services can help you or a loved one overcome addiction. We offer family counseling, interventions, home detox, private nurse services, behavioral health counseling, and more.