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Family Counseling for Those Struggling with Addiction

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Family dynamics change all the time, which is why family counseling for addiction has been incredibly effective.

Not only are our family dynamics different than years ago, but our behaviors and roles we take on too.

The modern family unit can include single-parent families, unmarried couples with children, higher divorce rates, and other changes as well. divorce rates.

This has changed the way household and employment duties are viewed.

Regardless of how the family unit has changed, family counseling for addiction has become an essential part of substance abuse treatment.

Addiction does not only hurt the addict but everyone in the family, which is why it is essential to offer counseling for families of drug addicts.

It has been found that behavioral health treatments that include family therapy are able to work better than treatment alone.

In conjunction with individual treatment, family counseling for addiction can reduce rates of relapse, improve medication adherence, reduce psychiatric symptoms, and relieve stress.

Is Addiction a Family Disease?

Addiction is a family disease. This is because when one person in a family struggles with addiction, it affects everyone else within that unit.

Addiction puts family members under stress and under deep emotional baggage.

Addiction can disrupt the way a family works, cause frightening experiences, and even death.

Because of how traumatic addiction in a family can be, family members can develop unhealthy coping strategies.

As they try to maintain order in their home, it can cause other issues. When the family unit becomes dysfunctional, all can fall apart.

Children of Addicts

Families can also adopt destructive behaviors due to addiction.

Children of addicted parents are extremely affected by addiction. Substance abuse in the home not only interrupts a child’s normal development but can lead to a higher risk of physical, mental, and emotional health problems.

Often children of an addicted parent face difficulties in school and are more likely to have a learning disability, skip school, and be expelled.

Children of addicts are also four times more likely to become addicted to alcohol or drugs themselves.

What is Family Counseling for Addiction?

There are many impacts of substance abuse on a family. This is why family counseling for addiction is extremely important. Unhealthy impacts might include:

  • Negative emotions: This might include emotions such as anger, resentment, anxiety, concern, guilt, or embarrassment.
  • Safety: Due to substance abuse some family members may be put at risk physically. Children or spouses may feel the need to obtain legal protection due to fear.
  • Responsibilities: When one family member is addicted, other family members may feel they have too many responsibilities to take on. Additionally, children may feel they must take on responsibilities that are not age-appropriate. This can cause overwhelming, anxious, and resentful feelings.
  • Communication: When family members abuse drugs, communication is often non-existent or extremely negative. This means that any concerns or wants of the family will be overlooked.
  • Boundaries: In homes in which substance abuse exists there are typically boundaries that are constantly crossed. This also results in minimal parental involvement and little to no structure. This can be very confusing for children, and allow them to learn inappropriate behaviors.
  • Denial: Many substance abusers are in denial of their problems. Whether it is a child that has a substance abuse problem or a parent, many people in the family can begin to deny that there is a problem. This can be because don’t want to face the problem or they simply cannot see it clearly.
  • Relationships: Substance abuse damages relationships and models poor behavior that can continue for years to come. Drug or alcohol abusers can also isolate themselves from other family members, neglecting their relationships.

Benefits of Family Counseling for Addiction

Substance abuse treatment and family therapy offer many benefits. Not only is there a large body of research to demonstrate this, but the benefits are somewhat obvious when you take a real look. Some of the positive impacts that family can have on a loved one’s recovery from addiction through family counseling for addiction include:

  • Keeping family members engaged and motivated during treatment
  • Learning about addiction
  • Learning about the effect of addiction on family
  • Helping family understand how the treatment works
  • Learning what to expect when treatment is complete
  • Enabling family members to voice concerns
  • Allowing family members to ask questions about addiction in the same place
  • Offering proper support after treatment
  • Easing feelings of fear, anger, stress, and confusion that are related to addiction
  • Ability to develop skills and strategies to help the addict stay on the path to recovery
  • Improvements in family communication skills
  • Opportunity to address any mental health issues within the family, this might include depression or anxiety
  • Improving the chance for long term recovery

Goals in Family Counseling for Addiction

There are two main goals of family therapy for addiction, providing support, and improving emotional health.

1. Providing helpful support for the person in drug treatment: Family counseling for addiction decreases the chance of relapse. It can also aid in the development of positive behavioral and attitude changes. Overall, family counseling for addiction works to promote long-term recovery from addiction.

  • Improve the overall emotional health of a family: Family counseling for addiction helps the members of the family to establish trust. In addition, it can also encourage forgiveness for past behaviors. This can create an overall sense of peace and conflict resolution, along with the reduction of anger, frustration, and sadness. Family counseling for addiction can give a sense of crisis management and encourages participants to let go of negative feelings.

What to Expect in Family Counseling for Addiction?

When it comes to family therapy, there are proven positive results. This includes a reduction in substance use problems as well as co-occurring mental disorders such as depression. Reduction in other existing issues such as child abuse and neglect, as well as unemployment and other forms of family conflict exist as well.

If you and your family decide to enroll in family therapy while a spouse, parent, or other loved one is in substance abuse rehab, there are a few things you should expect.

  • Family involvement: Family therapy will typically occur after a family member has entered substance abuse treatment. They should be showing progress by the time the family gets involved. This means that it may take a few or even months to get started.
  • Life skills: During family therapy, you should expect the counselor to assist family members in learning new skills. You will also learn how to apply these skills, in order to create healthier interaction in your home.
  • Behavioral changes: Using forms of contingency management and other behavioral approaches will also be used in family therapy. This will assist you and your loved one in developing goals, and having the addicted avoid substance use.
  • Goal-setting: Everyone within the family should set goals. This may involve the role you play in your family unit, and what you hope to get out of therapy.

Considering Family Counseling for Addiction?

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we know how hard it can be to watch someone you love go through addiction.

We can help. We offer free insurance verification for treatment, as well as many different options including family counseling for addiction. Contact us today to learn more.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.