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Addiction and Families

Addiction affects everyone who comes into contact with it. It’s a family disease, with evidence demonstrating that a loved one’s drug and alcohol use disorder has an emotional, physical, and financial impact on the family. 

Families have critical roles in the emergence, maintenance, and treatment of drug use disorders. 

According to research, by offering assistance to addicts’ families, they are less likely to suffer the negative consequences of their loved one’s addiction. Family engagement in therapy can help enhance the addict’s addiction and recovery success. 

While it is obvious that the addicted individual requires assistance and support to rehabilitate, family, loved ones, and friends can also benefit.

Key Takeaways 

Addiction is frequently referred to as a “family disease” to emphasize drug use disorder’s impact on family groups and the interconnected nature of substance use disorder. 

  • Family members are frequently in a position to identify problems and may play a significant role in treatment for substance use problems. 
  • Families are frequently crucial in assisting someone to quit using drugs.
  • Taking care of yourself will allow you to support your loved one better.
  • Learning about the addiction of your loved one is the first step to helping them. 
  • You can join support groups and family therapy sessions to help your loved one. 

At The Recovery Team, you can find various treatment programs and therapies to help your loved one recover.

Addiction Defined

Addiction is a persistent brain system failure, including motivation, confidence, and memory. It’s about how your body needs a drug or habit, especially if it leads to an obsessive objective of “reward” and a disregard for consequences.

Someone who is addicted will:

  • Be incapable of abstaining from the substance or ceasing addictive behavior.
  • Demonstrate a lack of self-control.
  • Have a greater desire for the drug or activity.
  • Ignore the notion that their activities are causing problems.
  • Absence of an emotional response.

Addictions have the potential to disrupt your daily life significantly over time. Addicts are vulnerable to relapse and remission cycles. This means that they may switch between heavy and mild use.

Regardless of these cycles, addictions frequently worsen over time. They can cause health problems and serious consequences such as bankruptcy. As a result, anybody suffering from addiction must get therapy.

addictions have the potential to disrupt your daily life significantly over time

Effects of Addiction on the Families of Addicts

When someone in the family develops an addiction, the entire family generally develops coping mechanisms to deal with the issues caused by the addiction. 

There is often less communication. The family does not discuss it or express how they feel. They may keep the addiction concealed from other family relationships and friends. 

Some family members take up the obligations the addicted individual has relinquished, or they may give financial assistance to the addicted family member. 

While these coping mechanisms may help the family work more efficiently and get along better, they may also allow the addiction to persist. Unfortunately, a family of addicts may also use alcohol, drugs, or gambling to cope with family difficulties. 

Addiction typically negatively influences a person’s family, leading to tension and arguments. Family members may get agitated or apprehensive when dealing with an individual user, which can negatively impact their health.

5 Tips for Families of Addicts

It’s critical to understand that how family members interact with the addict can impact the addict’s capacity to recover effectively. Family dynamics can occasionally contribute to active addiction in ways that are not always visible. 

At the same time, you must learn how to care for your needs in the middle of chaos, especially if the addict refuses to seek assistance.

Learn About Addiction

Addiction is an illness implying that an addict is not intentionally misusing drugs to be difficult or careless. The more you understand what drives an addict to use a substance despite adverse consequences, the less you will take the conduct personally.

Addiction is not the result of weakness or being a horrible person. Long-term substance users alter brain chemistry, and even though the addict desperately wants to stop taking drugs, they are motivated by an overwhelming need to continue using. 

Read as much as possible about alcohol addiction and join support groups for drug addicts’ families.

Take Care of Yourself

Addiction may hurt the emotional and physical health of the whole family. When you’re so focused on what your addicted loved one is doing, it’s tempting to neglect your own needs. 

You are concerned for their safety and well-being and may be distracted by actions that affect you and other family members. 

Sleep deprivation, a lack of exercise, a sufficient diet, and extreme stress all have an impact. Anxiety and depression symptoms are possible. One of the most important things families of addicted people can do for their loved ones is to look after themselves. 

You can’t help your beloved if you’re exhausted and ill. The best thing you should do for the addict and the family is to get help for yourself too.

Attend Family Support Groups 

If you have an addicted person in your family, you must join family support groups. Family addiction support groups are for people with a family member or significant others addicted to drugs or alcohol. 

Addicts have a terrible influence not just on their own lives but also on those around them. Families of addicts battle to cope with their loved ones’ addictive behaviors and experience feelings of guilt, shame, worry, and rage.

Maintain Healthy Boundaries

“Detach with love” is a mantra in support groups for addicts’ families. Some of your actions may appear to benefit your loved one, but they may keep them locked in their addiction, removing the encouragement to seek drug or alcohol treatment. 

Here are some examples of good boundaries:

  • You will not permit the use of alcohol or drugs in your home.
  • If there is alcohol or drug abuse in the household, they will need to find another place to reside. There are no exceptions.
  • You will not make excuses if they skip jobs, school, or social duties.
  • You will not rescue them from financial or legal issues stemming from their substance abuse. 

Go to Therapy

Family therapy programs are highly effective. Addict families experience a wide range of difficult emotions. 

You may experience wrath, grief, guilt, and humiliation, to mention a few emotions. Consider getting yourself therapy for mental illness. 

A therapist can assist you in the following ways:

  • Sort through your negative feelings.
  • Create useful solutions to recurring challenges.
  • Assist you in establishing and maintaining appropriate limits.
  • Develop coping strategies for challenging situations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can families do to cope with a loved one’s addiction?

Learning that a loved one has an addiction can be the most difficult thing that families confront today. Family members and friends must also take care of their health to give the love and support that addicts require to recover. 

Furthermore, the first step in being a constructive influence in an addict’s life is to try to learn what they’re going through. You may never truly grasp their thoughts and behaviors if you haven’t experienced addiction. On the other hand, learning about the facts of addiction will go a long way toward helping you manage the problem.

What are the four levels of addiction?

The four steps of addiction are as follows: 

Experimentation: The unforced use of drugs with no negative social or permitted implications.

Regular Use: While some people may be able to participate in the regular use of drugs or alcohol without establishing an addiction, the risk for dependency dramatically increases during this period.

High-risk Use: The limit between regular and high-risk use is thin, but it is typically described as persisting in using drugs or alcohol despite serious social or legal repercussions.

Addiction: When you reach the ultimate stage, you have entered addiction and are dependent on the substance. 

How do you deal with someone who has an addiction?

Addictions don’t happen in silos. They occur in societies full of caring individuals. When an addiction strikes, family members and friends must take action to get the person they care about into addiction treatment programs that can assist.

Furthermore, your support, love, and patience can help them heal. You may learn to support your loved one’s struggles, set the necessary limits to save your health and welfare, and find stability for yourself and your loved one.

Is there any way to truly help a family member with an addiction?

The answer to this question is yes; with your continued support and unconditional love, you can help your loved one cope with addiction. 

You can also contact any professional healthcare provider or substance use professional. They will suggest a more suitable substance use treatment program to recover from substance abuse.

Moreover, qualified substance use professionals can help you deal with any addiction, such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc. You can also explore addiction rehabilitation centers near you and get your loved one admitted there. 

Rehab centers have a medical detoxification program to detox any substance particle from the body of an addicted person so that the person can easily overcome their addiction. 

Get Help For your Loved One with The Recovery Team 

Do you have any family members or friends dealing with substance abuse? If so, you must consider The Recovery Team. We offer various treatment programs such as residential, partial hospitalization programs (PHP), intensive outpatient, outpatient, and transitional living. 

To overcome addiction, we also use therapy sessions. Our therapies include relapse prevention, CBT, DBT, EMDR, individual therapy, group therapy, gambling therapy, massage therapy, and yoga

We have a highly qualified team of healthcare providers to help you get on the road to recovery.

Don’t wait until the addiction gets out of hand. 

Contact us at (800) 817-1247 to start treatment.