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Unfortunately, addiction is not an isolated disease. It can have a big impact on the people closest to the individual, even when they do not have a drug or alcohol addiction themselves. Often the relationships that become the most strained are those with family members like spouses and children. In response to the addiction, a family member will become the caretaker who tries to make everything better, but this can take a lot out of a person. If you’re struggling to cope with a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, below is more on the importance of support for families of addicts. There is also information about how our drug rehab in Langhorne, PA, can help you.
Substance abuse can stress the family to the breaking point, destroying even the closest relationships. The addict’s behavior creates a ripple effect on their loved ones, impacting the family unit mentally, physically, and financially. Living with addiction puts family members under unusual stress, which can have a dangerous impact on both adults and children involved.
To cope with the addict’s behavior, family members may adopt certain dysfunctional behavioral patterns or roles. The roles in a family struggling with addiction are the addict, the caretaker, the hero, the scapegoat, the mascot, and the lost child.
As you can imagine, as a loved one playing out these roles and navigating an addict’s behavior can be challenging and stressful. Multiple roles can also fall on the same person when the family is smaller or if there is only one parent or spouse involved, making this experience even more difficult. As a parent, spouse, or child who’s trying to care for and support an addict, you may struggle physically, emotionally, and even financially.
What’s more, enabling and codependent behaviors are also common in relationships affected by addiction, which can cause further distress. For this reason, our Banyan Philadelphia rehab offers support groups for families of addicts that includes individual counseling and group counseling with the addict to not only help rebuild relationships but also to promote individual healing for all those involved.
During family therapy, the addicted individual and loved ones will focus on defining family roles, identifying how addiction is present in the family unit, and learning how to forgive and move forward. During family therapy, family members will understand and identify the difference between enabling and helping. They will get a chance to voice how addiction has personally affected them.
It’s important that each member gets the opportunity to share how they feel so that communication during the recovery process is completely transparent. As a therapist leads the discussion, each family member and the patient are encouraged to share any issues they are facing or things they wish to work on in a judgment-free setting.
Some major benefits of family support groups for addiction include:
Not only does a family recovery program benefit the parents, spouse, siblings, and children of the addict, but it also puts loved ones in the position to properly be there for the individual as they undergo drug or alcohol treatment. Family support for addiction decreases the chances of relapse, aids in the development and maintenance of positive behavioral changes and promotes long-term recovery of the individual in substance abuse treatment. Family recovery support also helps family members establish trust and encourage forgiveness for past behaviors. It can also enable peace and resolve conflict or feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness.
Family therapy helps to regain trust and strengthen the family unit as a whole. Addiction can cause separation and dishonesty among loved ones, and it may be hard for family members to move past the deception. Ultimately, every individual needs time to heal before they can move forward, and family therapy is the right platform for this to take place.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, family therapy will contribute to long-term recovery. Call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our Philadelphia substance abuse programs and how we can help.
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