Families play a significant role in the circle of addiction. That, unfortunately, means that while families are critical to end destructive behavior and support long-term recovery, they may also be partially to blame for the addiction the first place. We now know that addiction manifests from a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Of course, while our genes are fully out of our control, our home environment can breed the beginnings or the worsening of addiction.
Family and addiction are often difficult topics to discuss. Addiction doesn’t just hurt those abusing, it can seriously affect everyone around them, especially their children. One of the long-term effects of growing up in a home where addiction and substance abuse are present is trauma- specifically, familial trauma. This trauma affects everyone differently and to varying degrees, just as everyone’s experience with addiction is different.
Children need basic stability, trust and predictability in their home life in order to develop emotionally. Unfortunately, these are the very things that tend to be absent in households where at least one family member is an addict. This leaves children struggling to deal with some unusual stresses that they aren’t yet emotionally or psychologically prepared to handle. The disruptions and upheavals can be very frightening, and this fear can alter the child’s mental development.
Addiction often has roots in dysfunctional relationships and communication within the family unit. Because of the complex network of relationships and interactions, family therapy is an important part of treatment.
We know that often, substance abuse is the visible manifestation of a more complex, deeper cause and that is why Destination Hope specializes in family therapy as part of every therapeutic modality we offer. Not only does our family therapy program help the addict face the complexities in his life head-on, it also helps the families themselves:
Addiction does not just affect the person who is in recovery. This affliction can be thought of as a family disease, because it has a direct impact on everyone in the patient's inner circle. This is just one of the many reasons why family support during recovery is so important for everyone involved. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, recovery is a process during which people become healthier, live more focused lives and attempt to reach their full potential.1 This is not accomplished without four major aspects that lend support during recovery: Overcoming addiction by making…
Addiction can produce profound changes in appearance and behavior in an individual. Families of women who are addicted may feel that they no longer know or understand the person to whom they were once so close. There may be frustration about getting them to stop their substance abuse and fears about how it will end. These individuals may need an intervention to show these individuals how much addiction has affected their relationships and the people around them.
The amount of research available on addiction is staggering, so much so that we now know how addiction affects children. If you’re a parent who is struggling with addiction, one of the most difficult aspects of recovery may be facing the effects of your substance abuse on your children.
Addiction impacts the whole family, and children are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of drug or alcohol abuse. Children who live with an addicted parent are significantly more likely to battle substance abuse later in life. With treatment, it’s possible to break this cycle of addiction and create a more stable home environment for your children.
Depression and addiction is a common combination for a dual diagnosis. Learn more about what it means to have both depression and addiction, how depression and addiction are treated and how you may support your spouse in his efforts to get recovered. Depression and Addiction: A Frequent Dual Diagnosis A dual diagnosis is when a client of addiction has been diagnosed with at least one accompanying mental health disorder. It is not uncommon for the accompanying disorder to be a form of depression. Your spouse may have had depression prior to having an addiction. Some clients reach for substances such…
Robin Williams’ death highlights the importance of educating and raising awareness about addiction and mental health issues. Addiction develops from a number of factors, and the experiences of childhood can play a role even as an adult. Growing up with an alcoholic parent or a relative who had a substance addiction can certainly influence an individual’s future behavior, as can being the victim of child abuse. Childhood emotional neglect falls into the category of child abuse, and it is something we see every day at our addiction treatment facility. What is Emotional Neglect? Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) occurs when a child’s…
A mother’s perspective on her daughter’s treatment
I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am that my daughter was in treatment at Destination Hope. The therapists, ESPECIALLY Anne W, were AMAZING! At the time my daughter Lisa entered Destination Hope, she had been in at least 15 treatment facilities over an 18-month period.
Family counseling can have a positive effect on codependency. By spending time together in the office of a trained therapist, families can improve their relationships with themselves and each other. Today we’ll cover information about the source of codependent behavior, its effects on the family and ways it can be helped by family counseling. Family Counseling and Codependency Sources of Codependency Codependent behavior is related to dysfunctional family relationships that negatively affect a codependent person's ability to communicate in a healthy way. Many codependent individuals grew up in homes where their parents were unable or unwilling to meet their emotional…