Addictions can cause chaotic systems in families and optimum family systems are not only comforting to the individual, but promote happiness and stability for all those functioning within the family. Research has understood for some time that addiction in the family can become a major roadblock to a family’s mental health and overall wellbeing. Addictions can have damaging and long lasting effects on the family structure
Addictions in the family can weaken the bond between the affected person and the family and can cause hurtful and damaging behaviors that can lead to a breakdown in the family communications. It is important to understand that the development of an addiction can take place over an extended period, and that the family system may have been damaged and weakened before family members recognize it.
The consequences of addiction have a perpendicular impact on the family units. Children, in particular, may suffer the most from the ignorance of their family members as they struggle to the handle emotions originating from one or both of the parents. These psychological effects on the children are often due to a lack of financial security, neglect, violence, forced changes in domicile, and the mother or fathers not being emotionally available may all ensue due to addiction.
Fortunately, there are many support services that are devoted to helping families of addiction through their journey. Assisting people with the process of recovery by offering counselling and support for the whole family is a key feature of these services. They offer education and practical methods that build a better understanding and resilience in the family members assisting them in their move to a more positive and families centered system structure.
In particular, family therapy helps tackle the root cause of any familial issues. It is a family oriented therapy session which provides family members the chance to grow closer together and spend quality time with one another. The focus of family therapy may also be to understand the traits of each family member, helping in the recognition of their strengths and weaknesses and in the growth of any existing or potential family bonds.
Family therapy is especially effective when one parent or the other has an addiction. This type of one-on-one therapy offers the family a safe environment to express concerns, ask questions and come to terms with their issues and the insecurity that an addiction can cause. It also allows family members to come to the realization that everyone has a part to play in family issues and in order to successfully overcome their problems they must work together to get results.
Most importantly, family therapy provides the foundation and support for the whole family to move forward and work towards a healthier way of living within the family system. It assists them in learning new coping techniques and developing better communication skills, all of which are essential to helping restore family harmony.
Being in an addictive family situation can be very frightening, but with the right assistance and support, the family system can be repaired, making it more enjoyable and healthier for all those involved. Professional family therapy services, like those offered at We Help Restore Family Harmony, can help individuals and families manage a variety of mental health concerns to ultimately lead to a healthier system.
Addiction is one of the most difficult mental and physical challenges a person can face. It requires a difficult commitment to struggle with day to day, but it can be done. Even though the road to recovery can be tiresome and full of unexpected detours, there are strategies that can help an addict regain a sense of control in their battle with addiction.
One of the most important steps a person can take is to get support and seek out the help of trained professionals. Having the support of family, friends and other professionals creates a safe and secure environment to help an addict understand why they are dealing with addictive behaviors and how to manage them. Having support reduces the sense of isolation and allows an addict to overcome fear and guilt, which can often be associated with addiction.
In addition to seeking out support, it is important to recognize the thought processes and feelings associated with addiction. By acknowledging the triggers that lead to a particular behavior, an addict can break down the pattern, work through it and gain a sense of control. This may include participating in activities that bring joy and reduce stress and doing the hard work of facing and confronting one’s addiction challenges. It helps to make small, achievable goals and build on success. Addicts should reward themselves for successes achieved and create a positive self-image that reinforces the experience of accomplishing a goal.
Another important step to enhance sense of control of an addict is to identify individual needs and to plan for possible setbacks and recovery. Knowing what an individual needs in order to stay sober and away from an addictive material is key. Once this is established, it is important to create a plan of action for when an individual is faced with a difficult situation. This plan should include supportive strategies, such as talking to someone, engaging in distracting activities, or implementing breathing exercises.
It is also important to find activities for fun, relaxation and expression. Taking the time for activities that are enjoyable and creative can be a useful tool in reclaiming a sense of control. Not only will it reduce stress and frustration and help to stay focused on the recovery at hand, but it will encourage feelings of accomplishment that can be used to help further one’s sense of control.
Finally, it is important to keep an open dialogue with oneself. An addict should be honest with themselves and practice self-care by writing in a journal and getting sufficient rest. Allowing oneself to make mistakes and acting with a sense of self-compassion is also important in fostering a sense of control and developing recovery skills.
By following these strategies, an addict can increase their chances of recovery and reclaim a sense of control in their life. No addiction is easy to conquer, but with a plan and the right attitude an individual can succeed and get back in control of their life.
When someone in the family suffers from a substance use disorder (SUD), the whole family unit is affected. Addiction has a ripple effect, and the associated consequences hurt everyone. How can we better help families restore and heal when faced with this challenge?
There are several key steps that can be taken to help families in need. To start, it’s important for family members to recognize the signs of addiction, and to understand how to support and ultimately, help restore the family unit. From identifying the signs of SUD to providing resources and support, family members can make an enormous difference in the recovery process.
Identify the Signs of Addiction
For many, the first step in getting help is recognizing the signs of addiction. Unfortunately, spotting the signs of SUD isn’t always simple. The signs of addiction depend on the substance and the individual; an individual’s behavior, physical appearance, attitude, and mood can all be affected, such as:
• Changes in physical and mental health
• Social withdrawal
• Changes in appearance
• Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
• Decline in school or work performance
• Increased secrecy
The effects of an addiction can be hard to ignore, but by paying close attention to changes in behavior, family members can spot the signs and get the help needed.
Provide Support and Resources
Once family members are aware of the addiction, they can provide support to the individual. While this may seem difficult, it’s essential to remember that these individuals are still loved ones and need the family’s help to get through this difficult period.
Beyond offering emotional support, family members can provide the individual with resources that can help them in recovery. This could include finding a mental health professional or therapist, joining a support group, taking advantage of addiction treatment programs, or providing access to any other treatment resources and options that may be available.
Connecting individuals with the right resources is an essential first step to help restore the family, and a counselor or other professional can provide personalized advice and guidance.
Educate Yourself and Others
Families should also strive to educate themselves about addiction, substance use disorders, and the recovery process. Understanding the basics of addiction can help families comprehend the situation and better learn ways to handle and resolve conflicts.
Educating others, including family and friends, is also important. Addiction comes with a stigma, but family members can help others recognize the potential dangers and how to best help the individual.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes, the effects of addiction extend far beyond the individual. It’s not uncommon for family members to develop their own mental health issues in the throes of an addiction, such as depression or anxiety. In these cases, it’s important to seek additional support for the family as a whole.
Family counseling can help families learn how to reconnect with one another, understand their unique dynamics, and learn healthy coping strategies and better communication skills. Family counseling can also provide family members with the tools and support needed to restore the family.
Addiction affects the entire family unit. If someone in the family is suffering from substance use disorder, it’s important to recognize the signs, provide support to the individual, educate yourself and others, and seek professional help. By taking these steps, families can ensure that everyone is getting the help and support needed to restore the family and begin the healing process.
There is nothing easy or straightforward about addiction, especially when it impacts your family dynamics. Addiction is a hard road that leaves emotional destruction in its wake and the restorative process of rebuilding relationships and finding emotional restoration can be challenging and long.
Addiction can negatively strain relationships between friends, partners, and family members, leaving feelings of betrayal, fear, anger and mistrust in its aftermath. The impact addiction has on a family can be devastating, and as a result, healing the emotional wounds requires patience and effort from all parties involved.
The below steps can help individuals and families restore family dynamics after addiction:
1. Foster Open Communication and Honest Discussions
The first step in restoring family dynamics is enabling each member of the family to open up and communicate honestly. In doing so, family members can heal the wounds caused by addiction and build a stronger bond of trust.
Family members should be encouraged to share their feelings or experiences related to the impact of addiction, as well as express any frustrations, opinions, or goals for the family. This discussion should remain focused on the present and take a positive approach in discussing ways to fix the damage caused by addiction instead of placing blame on the person with the addiction.
2. Take a Mindful Approach and Prioritize Self-Care
It’s important for both those with the addiction and without to take action and approach the situation with an open mind, free of judgment. Understanding that addiction is a disease and can be difficult to navigate can help individuals develop understanding and empathy. This is especially important for those living with someone in recovery, as they must come to terms with whatever losses have occurred and how this addition has impacted their lives.
It is essential for both individuals and families affected by addiction to have access to a trusted support system. Those in recovery should focus on self-care be it going for counseling, mindfulness practice, or developing a hobby or interest that allows them to process the feelings they are experiencing.
3. Practice Forgiveness
A key factor in healing relationships is practicing forgiveness. While it can be hard to let go of anger and resentment, forgiving will help individuals in the family move forward and free them from the pain and hurt that resided in the past. This is not to say that past actions or experiences should be forgotten, rather to change the associated feelings and associations to the event.
Family members should never forget the past but rather recognize it, process it, forgive the experience and the person if desired and use the experience as a source of strength and knowledge of how to work through struggles in the future.
4. Exchange Love and Support
When it comes to healing your family dynamics after addiction, love and support go a long way. Family members should practice showing their love and emotional support to one another, whether through acts of kindness or even a simple hug. Doing so will help individuals feel appreciated and valued.
Moreover, as a family unit, it is important for all members to recognize each other’s needs and limitations. Being understanding and trying to make changes that can benefit the relationship is essential for restoring family dynamics.
5. Learn to Accept and Manage Stress in Healthy Ways
Stress is unavoidable, especially when making the changes necessary to restore family dynamics. Those in recovery in particular are prone to feeling overwhelmed or stressed, increasing the risk of relapse.
To avoid these feelings, individuals should practice healthy coping mechanisms such as practicing meditation, exercising, journaling, or talking to a therapist when needed to help manage their stress in a positive way. Family members can also help one another manage stress by engaging in activities, listening, and providing understanding.
Restoring family dynamics after addiction is a long and difficult process but it is possible. With patience, love, support, and communication, family members can rediscover trust and rebuild relationships. Keeping in mind that progress will not always be linear can help individuals navigate the process while staying focused on positive steps that can strengthen the family-wide bond.
Addiction is one of the most challenging phases of life an individual has to encounter. If proper care and support is not given, the individual’s sobriety will not be sustained in the long run. On the other hand, once an addicted person receives ample support and care, it would be easy to remain sober.
Below are three categories of people important to addiction treatment:
Counselors and Therapist
The first point of contact in addiction treatment is the counselor. The counselor helps the individual to crack their addiction problem. The counselor needs the cooperation of the addicted individual to acknowledge their addiction problem so that a treatment plan can be created for them.
When there is a treatment plan, the therapist takes over the next phase of addiction treatment in a bid to restore the individual back to sobriety.
The family is the closest unit any individual belongs to. If someone is addicted, the first set of people to know is the family. Hence, depending on the tide of things, the family might be the person’s greatest advantage or undoing.
Typically, the family has different show of response to their loved one’s addiction and it all stems from the place of concern and care. The addicted individual misinterprets this and becomes at loggerheads with the family.
It would do the family and their addicted loved one more good if they entered addiction treatment together. There, the family will understand the root cause of their loved ones’ addiction and they will learn how to combat it together.
Friends are an integral part of our lives. In fact, for some, friends have become family. The availability of friends is sometimes responsible for an individual’s addiction. And if the person is lucky, the friends they have can discourage them from treading that part.
During addiction treatment, friends have to be with the addicted individual to provide the needed support and care, in addition to what the family provides. When the individual sees the great care coming from friends, they will be motivated to cooperate and follow through with the addiction treatment.
Family is a complex entity and when addiction is incorporated, it becomes complicated. When a member of the family is addicted, it is usually a tough time for the family. Usually, they will be overwhelmed with fear and concern that they would act in different ways to the addicted person.
As expected, the addicted individual would not see his family’s behavior as love, fear and concern because they will view it from another standpoint. This is one of the reasons why addicted individuals and their families are usually at loggerheads.
For the whole family to be at peace again, it is vital to solve the addiction problem of their loved one.
To begin, the first step the addicted family member has to take is acknowledging their addiction. For most people, this is challenging to do because no one likes to own up to an addiction problem.
Once an addicted individual owns up to their addiction problem, it becomes easy to help them create an addiction plan that will ensure long-term sobriety. Due to the fact that family relationships are compromised during addiction, one of the aims of addiction treatment is to fix the issues.
Sometimes, individuals in treatment mention they have no family but this is not the case. The truth is the family knows their loved one’s condition and they care, but they don’t know what to do. When an addict is willing to seek treatment, it would be easy for the family to get involved.
One of the primary purpose of the family in addiction treatment is care and support. The individual needs care and support to pull through addiction treatment and this is what the family provides.
With the help of the family, the individual would be able to understand the root cause of their addiction.
The family involvement is a profound tool that helps the whole family heal. It helps people adapt to difficult situations, handle trauma and conflicts and know how to ensure healthy behaviors.
Addiction is often seen passed down through the blood line…
It starts with the grandparents, then trickles down to your parents, then suddenly you find yourself at risk of becoming an addict.
But, is that really a thing or did your family just find themselves that unlucky that addiction has continued to affect everyone for generations?
While there are some outside contributions to addiction – and ultimately it is still your choice – addiction can run in the family.
There are two reasons that addiction runs in the family:
- Some people carry a predisposition in their genes for addiction, just making them overall more susceptible to addiction. Then, this predisposition can be passed down into the next generation.
- From a young age, the next generation sees the alcoholism or substance abuse and assumes it is okay. If addiction is the “family norm”, then it can be easily mistaken by a younger generation that an addicted lifestyle is just how people live. Furthermore, they will adopt that lifestyle and then the cycle repeats itself.
However, unlike cancer and other diseases and illnesses, there is no way to test to see if someone will become an addict – whether it is of drugs or alcohol.
The good news is that it is not guaranteed that all children who come from homes of addicted parents will become an addict themselves. However, they are at a much higher risk.
So, think about it…
Are you putting your family at risk? Could you actually be putting the next few generations of your family at risk?
A Yale University professor found that habits are contagious…
If you eat healthy, your children will want to eat healthy.
If you are overweight, your children are more likely to be overweight.
If you value education and learning, your children most likely will, too.
Children are always watching and they are always picking up on what you do – big and small. So, by displaying an addiction, they are noticing it – even if they don’t say anything, it does not go unnoticed.
Consider what you are doing…would you want your child to grow up and be the same way?
Addiction is already tempting enough – social drinking can turn into an alcohol addiction, trying marijuana can lead to experimenting with other drugs…
In a world where drugs and alcohol are easily accessible, your children and family do not need any other things increasing their susceptibility to an addiction – the risks are already high enough.
Do you have a drug or alcohol addiction?
Do you also have a spouse? Some kids? Maybe even some grandkids?
Then, you are causing them all to suffer…
Addiction is not a victimless crime – and it especially takes a toll on those who are closest to you and those who live with you day in and day out.
But, just what kind of impact is addiction having on your family?
You might not notice it right away, especially because you are on the addiction side of things. It can be easy, and natural, to simply ignore what type of effects the addiction is actually having on those around you…
However, addiction is a disease that can infect and hurt an entire family…not just the addict themselves.
An addiction can easily cause lack of communication, miscommunication, tension, and more frequent arguments within the family – whether it is over something involving the addiction or just over a misunderstanding as a result of a short-tempered addict.
As a result of the lack of or errors in communication, the stress levels are raised and it puts those around the addict in a tense and unhealthy environment.
Because the addict themselves is very unpredictable, they can cause added stress, emotional pain, and anxiety within the family. In addition, they can also cause people to lose a lot of their trust in them, making it hard to trust them with even the simplest of tasks.
Furthermore, addiction can affect the family on a financial level. Job instability can lead to financial stress which can lead to having to cut certain things out of their life and additional stress.
But, is it really fair for your children or your spouse to have to do without just because you are supporting your drug or alcohol addiction?
As a result of all these negative effects that addiction has on the family, several – if not all – family ties can be damaged or severed. Family members might have to distance themselves for their own well-being, whether it is just for a short time or maybe even forever…
The effects of addiction on families is huge – it effects children, spouse, and even family outside of the immediate family.
Let us help you today – not just for you but also for your family. They deserve it. A residential addiction rehabilitation centers can provide the help and solutions needed to see restoration in the Family.
It seems to be obvious that substance abuse and marriage don’t mix…
However, many couple still find themselves in the midst of it. They have a husband who just can’t put the bottle down or a wife who takes just one pill too many.
But many people might argue that the spouse of an addict is actually the one who suffers the most…
What are the costs of a marriage filled with addiction?
Oftentimes, a couple in which one partner is addicted to something leaves the other partner feeling very unhappy – more unhappy than other couples who aren’t suffering from the problems of addiction.
The addiction can cause a great deal of stress which can also lead to more frequent fighting and a distance being created between the two partners…
Couples in an addicted relationship often find themselves just on a downward spiral.
The drugs or alcohol can lead to arguments over it – when will it stop? It can leave the other partner feeling as though it is because of something they did, leaving them questioning their role in the marriage.
Furthermore, it can leave them arguing over who will pick up responsibilities. An addict typically will abandon some if not all of their responsibilities – they will get home late, forget, or just purposely avoid them altogether. As a result, this can leave all the wait of the household on one person’s shoulders – the spouse who isn’t suffering from addiction. Therefore, it can cause them to have to pick up the slack which can be extremely tiring.
Addiction can also lead to domestic abuse within a relationship, or it could be mental abuse. Either way – abuse is never okay. The anger, sadness, and fear that addiction brings could promote the negative behavior of that partner, leaving the other one emotionally or physically wounded.
Overall, addiction can completely change a person. It can leave your spouse feeling as though they have no idea who it is that they are even married to anymore…
It can be an incredibly depressing feeling as they watch the kind person they once knew and loved fade away…
If you are struggling with addiction, consider the effect it is having on your spouse. It could be driving a wedge right between the two of you that could eventually be detrimental to your marriage.
Let us help restore your marriage to what it once was by helping you get clean from your addiction.