Addiction and the Family: Addiction Is a Family Disease
Addiction and the Family: We often hear that addiction is a family disease, but what exactly does this mean? Alcoholism and drug addiction not only affects the addict, but also the entire family. When one family is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, the entire family system suffers. Addiction is a family disease that affects the family’s mental and physical health, unity, finances, and overall family dynamics. Not only does the addicted individual need recovery, but the entire family does as well.
How does the family recover?
First and foremost, family members must realize that they can not “fix” their loved one, and that it is necessary for them to work a recovery program as well if they wish to heal from the suffering caused by their loved one’s addiction. Because addiction affects everyone in the family, it is essential that each family member receives the necessary support required to heal from the past pain and learn how to live peacefully regardless of their loved one’s recovery.
Addiction and the Family: Fortunately, help is available for families of addicts. Family counseling services and support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon can be incredibly helpful for families struggling with a loved one’s addiction to drugs and alcohol. Family systems are complex, but family counseling can provide a safe space for loved ones to learn how to communicate openly and set healthy boundaries. One of the primary goals in family counseling at Recovery Advocates is to discover and utilize a family’s strengths to bring about positive change in all areas of life, including the loved one’s substance abuse.
Active and constructive engagement in the recovery process is necessary for the family to begin to heal from the impact that addiction has had on the family members. Addiction education can be extremely beneficial for family members of addicts, but it is important to take the next step and begin to communicate with one another in a healthy manner. As a family member of an addict, recovery from the destructive impacts of addiction is possible, but it may take time. Loved ones will need to learn how to detach with love and take responsibility only for their own behavior.
Addiction and the Family: Recovery Is Possible
Just as the disease of addiction is progressive, so too is recovery, which applies to the family’s recovery as well. As long as family members are willing to put in the work, there is no limit to the amount of growth that can occur through family counseling or through working a program through Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Addiction and the family is a complex issue, but recovery is possible.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is available for both you and your loved one. Contact Recovery Advocates today at 844.723.9256.