Families & Addiction Treatment
Families & Addiction
Having a loved one struggle with addiction is bound to have lasting effects on us. We know that addiction is a disease that gets worse if it is left untreated. This refers to physical and social aspects of a person’s life. Family, friends, and other loved ones oftentimes fall into the social consequences of addiction. Family members often feel anger, frustration, neglect, sadness, and helplessness in this situation.
Family members are put in a challenging position of wanting to support a loved one who is struggling, and not enabling their use. This could look like giving them money, paying for bills when they earn money, or making excuses for their behaviors.
Another concern that can arise when we have a loved one struggling with addiction, is codependency. Codependency can happen between a parent and child, friends, or romantic partners. Individuals struggling with addiction have significant needs that they are not taking care of. These could be financial, emotional, and physical needs. The other person then spends most of their time trying to satisfy the needs of the other person, which often leads to their own needs being neglected. When the addict or alcoholic has someone around who is making sure their needs are being met for them, there is no push for them to make changes that would allow for them to take care of themselves. An additional consequence of this is that the codependent person is not taking care of themselves as they should be.
When an addict or alcoholic begins their recovery, there are necessary changes that need to happen in their environment and behaviors. This undoubtedly will impact their loved ones. Learning how to adjust to these changes can be hard, and family members deserve support through this time as well.
Addiction is a Family Disease
Addiction is known to have a genetic predisposition, simply meaning that if your parents or grandparents struggled with an addiction, you are more likely to have a similar struggle compared to someone whose family members were not addicts or alcoholics.
Children of addicts and alcoholics have shared experiences that can have lasting effects. One similarity is that homes with a parent struggling with an addiction usually have more conflict. Homes may lack a routine, and the parent may be unpredictable. Children learn many life skills from adults around them, and if they are raised in an environment where they see alcohol or drugs being used as a coping skill for discomfort, they are less likely to learn healthy alternatives for coping. As a result, they can grow up with fewer coping skills and an increased level of emotional distress. Children of alcoholics and addicts are more likely to begin misusing and abusing substances at an earlier age compared to their peers.
When a parent is struggling with an addiction, they are often focused on themselves and may not fulfill parent roles. Parents may not remember promises, miss important events, or be neglectful. These situations can lead to the child feeling like they need to be dependent on themselves and have difficulty trusting others. Children can feel as though they have to “grow up” faster than others.
Spouses and partners of an addict or alcoholic feel the consequences of the addiction as well. There may be more disagreements than there were before. You may feel as though your partner is not dependable and that you need to take on more responsibility than before. You may be frustrated with their spending habits. Maybe they have legal troubles they didn’t have before. When these concerns continue, partners can begin to feel numb to the challenges because they occur so frequently.
Some of us may automatically think of adults struggling with addiction when we think of addiction. The truth is that the rates of children struggling with addiction are higher than we would hope. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common substances abused by children and teens are marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs.
As parents, we want our children to have the best life possible. We try to help them in any way we can. When you are talking about a child with an addiction, this parental drive to help them can quickly shift into codependency.
Impact Outpatient Program works with most major insurance carriers to help cover the cost of treatment.
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At this time we do not accept Medicaid or Medicare policies.
Why Family Therapy is Crucial To Addiction Treatment
When an addict or alcoholic goes into treatment, their treatment is focused on them and their addiction. Family therapy is an opportunity for those left at home to get treatment as well. With family therapy, the entire family receives help. This can include partners, children, siblings, and parents if appropriate. When everyone is willing to participate, you can get started.
A family therapist can work with you to process thoughts and emotions that you’ve been struggling with. Feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, and sadness are common among family members with a loved one in addiction treatment. Families’ lives are changed by addiction, and they deserve the opportunity to heal as well.
The family therapist will work with the family to recognize the role that the addiction has played within the family dynamics. Addiction is a disease that impacts the way our brain thinks and works. As a result, we do things that we wouldn’t usually do. While the addict or alcoholic is still responsible for their behaviors, some find it helpful to learn how addiction alters thinking and behaviors.
If there are any codependent relationships and enabling behaviors, your therapist will address this and likely talk about the effect that they can have on addiction. These types of relationships are unhealthy for everyone involved.
Impact IOP's Approach to Family Therapy in Kentucky
Kentucky family therapy can be a necessary step for families to recover from the damages of addiction. Here at Impact IOP, we work with you to move towards a healthier lifestyle.
When you meet with one of our family therapists, we will start by getting to know you and learning how addiction has impacted your home life. Our family therapists are kind, compassionate individuals who understand that being in family therapy is hard.
We begin by working on red flags that are known to have a negative impact on addiction recovery. This could be enabling, codependency and denial. Recognizing the role that your own behavior has played in the unhealthy dynamic can help highlight reasons to make changes.
Our goal is for everyone in the family to be healthy. Oftentimes this means improving relationships with each other, establishing healthy boundaries, and learning to talk openly. Each of these can be uncomfortable, and having a therapist to support you in these changes can be comforting.
Throughout our time working with you, we will take time to help you understand a bit more about addiction and recovery. Understanding the disease concept of addiction can oftentimes help your loved one in recovery feel heard and understood.
Similar to addiction treatment, with family therapy at Impact IOP, we meet you where you are. All families are different and affected differently by addiction. Because of this, the treatment you receive will likely have differences from others. We have several different approaches that we can use during family therapy:
Your family therapist may ask to meet with family members one on one to learn a bit more about them and their experience. This could also include individual therapy for family members if needed
Family sessions can include the entire family to explore relationships and discuss what a healthy recovery would look like for the family unit
Educational groups that aim to help members learn how to have healthier interactions
We recommend that family members try attending a 12-step meeting designed for loved ones of addicts and alcoholics.
Reach Out to Us for Family Therapy in Kentucky
Kentucky family therapy plays a vital role in the rising rates of addiction. Family therapy can help create a healthy environment for the entire family, which has a direct role in recovery. We hear a lot about treatment for the person struggling with alcohol and drugs and little about family therapy. Don’t let this diminish the value of family therapy; we see the positive outcomes of it with the families we work with.
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, you would likely benefit from Kentucky family therapy. You can call us at Impact IOP by dialing (502) 912-1038 to speak with admissions about our family therapy program.