Addiction is a family disease. When a loved one is suffering from addiction or alcoholism, the entire family suffers as a result. Living with a loved one in the throes of active addiction can cause untold amounts of stress, anger, resentment, and fear. If the familial relationships are to be mended, recovery is necessary—for the person suffering from addiction and for the family. Denial and manipulation are part of the everyday experience for a family with a member suffering from addiction or alcoholism. Family members may not understand what it means for their loved one to be powerless over drugs and alcohol, and may turn to anger as a way of coping. There are, however, a variety of support groups that can help families understand the disease of addiction and meet others living in the same situation. The National Coalition on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence suggests a combination of support groups such as Al-Anon and therapy to help families dealing with addiction: “While these support services are important for making connections with others who may be trying to navigate day-to-day life with addiction in the family, so is seeking professional therapy.” Individual therapy for each member of the family and group therapy for the family as whole can be incredibly helpful. The NCADD explains, “meeting with a therapist as a family can help improve communication among family members, rebalance the family dynamic and give family members a safe environment to express their anger, fear and other concerns. Family therapy may also be helpful in preventing the children of addicts from succumbing to the disease themselves.” Offering support, learning about addiction, overcoming denial by expressing love and concern, and being supportive of the individual in recovery are all ways that a family can help their loved one make the decision to seek help. Early identification that a loved one is suffering from addiction can also help them make the decision to seek recovery. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids explains, “In general, all people are better equipped to work on recovery if their substance use problem is discovered and confronted early on. Treatment in the early stages of a substance use disorder is likely to be less intense, less disruptive, and cause less anxiety.” It’s important to remember that denial and anger can exacerbate a loved one’s addiction, and if we are to be as supportive as possible, we must approach the situation with compassion and understanding without enabling them to continue their behavior.
Your story can be one of redemption and recovery. You can make the decision to reach out for yourself or a family member today and begin repairing the damages done by addiction. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of treatment techniques, including a regularly scheduled Family Program, to help a client achieve and maintain sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777