Addiction is referred to as a family disease. It tears lives apart and destroys relationships. When a person suffering from substance abuse decides to seek recovery, they aren’t the only ones who need help. While the addicted abuses a substance, there is usually a family member who enables the behavior. Receiving treatment as a family is extremely beneficial for a lifetime of sobriety. When someone in a family is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it causes the entire family system to be unbalanced. Everyone’s behavior is altered in some way to accommodate the addiction. Many times a family will have at least one person who enables the individual suffering from addiction. The enabler wants love and acceptance, therefore they supply the addict with whatever they want. They usually help them to hide their addiction from others and never say no. Someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol typically needs to hit a bottom before they will make the decision to change. A bottom refers to the lowest a person could possibly feel about themselves due to the depth of their addiction. When there is an enabler in the family unit, it prevents a person from reaching their bottom. It can be hard to watch your loved one suffering and you obviously don’t want to see it get worse. Yet, before it gets better, sometimes it needs to get worse. The duration of addiction could be much longer if the addict or alcoholic continues to be enabled. Therefore, it is very important that family members attend therapy with their loved ones and learn how to set boundaries for themselves. Healthy boundaries allow for healthy relationships. Family therapy can get complicated when there is more than one person suffering from addiction. When two or more people abuse drugs or alcohol, it is unlikely they will both be ready for recovery at the same time. Typically one person may want to, but the other tries to prevent it from happening. The person who doesn’t want to may attempt to justify behavior or pay legal fines for the other in an attempt to get them to continue using. It can be exceptionally difficult for the person who wants to recover, but they need to cut ties from the other. Often times, this may even precipitate change in the other because they no longer have someone to use with. Being patient and understanding the importance of family therapy is imperative in recovery. Learning healthy boundaries and when to say no will be beneficial to all and promotes the development of healthy relationships.
Oceanfront Recovery is a men’s & women’s addiction treatment center offering residential programs and a full continuum of care to help men begin a new life of recovery. Each therapy and modality we offer is designed to help men change their story. We believe when you change your story, you can change your life. Call us today for information: (877) 279-1777