Millions of Americans abuse drugs and alcohol, although many of them go to work and pay their bills as if they don’t have this serious problem. Behind closed doors, however, their loved ones know just how serious addiction is. Over time, substance abuse can change even the most loving family into a disconnected unit that can’t communicate or work together. The role of addiction in family dysfunction is clear. The right treatment, however, can put the broken unit back together and benefit everyone.
Addiction and Family Dysfunction
Addiction is a far-reaching problem, and no one knows this better than a person who loves someone with an addiction. Whether family dysfunction was in place first or it grew significantly after an addiction developed, drugs and alcohol only create more problems in the household.
Family dysfunction stemming from addiction creates chaos and disorder in the home. However, there don’t have to be screaming matches or violence for dysfunction to exist. Children may feel a lack of safety or like they don’t know what to expect from one day to the next due to the addiction.
Negative ways that addiction impacts a family include:
- Isolation and withdrawal from the outside world
- Lack of financial stability
- Physical, emotional, and mental abuse
- Physical and emotional neglect
- Higher rates of depression and anxiety
Family members take on roles that may be vastly different from their intended ones. For example, one member may be the enabler. He makes excuses for or covers for the person with the addiction.
Another family member may act as the selfless hero by being a perfectionist. She may take on too many responsibilities in her efforts to pretend that her home life is picture-perfect, which can lead to burnout and stress.
The Need for Family Therapy
If one person in a household has a problem with addiction, isn’t it just his problem? Not at all, as his family members know all too well.
Substance abuse touches everyone around him, from his spouse to his children. It negatively impacts them and can increase family dysfunction until the family unit breaks down.
That’s why therapy involving all family members is so important.
Just as addiction changed the person who abused drugs and alcohol, it changed her loved ones as well. They have healing to do, along with the user.
In therapy, a skilled counselor will address the family dysfunction and how each member coped with the problem of addiction. They must also confront their feelings, such as embarrassment, anger, confusion, and sadness. They’ll have to learn effective communication skills and repair broken bonds.
It will take time to rebuild trust, and each person must commit themselves to help and support the person with the addiction. Forgiveness is a necessary part of the process. Family members will have to forgive others, but also themselves.
Personalized and Integrated Outpatient Addiction Treatment in the Northeast
Are you a professional who’s ready to face your problems with drugs and alcohol? Are you worried about how substance abuse has negatively affected your family? Providence Treatment in Media, Pennsylvania can help.
We’re an outpatient addiction treatment center just outside of Philadelphia. Our staff treats those in high-pressure, high-stress fields, such as medical students and residents, finance professionals, business executives, nurse practitioners, and dentists. We understand how devastating substance abuse could be to your career, so we provide programs and services such as:
Along with outpatient care, we offer intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs to provide a range of flexible treatment options that fit your schedule.
It’s time you took control of your life back from addiction. The qualified team at Providence Treatment is ready to help you and your loved ones heal together. Reach out to us today at 866-622-6211 to learn more.