When an individual develops an addiction to alcohol or drugs, they begin to experience a number of effects as a result of the harmful, progressive disease. These range from physiological — changes in weight and complexion, poor hygiene and eating habits, and so on — to mental, emotional, social, and even spiritual . Individuals who are addicted to alcohol and drugs suffer from a disease that causes dramatically altered patterns of thought, which manifests as an obsessive preoccupation with seeking and consuming mind-altering substances. Each day in an addict’s life revolves around the same routines, resulting in the sacrifice of many things that had previously been important.
Perhaps even more prominent than the physical and health effects of addiction are the psychological and behavioral changes. The development of an addiction can transform an individual with aspirations and potential into someone who barely resembles themselves. Moreover, addiction is a disease that has a profound effect on virtually every person in an addict’s life, causing a variety of problems in the individual’s relationships and exacerbating what is already a very difficult situation.
Addiction and the Family
Addiction is often considered a “family disease,” due to the profound effects it can have on the family unit. Addiction can cause feelings of animosity, resentment, distrust, anxiety, aggravation, and even depression in each member of an addict’s family. Relationships are compromised or broken as family members struggle with how to be supportive without enabling and firm without being unreasonable. Enabling is especially common in family members who fear the addict will reject or abandon them if they try to deter the addictive behaviors.
When a parent is the family member suffering from addiction, the effects are innumerable. Drug addiction increases the likelihood of domestic violence, creates financial struggle and negatively impacts child development. Research indicates that children of addicts are significantly more likely to become addicts themselves, due to a genetic link to chemical dependency or the tendency of children to adopt parent behaviors. In short, parental alcohol or drug addiction can put a family’s immediate stability at risk and jeopardize the current and future well-being of children.
Why is Family Therapy Necessary During Intensive Outpatient Treatment?
Recovery might begin at the individual level, but family-level treatment is also an important component of rehabilitation. Over the course of active addiction, members of an addict’s family suffer a number of significant effects. Addiction can cause misunderstandings, animosities, resentment, and many other negative emotions. Family therapy is a form of action-oriented, focused counseling that helps families learn about addiction, in an effort to become more understanding and empathetic of their loved one’s disease. The ultimate goal of family therapy is to restore peace and unity as the addicted individual continues on the path to recovery from addiction.
Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program Can Help Your Family
As part of our curriculum, we offer family therapy as a means of healing patients and their families of the damage done by alcohol and drug addiction. An individual’s family often represents their most important and treasured relationships, but these are also most directly affected addiction. Guardian Intensive Outpatient’s program helps individuals struggling with addiction understand their disease and identify the behaviors and triggers that threaten their sobriety. Family Therapy guides the families of these individuals through the state of dysfunction to a place of balance, health, and communication. It also works to rebuild the familial bonds that have been weakened by addiction and provide family members the skills and knowledge to support, encourage and understand their loved one’s recovery and prevent relapse.
Begin Again with Family Therapy at Guardian
Recovery Network IOP
Addiction is a family disease that requires family treatment. At Guardian Intensive Outpatient, we incorporate family therapy into our time-tested, evidence-based curriculum, so that individuals and their loved ones can progress toward a state of health and peace. If you or your loved one is suffering from chemical dependency, let Guardian IOP help. Our recovery specialists can match you or your loved one to the program that best suits individual needs. A better life is just a phone call away. Call us now at (855) 517-1871.