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How Families Can Deal With Addiction
When one member of the family is diagnosed with substance use disorder, the problem ripples within the family circle. It does not mean that all members of families living with addiction will be an addict as well. Rather it emphasizes the role of the family as a genuine source of moral support. From this standpoint, addiction is taken as a family concern and just a problem of an individual.
Through this concept, therapists and psychologists tend to ask these questions to the client:
- Who are close to you?
- Who are the people whom you consider as your family?
- To whom do you run for advice and comfort when you are down?
- Who matters most to you?
These questions help the therapist pinpoint the vital support group of the client. This will then be the source of emotional and moral support through the entire treatment session.
What Are the Features of a Family?
Here are some important psychological and social features of a family.
- Balance: A family has an innate trait of maintaining balance and harmony within the group despite one member being mentally and physically ill.
- Role Model: It is observed that a behavior or action of one family member can affect the personality and routine of other members of the family. Taking that into consideration, the therapist would use the family in influencing the client’s bad routine, turning it into a healthy one.
- Practicality: Members of the family are very accessible and reliable for the patient’s sake. Nonetheless, a family would always think of the group’s general welfare and not just that of the individual.
- Cohesive Communication: Whether verbal or non-verbal language, the family can express their care and support to the patient. This, in turn, motivates the patient to finish the treatment and gain back sobriety.
The Use of Family for Therapeutic Intervention
Talking to an addicted family member is such a fragile situation that even family members must be cautious and not demanding. When a family is used for intervention, there are two goals to achieve:
- Letting the client gain awareness between the connection of substance abuse and life problems, and
- Convincing the client to undergo addiction treatment.
When family members and friends talk to their loved one, topics about blame and shame must be avoided as it can worsen the situation.
The family must never be aggressive in their tone when talking. They must show genuine empathy and concern for the betterment of the client.
The client must be slowly made aware of the physical and mental health consequences of abusing substances. Alongside this, they must be gradually moved to inpatient rehab treatment to recover from addiction.
Going for rehab treatment is never a simple and easy task both for the client and the family. However, working hand in hand with a therapist and continued moral support towards the client, the entire process will have a higher chance of long term success.
Below are some of the roles played by one’s therapist:
- Academic guidance counselor
- Spiritual guide
- Licensed Interventionist
What Are the Different Family-Driven Treatment Interventions?
Therapists and psychologists have recognized the great impact of a family intervention on the welfare and recovery of clients struggling with addiction. Various rehab facilities have adapted family intervention in their treatments, and below are its three types:
- Direct intervention with the patient’s family members
- Mixed treatment programs for the patient and their family
- Separate therapy session for the affected family of the addict
How Family Relationship is Influenced by Addiction
In general, when a family member suffers addiction, it creates a disruptive effect on the family’s ties. By that, it tends to disturb the balance of the family’s emotional, physical, psychological, and financial condition.
The family members’ feelings are usually hurt in all aspects as the patient tends to inflict pain and break their trust. This is the main reason why family therapy is needed along with the rehab treatment of the patient member.
What Is the Status of Underage Addiction in the United States
According to the study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2014, around 30 percent of teens aged 12 years and older are engaged in binge drinking. Meanwhile, ten percent of that same general teen population are heavy drinkers.
In terms of substance abuse, around 21.5 million American teens ages 12 years and older are reported to have such a condition. From this population, 2.6 million teens are engaged in both illicit drugs and alcohol use disorder.
Unfortunately, there is a growing population of teens engaging in this unhealthy behavior and several factors are contributing to it. Nevertheless, it is a fact that addiction destroys the balance and harmony in a family.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Addiction
For further guidance, here are the most evident traits to see for a family member suffering from drug addiction.
- Highly impulsive
- Uncontrollable rage
- Tends to isolate oneself from the group
- Feeling down and depressed
- Low health condition and hygiene
- Cannot do focused eye contact
- Laughs out of the blue without a solid reason
- Presence of blood or red color on the eyes
- Work and School Signs
- Low work performance
- Grades are dropping
- Unexplained absences
- Inability to comply with deadlines and school works
When a person suffers from substance abuse and alcoholism, it is quite inevitable to involve one’s family in the intervention. Family plays an important role in letting the client feel important and loved by others. This boosts the client’s confidence and motivation to recover from this disorder.
Seek medical advice from a professional drug rehab to undergo rehab treatment. Recovery will always start from within and is further supported by family and other support groups.