Drug and alcohol addictions consistently affect so many things about the drug user’s life. We refer to this as collateral damage. Of all the things that get crushed from someone’s addictive behavior, family relationships are the things that should matter the most.
It seems there is a direct correlation between the amount of damage done to family relationships and the closeness of the family unit. Families that care the most are the ones that seem to suffer the most when a family member falls victim to sn addiction.
At issue is the number of ways family members can get entangled in the web of addiction. Let’s take a look at how family members can get hurt:
- They can become codependent, they acquiesce to the drug user’s addictive behavior as an attempt at appeasement
- They get hurt or angry, causing them to avoid the addictive behavior
- They become confrontational in an attempt to help
- The become victims of the addictive behavior through theft or physical injury
Unless there has been a history of family problems before the addictive behavior, no one wants to hurt their family and friends.
In the addiction treatment community, the mending of family relationships is often a focus of treatment. Addiction professionals understand that the best support resource a recovering addict will have is their family members and friends. Even if the collateral damage is minimal, there is still a need to get family members involved in the treatment process.
If your addiction issues have created family issues, you need to decide how you are going to mend fences. Whether you realize it or not, securing family support is the best way you can protect yourself from relapses after treatment. It’s for that reason that you need to work with a family counselor.
In the section below, we are going to focus on how family counselors work with clients and their family members.
How Can a Family Addiction Counselor Help Create Supportive Structures in the Home?
During the initial days of treatment, counselors want to gather information about the state of a client’s family. They want an opportunity to identify the family members that have been hurt by the client’s addictive behavior. They also want to identify the family members who have enough standing to become part of a strong support group.
When family members come together during family therapy, the work they will do together touches on several areas. First, there is often a need to educate family members about their loved one’s struggles with drugs or alcohol. If someone has never experienced involvement in addiction, it’s hard for them to understand what’s been happening with the addict. Through an educational process, family members can mend some fences with simple understanding. Call us at 833-610-1174.
The second thing a counselor will want to do is identify and address possible conflicts. It’s hard to know what needs fixing without an open and honest conversation between loved ones. Identifying conflict is a vital part of the family therapy process. Why? Often, it’s family relationships that are prompting the addictive behavior. In such cases, no one is going to be able to move forward until the dirty laundry has been aired.
As the pain and animosity start to fade, there are hopes family relationships will come together. The therapist wants to use this as an opportunity to create a family structure of support for the recovering addict during and after treatment. How do they attempt to do that?
Again, it goes back to education. They attempt to educate important family members about identifying the signs that a relapse may in the cards. They also attempt to teach family members how to manage a family crisis as a means of alleviating some of the recovering addict’s stress. Mostly, they want to teach family members how to be understanding and nurturing without becoming codependent.
If family therapy is successful, the client will have the best support resource they could ever want.
If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you should take a moment and look at your family relationship. Has your addictive behavior hurt lov4ed ones? There is a good chance the answer is yes. We hope you are contemplating getting treatment for your sake and the sake of your family. When you are ready to seek help, we will be here to offer you as much help as you need. You can pave the way through the front door of our treatment facility by calling us at 123-456-7890.