How Counseling Can Offer Help for Families of Drug Addicts

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Design for Change Recovery considers addiction to be a family disease. Not only does the addict suffer, but the family suffers as well. They say it takes a village to raise a child; it takes a village to aid in the recovery of an addict.  Families play a key part in the road to recovery for any drug abuser, mainly because the families suffer right alongside them. Providing help for families of addicts is just as important as helping the addicts themselves. Here are some helpful aspects of recovery that help all parties involves.

Understanding Addiction

It is critical for families of drug addicts to understand that addiction is a disease, not a choice. While the initial use of drugs is voluntary, continued use can lead to dependency and abuse, which can affect certain functions in the brain. Judgment, behavior, decision-making, etc. can be compromised, making quitting or potential recovery an uphill battle.

Another important thing to understand about addiction is the potential cause. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, there are several factors that contribute to the cause of substance abuse. A history of mental illness, gender, a history of other forms of abuse, economic status, etc. can all increase the likelihood that a person will use and abuse drugs or alcohol. Design for Change Recovery is equipped with the proper tools to provide support for families of addicts to deal with these issues that may have affected more than just the addict.

Being Part of the Solution

Familial support is pivotal in a person’s recovery. Each addict has unique needs in their recovery, but family members’ support is essential to each and every one. One important aspect to understand is the concept of enabling. Enabling an addict involves more than simply allowing them to continue abusive behavior; it involves allowing them to abuse the resources around them as well. For example, if someone is in financial duress and you continue to give them loans, you are not providing them with beneficial ways to handle their financial responsibilities. They are being given a temporary solution, as opposed to an opportunity to stand on their own feet. Providing a healthy environment for someone recovering from addiction is extremely important. Continuing to support their needs as they continue recovery, supporting and reassuring positive changes, encouraging a healthy lifestyle are all potential ways that families of drug addicts can provide a stable, healthy environment for a recovering addict.

Family Counseling

When drug abuse is present, relationships and communication become strained. A family counselor can act as a mediator between the family and the addict, providing a safe place for both parties to communicate thoughts and feelings they may have been unable to express in the past. In addition, having an outside perspective from a licensed professional provides fresh points of view to both parties.  Addiction can cause all sorts of underlying issues that the patient or family member may be unaware of, rendering them unable to cope with these issues in a healthy way. Counseling provides an in depth look into coping mechanisms and the ability to express one’s self more productively.

Moving Forward Together

The most important point to remember is drug abuse is 100 percent treatable. No matter how hopeless addiction may seem, there are always mechanisms through which families of drug addicts and their afflicted loved ones can recover together. With the right educational tools and supportive counseling, family members can be a part of the active recovery process rather than inadvertently being a part of the problem. When effective coping and communication skills are in place, everyone impacted by addiction can begin to heal.

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