Well, we are the way we are because of their addiction, families will say. All the blame for family drama, family conflict, and family dysfunction gets placed on the addict. Addicts are dysfunctional. Few addicts, however, they came from a home that was completely normal and healthy. Most addicts and alcoholics come from homes where there was a great amount of dysfunction. Family therapy helps take a specific loved one’s addiction and put it in the greater context of the family unit. Do families cause addiction? No. Is the family to blame for a loved one’s addiction? No. Can family dysfunction enable and contribute to addiction? Absolutely. By working together through family programming and family therapy, addicts are able to heal their root problems at home and in themselves.
Addiction Is A Family Disease
Addiction doesn’t only happen to addicts. Addiction happens to everyone an addict interacts with. Addiction is a family disease for two reasons. First, addiction in a loved one can disrupt a family home. Addict behaviors, problems with the law, arguments, fear, sadness, anger and more all come with addiction and create a high energy, high emotional home. Second, addiction is in many ways a manifestation of family dysfunction. For many addicts and alcoholics, addiction is a way to cope with what is missing in the family unit.
The Family Context Has Impact
In order for a loved one to progress in their recovery, the context of the family dynamic has to be taken into consideration. The family context has an impact on an addict’s beliefs about themselves, their place in the world, and their place in the family.
Family Interactions Are Based On History
Parents learn from their parents who learn from their parents and so forth. When a loved one goes to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, the whole family is presented with a very unique opportunity- to break the chain of generations of learned behaviors. Everyone gets to decide who they want to be in the family, how they want to bond as a family, and how they are going to treat each other as a family.
Recovery Is A Family Effort
Everyone in the family can play a part in recovery. It is important to change the way family members interact in order to stop putting all the blame on the addict. The family can heal in recovery because the family can change.
Everyone is capable of recovering because everyone is capable of changing. At Design For Change, we believe that the family afterward can be healthier than it was before. For information on our residential treatment programs and our family therapy services, call us today at (877) 267-3646.