Addiction is a family disease, meaning that if one family member is addicted to one or more substances, the rest of the family will be impacted, too. And, no matter how hard the user and/or the family tries to keep the substance abuse separate from the inner happenings of the family, attempts such as these are often frivolous and ineffective.
Sadly, the presence of addiction can and usually does produce serious effects that impact everyone in the family, including the user.
Families that have one or more members struggling with a substance use disorder often experience several mental and physical hardships as a result. For starters, it is extremely common for family members of an addicted loved one to be in denial about the extent of his or her addiction. This denial can cause several different behaviors to get put into play, such as anger and defensiveness. Additionally, those families dealing with addiction might find it difficult to remember a time where there wasn’t an argument brewing or chaos occurring. Family members outside of the user might start setting boundaries for their addicted loved one but do not follow through with them, making any attempts at preserving family peace futile. Of the most unfortunate effects of addiction in the family is that some family members will do things such as drink more when dealing with a loved one who has a substance use disorder. When another family member starts to rely on mind-altering substances to manage the current situation, everything can begin to get much worse.
However, no matter how much destruction has occurred within a family unit, there are always ways to breathe life back into the family so that everyone can start to heal from the damages caused by addiction.
Family Therapy Models
One of the best ways to help families who have been touched by addiction is through the provision of a family addiction therapy program in Athens, Tennessee.
Our family addiction therapy program focuses solely on the members of the family and the substance user in ways that encourage them to improve communication, be compassionate towards one another, effectively manage issues such as resentments and anger, and find ways to move forward as one. In order to do this, family addiction therapy offers a number of different family therapy models that can be beneficial for any family looking for help. See below.
The Family Systems Model
The family systems model, which is one of the most popular types of family addiction therapy, takes an approach to treatment where the focus is on the functioning of the family.
It is common for family members to begin to revolve around the addicted family member. For example, parents might stop putting cash towards a certain part of their household needs but instead, give it to their addicted loved one so that he or she does not need to go to extreme measures to buy drugs and/or alcohol. Or, family members might make efforts to not speak about how they are feeling so that they do not upset the user and cause him or her to blow up and/or go use more. The family systems model not only identifies those behaviors but works with family members to modify them so that they are no longer enabling their addicted loved one by the behaviors (or lack of behaviors) that they display.
The Family Disease Model
Family addiction therapy in Athens also offers the Family Disease Model, which looks at addiction as the disease that it is. While addressing the needs of the individual who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, this type of family addiction therapy program also places a strong focus on those in the family who have become codependent on the user.
When a loved one is suffering from addiction, it can be extremely easy for someone who loves him or her to because codependent on them. This often occurs because the individual who is not addicted is fearful of losing their addicted loved one, so they do everything in their power to keep them happy, even if it means “loving them to death”. Unfortunately, codependence and addiction do not mix well together, as it can cause serious problems for both the user and the codependent.
The Family Disease Model works to help those who are codependent to change their behaviors in an effort to improve upon their loved one’s health and the entire family’s living environment.
Cognitive Behavioral Family Therapy
Families, as previously mentioned, operate as units and do so even if those units are unhealthy and destructive. When families have an addicted loved one, the functioning of the family can quickly take a turn for the worse, and everyone connected to him or her can end up in a downward spiral along with him or her. An Athens, Tennessee family addiction therapy program provides cognitive behavioral family therapy so that this type of pattern can stop and new patterns can be put in place.
Cognitive-behavioral family therapy will guide family members towards identifying their triggers and developing effective problem-solving skills so that the negative behaviors that once fueled the substance abuse and chaos in the home can cease.
Reach Out To JourneyPure’s Family Addiction Therapy Program in Athens, TN
If someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, do not wait one more second to reach out and ask for help. Getting him or her into a treatment program as quickly as possible can help save his or her life.
Regardless of if your loved one accepts treatment or not, it can be critical for you and the rest of your family members to partake in family addiction therapy. By doing so, you and your loved ones can begin developing new ways of functioning so that the addicted loved one in your life no longer has control over the family.
With the application of family addiction therapy in Athens, Tennessee, you and your family can begin paving a new path that will allow for familial peace and the wellbeing of yourself and your loved one.