There’s an old adage that states an addiction takes no prisoners. Time and again, that statement has proven to be true. An untreated addiction will take everything the addiction sufferer has and everything they could have in the future. Among the things addiction does to the addiction sufferer’s life is damage to their family unit. We refer to this as collateral damage. For anyone who is wondering how substance abuse affects the family, the information below should serve as a comprehensive reply.
How Substance Abuse Affects the Family
All of us have close connections to family and friends. But we might not always get along with all our family members. Yet the connection still exists. So when it comes to the way a person’s addiction affects their family members, the closeness of the relationships is important. The closest family members will be the ones who are most vulnerable to collateral damage.
In general, addiction has the propensity to disrupt the entire family unit. It sometimes causes a lot of infighting that goes beyond issues involving the actual addiction sufferer. The addiction has the potential to create a barrier between family members that want to help, the enablers, and those that are angry. Thus, as the family unit crumbles, the addiction sufferer loses an important support resource.
In our New Jersey outpatient rehab center, we hear the stories about how our clients victimize their family members. For example, they steal from them and get them involved in crimes and accidents. Addiction sufferers actually have the ability to destroy an entire family’s reputation. But none of this family destruction is acceptable.
The Role of Family Therapy
After considering how substance abuse affects the family, it’s necessary to consider how to fix what’s broken. In most rehab facilities, there’s a universal understanding of the importance of family in the recovery process. That’s why family therapy is such an important part of substance abuse treatment programs.
The goal of a family therapy program is to bring the family back together in unity. But with a lot of baggage blocking the doorway, that’s not always an easy thing to do. It has to start with educating family members about the addiction. Addiction is a disease. However, this doesn’t excuse the addiction sufferer’s actions. Yet it certainly helps explain the genesis of those actions.
So with the proper therapeutic approach, it is possible to garner an understanding of roles within the family. The key component of this is communication. Good communication among family members is critical to keeping family members working together for the benefit of the client.
Victory Bay – The Family Advocate
In our South Jersey rehab center, we fully support the idea of the family participating in the treatment process. In almost every case, the family is going to be the recovering client’s primary support resource. Thus it’s our job to help the client establish a recovery for the family to support. For instance, our outpatient program options include:
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Older adult treatment system program
- Evidence-based addiction therapy programs
- Dual diagnosis treatment programs
- Telehealth services
For the benefit of you and your family, it’s time for you to consider fighting back against your addiction. But it won’t be easy given how substance abuse affects the family. However, we can help you minimize the effects of collateral damage with a good family therapy program. To learn more about our outpatient addiction treatment programs, call 855.259.1624 today.