Addiction Affects the Entire Family

When one family member suffers from addiction, the whole family suffers. Surrounded by the influence, some members also succumb to drugs or alcohol. Even if no other family member suffers from addiction, the ill effects trickle down to spouses and children through emotional, physical, and verbal abuse, broken promises, and feelings of hopelessness. In order for a patient to successfully heal for the long term, their entire family should be involved in the recovery process for addiction.

Burdens on Children

Children of alcoholics or drug addicts must bear their own burdens as their parents work through addiction and even recovery. Children may try to cope with living with an addictive parent by the following ways:

Caught in a Traumatic Cycle

When addiction invades a family, it disrupts the natural flow of daily routines and stability. It transforms the safety and security of home to a place that is unpredictable and volatile. Stress, mistrust, and painful words and actions cause trauma for most family members in some form or another.

Some members deny the changes in family dynamics and try to keep surviving in their ever-shifting home life. For some, the shame of their tumultuous lives causes them to avoid seeking treatment. They think they can recover on their own, but once addiction problems enter the family, it spreads out its contagious reach to all members.

Benefits of Family Therapy

In order to completely rid an addiction problem from someone’s life, the entire family is encouraged to attend therapy sessions. It isn’t simply alcohol or drugs that a family is trying to rid themselves of; it is the traumatic memories, the broken trust, and disconnection from each other that they need to overcome and heal. Once everyone in the family can identify and acknowledge their own problems, the next steps in recovery can help them heal as a family and keep addiction out of their lives.