According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Addiction is a Family Disease
Addiction is often called a family disease. That’s because addiction affects the entire family system and the individuals who comprise it. Addiction puts family members under a great deal of stress, disrupting routines, and causing unsettling or even frightening experiences. As a result, family members develop unhealthy coping strategies as they strive to maintain equilibrium in the household. The family unit becomes a fragile and dysfunctional system, and this often unwittingly contributes to the addiction as the family adopts destructive behaviors as a result of it. Children in the household are particularly affected by addiction.
Do Addicted Families Need Counseling?
Substance abuse in the home interrupts a child’s normal development and leads to a higher risk for physical, mental, and emotional health problems. Children of an addicted parent often have difficulties in school and are more likely than their peers to have a learning disability, skip school, or be expelled. They’re also four times more likely than their counterparts to become addicted to alcohol or drugs themselves. Losing a job can be hard but you can always get another one. With that job, you gain your financial stability back. Your health will get better over time as you work on your fitness and abstain from the substance that made you ill in the first place. Relationships with your immediate family and friends will most likely get better over time after the trust is gained and dependability is shown or not but the family has a central role to play in the treatment of any health problem, including substance abuse. Family work has become a strong and continuing theme of many treatment approaches. Treatment programs aimed at those who have alcohol and drug addiction problems can have better outcomes if the abuser’s family or close associates are also involved in the process. If the family does not become involved in learning about substance abuse and the role it can play in the dynamics of the family, it might hinder the alcoholic or addict’s recovery if family members continue their dysfunctional or enabling behaviors. According to SAMHSA:
Family therapy in substance abuse treatment can help by using the family’s strengths and resources to find ways for the person who abuses alcohol or drugs to live without substances of abuse and to ameliorate the impact of chemical dependency on both the patient and the family. This therapy can help families become aware of their own needs and aid in the goal of keeping substance abuse from moving from one generation to another.
If you or a loved one has an addiction to substances, we at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset can help you and your family get back on track. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset provides men, women, and families with comprehensive, integrated care, geared towards setting a solid and lasting foundation for lifelong recovery from substance use disorders.
Professional Help With Drug Addiction
Our facilities are staffed by experienced and compassionate professionals, including licensed therapists and psychiatrists, addiction specialists, and highly qualified support staff. Our team members are extremely understanding and treat each client with an unmatched level of respect. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, which shows our dedication to offering the highest quality of addiction care for each person that steps through our doors.