When we think about the impacts of addiction, we focus on the user and their behaviors and the consequences of those behaviors. However, the user is only part of the picture. Addiction doesn’t just impact the user; it impacts the entire family. Each family member is affected by a loved one’s substance abuse, and each member also plays a role in the development of their addiction. In order to help the addict get and stay sober, the whole family needs to be involved in the process.
This article will focus on the importance of family therapy in addiction treatment. You will learn more about the benefits of family therapy for addiction and where you can find family therapy programs that best fit your needs. Do you want to learn more about how substance abuse treatment and family therapy go hand-in-hand? Call Thrive Treatment toll-free today.
Why is Addiction a Family Disease?
As already stated, most people tend to focus on the addict and think that addiction focuses on a single person. This line of thought is entirely understandable. People watch the addict sink deeper and deeper into substance abuse and lose everything important in their lives. While the negative impacts of addiction are clearly seen in the user, what about the user’s family? The impacts of addiction on the family are significant and can tear the family unit apart.
Addiction is a family disease because a loved one’s substance use undermines the stability of the family. The entire family slowly becomes consumed by the addict and their drug use. Each family member takes on a role when dealing with an addicted loved one. One family member may become an enabler, while another family member becomes obsessed with “fixing” their loved one. Additionally, some family members may feel shut out as all attention focuses on the addict.
To heal an addict, it is important that the family heals. Family therapy in addiction treatment allows all family members to come together, understand what part they played in a loved one’s addiction, and learn healthy coping and communication skills. Substance abuse treatment and family therapy helps create a positive and stable environment for the addict to recover and become more confident in working in a recovery program.
Is Addiction Genetic?
Perhaps the most asked question regarding substance abuse as a whole is whether addiction is genetic. The short and simple answer is that addiction isn’t strictly due to genetics but may play a role. Substance use tends to run in families, and those with a history of addiction may have certain genetic traits that make them more vulnerable to developing a drug and alcohol addiction.
A family history of stress may also be a contributing factor. Unresolved stress can cause epigenetic changes that can trigger the development of substance abuse as well as mental illness. While genetics may play a role, it is important to remember that there is no single “addiction” gene. Additionally, people may have a genetic predisposition that may lead to substance abuse, but it doesn’t mean that addiction will develop.
What are the Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction?
There are many benefits of family therapy for addiction:
- Family therapy helps keep the addict motivated while in treatment.
- The family learns more about addiction, and they have a better understanding of the treatment process.
- Family members learn skills and strategies that support the newly recovering addict.
- Family therapy enables people to voice their feelings, concerns, and emotions in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
How to Find Family Therapy for Addiction Treatment in Southern California
Family therapy for addiction treatment is crucial in an addict’s individualized recovery plan. Family therapy promotes healing and helps create a nurturing and supportive environment for the addict and all family members to become emotionally, physically, and psychologically healthy. Call Thrive Treatment today if you are looking for substance abuse treatment and family therapy in Southern California.
We offer evidence-based family therapy programs and addiction treatment in Santa Monica that help the addict and those they love to understand the impacts of addiction and give them the tools and support to recover together.