Identifying Addiction in the Family
One of the most important factors in drug or alcohol treatment is the strength of the support system around the person in need of help. If you’re a family member of someone undergoing treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you can have an enormous impact on their recovery by showing them that you are available and supportive.
However, because a loved one’s addiction can be emotionally taxing, family members don’t always have the resources or energy to provide this crucial support. In these cases, Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts may be the best option to overcome intense feelings and frustration.
Few families today are immune from addiction, as it affects approximately 20 million people per year in the United States. If you have a loved one suffering from an addiction disorder, use the following information to help them get the treatment they need without enabling them.
If you have a family member struggling with addiction, you know how difficult this situation is for the entire family. People with addiction have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with their partners and children. Children are more likely to develop an addiction themselves and become the victim of abuse or neglect. Group therapy for family members of addicts helps you to manage the risks with the family children.
But how do you know if your loved one’s use of substances is an addiction? Some questions you can ask yourself regarding the behavioral and emotional signs of substance abuse include:
- Do they try to cut back or stop using, but are unable to do so?
- Do they use more of a substance than they intend to?
- Do they spend a great deal of time looking for the substance, using it, and recovering from using it?
- Do they use a substance in risky situations, such as driving?
- Do they continue taking the substance, despite knowing the substance causes a physical or emotional condition to get worse?
- Are they unable to manage their responsibilities including home, school, or work?
- Do they give up important activities in order to use them?
- Do they continue to use a substance, even knowing that it causes problems in relationships?
- Does your loved one show physical signs of abuse, such as taking more of the drug to get high or craving it?
Having at least two of these signs in the past 12 months could indicate that the person has a substance use disorder.
Choosing Substance Use Over Family
A substance use disorder is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by compulsive use of a substance despite having negative consequences from using. It can feel as though your loved one chooses drugs over you or your children. In reality, a person with an addiction may love his or her family very much but may feel unable to control their substance use. Drug addiction alters a person’s brain chemistry to the point that they lose the ability to control many of their behaviors, that’s the right time to look for group therapy for family members of addicts These changes to a person’s brain are powerful and long-lasting, which is why many people relapse after a period of sobriety.
Helping vs Enabling
At times, it is difficult to know what to do for a person with an addiction. Helping can go too far at times, and you may find yourself enabling them instead. For example, covering or making excuses for their behaviors rather than letting them suffer the consequences would be a prime example of enabling. Another example might be giving them money knowing that they will buy drugs with it, as a family, you must be able to conduct your decisions in the right way not based on love and condescension, but on setting limits and really helping, and group therapy for family members of addicts would help with that.
You may try to help a person with an addiction, but you can easily cross the line, and enable them without even realizing it. Some signs of enabling include:
- Ignoring unacceptable behavior
- Consistently putting aside your needs for theirs
- Assigning blame to others, rather than the person with the addiction
- Ignoring things a person does out of fear of confrontation
- Lying to cover for their mistakes
- Taking on responsibilities for them
Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts
Spouses, siblings, and parents of addicts often absorb many of the consequences of their loved one’s substance use. Many people have a hard time talking openly about the behavior that’s harming them, so they say nothing. Family members can also become distant if they’re tired of fighting with their loved ones. They may blame themselves when the addiction persists or blame the addicted person for their unhappiness, group therapy for family members of addicts gives the tools to manage this situation, recovering the courage of the family members to continue fighting with the addiction.
These silences and blame games can hold a family back from getting help. Family members may not have the tools on their own to assist someone in active recovery and they may not have the energy to help themselves.
Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts is designed to break down distrust and guilt by giving everyone a chance to feel heard. It can help family members understand themselves and each other, and work through conflict in a healthy way. Families that were once defined by anger and addiction can grow into tight-knit units that are able to support one another through honest communication and healthy boundaries.
Family therapy sessions can take time, and it can be tempting to skip a session — particularly for families with a number of conflicting appointments and agendas. However, Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts is vital to the mental health of everyone involved, so meetings should be attended whenever possible.
Connecting with understanding peers
As research points out, addiction in a close relative can serve as a stressful life situation that persists for years, and that long-term dysfunction can make it hard for families to communicate clearly. There can be a block of mistrust between every member of a family touched by the addiction.
Connecting with peers can help, particularly if families use a well-established, trusted program. The goal of Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts is to provide help to families of addicts, as its name points out. They also provide a safe, nonjudgmental space where family members can learn, discuss and cope with an addiction unfolding in their midst.
People go to meetings like this for all sorts of reasons, but one survey found that many participants were drawn to meetings because they were hoping for help with:
- Finding a better quality of life
- Having fewer problems with the addicted person
- Lowering levels of stress
- Improving psychological health
These are lofty goals, but meetings really can help. By going to a meeting and listening to other family members, feelings of isolation and doubt may begin to fade. Families may also get the skills they need to better handle the interpersonal problems they’re facing. These meetings can help families learn how to deal with a loved one’s addiction.
Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts Helps to Take care of yourself – Dual Diagnosis Rehab Washington
When caring for someone with an addiction, it is important to take care of yourself. Struggling with an addict is an ongoing process, day to day their strengths are not the same and group therapy for family members of addicts would help treat and care for their own mental health. Caregivers can experience enormous amounts of stress, which can include:
- Feeling sad and tired
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Gaining or losing a lot of weight
- Having lots of headaches and body aches
- Losing interest in usual activities
- Feeling alone, isolated, or forgotten
- Sleeping too little or not enough
Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts can really help you, or someone you love, deal with the situation of having a family member battling addiction in a healthy way. We Level Up dual diagnosis rehab Washington can provide Group Therapy For Family Members supervised by professionals. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2017). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States. Results from the National Survey on drug use and health. (Samhsa.gov)
 Family members affected by a close relative’s addiction: Group Therapy For Family Members Of Addicts – The stress-strain-coping-support model. A. Copello, R. Velleman, L. Templeton. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy – Volume 17, 2010.
 Timko, C., Cronkite, R., Kaskutas, L. A., Laudet, A., Roth, J., & Moos, R. H. (2013). Al-Anon family groups: newcomers and members. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs, 74(6), 965–976. – U.S. National Library of Medicine (Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)