The prevalence of addiction affects more than just the person suffering from a substance use disorder— addiction affects all surrounding loved ones.
Issues associated with addiction and family are inseparable. Unfortunately, in a family where addiction is present, all members are affected. In order to relate to others, finding the treatment that best serves the needs of a person suffering from substance abuse is critical. For instance, going to a high-quality mens drug rehab center will provide a program specifically tailored to the needs of a man as opposed to a co-ed program.
Addiction and Family
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence defines addiction as “a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family’s unity, mental health, physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics.”
A family is a basic unit bound by familiar styles in which each person engages. How a family member reacts or acts in a given situation becomes a recognizable pattern in which other family members come to expect. Within these expectations, an equilibrium is formed.
When a person becomes addicted to a substance, the equilibrium shifts, disrupting the norm. Whether it’s your daughter, brother, mother, father, or even grandparent, watching yourself or someone you love lose a life to drug or alcohol dependence can be debilitating. As addiction further evolves, a person will succumb to more desperate measures in order to continue using, which oftentimes means shattering trust with those closest to them.
In order to recover from addiction and family dysfunctions, treatment is needed for more than just the person suffering from substance abuse.
Depending on relationship particulars, the effect of substance abuse has distinct effects on the family structure. For instance, an addicted father may try to make up for his deficiencies to his young children by overcompensating in other ways. Cognizant of his neglect, he will get swallowed by the guilt and either act out in anger or act out in shame. Anyone close to the person suffering from addiction will often experience feelings of anxiety, abandonment, fear, anger, concern, guilt, or embarrassment.
Addiction and Family Patterns of Interaction
The National Library of Medicine outlines 6 common interactions found in families where someone is suffering from substance abuse.
Negativism: Family communication is generally negative met with insults, nagging, distrust, complaints, criticism, and displeasure. The overall household mood is downtrodden, and the negativity can act as a reinforcer for the substance abuse.
Parental Inconsistency: The household is usually unpredictable when it comes to rules and enforcement, which leads to confusion from the children in understanding appropriate boundaries and being able to adjust accordingly.
Parental Denial: Despite obvious warning signs, a parent will be completely oblivious to the severity of the problem.
Miscarried Expression of Anger: Substance abuse often arrives after a child or parent attempts to manage repressed anger due to long-term resentment of an emotionally deprived home. Without feeling safe to express their anger, substance use becomes a seeming solution.
Self-Medication: Using drugs or alcohol as a remedy for an underlying mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.
Unrealistic Parental Expectations: In short, when a person is pushed with unrealistic high expectations, they will eventually feel that nothing they ever do is enough. Because of this, they will either withdraw or joke to deflect the pain, eventually succumbing to the idea that they can alleviate themselves from all expectations by simply calling themselves a junkie, pothead, or speed freak.
Without the proper treatment, addiction can leave a family with unhealed wounds that have the potency to last a lifetime.
Enroll at Our Arizona Rehab
At First Step Center of Arizona in Scottsdale, we offer a men’s program that can get you back on track. Our clinical team works hard to ensure the best outcomes for clients.
Some of our most utilized programs and therapies are:
- Residential Treatment
- Partial Hospitalization Treatment
- Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient Treatment
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment
- 12 Step Program
- SMART Recovery
Heal Your Addiction and Family with First Step Center
Finally, don’t put off seeking help for your addiction and family problems. There is quality treatment available at First Step Center of Arizona that can put you on the right track in less time than you might think. If you’re tired of letting addiction control your life, call us today at 866.832.6398. We’d love to help you identify the right program for your specific needs!