Drug addiction, behavioral addictions, and alcoholism are disorders that can have a drastic, negative impact on the lives of family members and loved ones of those who suffer. It is a common misconception that only the individual with the addiction is affected by drug use, and therefore, is the only person in need of treatment. However, addiction has shown to have a grave influence on an addict’s entire family. As a result of this, family therapy is a commonly sought out counseling program at Restore Treatment Center, and is widely utilized by alcohol and drug rehab facilities across the country.
Addiction in the family is a painful and exhausting experience for all of those involved. Family therapy is an essential component of our addiction rehab programs at Restore Drug Treatment LA, as it benefits every member of the family unit. This form of therapy can provide an additional level of support and help mend relationships that became damaged or broken due to the addict’s excessive use of drugs or alcohol. Our family therapy program is also designed to educate each member about the importance of their roles within the addict’s treatment and recovery.
Codependency is a common issue found in substance abuse and addiction. Codependent relationships are generally formed between an addict and his or her family members. These relationships can fuel an addiction, as each family member’s role may inadvertently enable or justify self-destructive behaviors, or divert attention away from the problem in order to protect the addict. Parents and siblings of the addicted person take on these roles in an attempt to keep the family functioning. Family roles in addiction include:
- The Caretaker: Also known as the ‘enabler,’ the caretaker has the closest relationship with the addict. The family member who plays this role is usually the person who cleans up after the addict’s mistakes. He or she frequently makes excuses for the addict’s behavior to disguise the existence of a problem. The caretaker is known to take on many of the addict’s responsibilities, such as completing chores or making payments on bills. This individual may be in complete denial of the addict’s problem, or is hoping that their efforts will help them get through to the addict. The caretaker’s intention is to protect the addict, however, they are ultimately feeding the addiction and hindering their loved one’s ability to face the fact that they need help.
- The Hero: This is usually the oldest sibling in the family. He or she feels as though it is their responsibility to be the person that everyone in the family can depend on. When there is an addiction in the family, the hero will be the one who steps up, takes control, and holds the family together. The hero will sacrifice their own needs to put the family’s needs first.
- The Scapegoat: The scapegoat is the person who serves as a distraction from the addict. This person is known to be the troublemaker in the family. The addict’s behavior will be overlooked if there is someone playing the role of the scapegoat. This either prevents other family members from detecting an addiction in the family, or helps them avoid having to come to terms with it.
- The Mascot: The mascot works effortlessly to make light of a bad situation. This individual is usually the jokester in the family and attracts attention away from negativity by providing amusement through cheerful entertainment.
- The Lost Child: This role is taken on by someone who chooses to detach themselves from the inner circle to avoid getting caught up in family problems that are caused by the addiction. They remain in the background, going unnoticed and bringing little attention to themselves. The lost child does their best not to contribute any conflict towards the situation, and may believe that they play a trivial or unimportant role in the family.
Addiction in the family is a troubling problem that many people have difficulty dealing with. Although family members take on these roles in an effort to maintain balance in the family unit, it only enables the addiction and further complicates the structure of the family. At Restore Treatment Center, we help families identify these roles, so that every member – not just the addict – can make positive changes to their own behavior.
There is often much to repair in terms of family relationships when a person struggles with addiction. Family therapy can be the beginning of this repair process. Family addiction counseling helps to progress the addict’s recovery, as well as rebuild strength and peace within the family.
At Restore Drug Rehab LA, our family therapy program gives each participant the opportunity to relay the level of impact that the drug or alcohol dependence has caused them, to the addicted individual. Family therapy takes place in a safe setting and is carefully conducted in a practical fashion. This helps to better ensure that the addict does not feel attacked, and that each member of the family can sufficiently communicate their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Counseling sessions at Restore Treatment Center are conducted by professionals who specialize in dealing with family trauma and addiction. Our counselors delicately guide sessions in a manner that benefits each member of the family, including the addict.
With time, and much communication, relationships and trust between family members and the addict are repaired and rebuilt. This is vital to an addict’s recovery, as the success of addiction treatment relies heavily on having a strong support system after leaving the rehab facility, and therefore, having a healthy relationship with family members is important.
Overcoming drug or alcohol dependence on your own is known to be dangerous and extremely difficult, if not impossible. It takes help from trained addiction professionals and the support of family members and loved ones for recovery to be attainable. At Restore Drug Rehab LA, we believe that families play a significant role in the treatment process, and strongly encourage that each member of the addict’s family be involved in therapy.
If your family is suffering from the disease of addiction due to a loved one’s alcohol or drug addiction, Restore Treatment Center is fully equipped to provide you with the help your family needs.