What Are the Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse on the Family?
Family and friends in active addiction take a huge toll on daily life. Not only does drug and alcohol abuse affect the user, it also affect the family. Therapy for both the user and family is a great way to begin to understand the recovery process.
What Happens to the Family when a Child or Parent Is an Addict or Alcoholic?
Money Problems: One of the most stressful issues a family can experience is financial insecurity. Addicts and alcoholics have been known to steal from their family, in order to maintain their drug and alcohol use. All the issues listed below have price tags attached to them. Paying for hospital bills, detox centers, and treatment can be expensive, even with insurance helping.
Emotional Stress: Dealing with addiction is NOT easy. The process can be a long and difficult one. Not knowing what’s going on beneath your roof, not knowing what to expect from a loved one, not knowing what each day will bring – these are all incredibly stressful things. Therapy is recommended.
Violence: While under the influence, addicts and alcoholics may act out violently. This violence affects the family emotionally and physically. It can also affect the family financially, if the law’s involved.
Legal Issues: Legal issues are common among alcoholics and addicts. Dealing with things like DUI’s, and possession charges, can hurt families financially. Dealing with a family member being arrested and jailed costs money. Not to mention the incredible inconvenience and emotional strain.
Separation: All the stress of emotional, financial, personal, or legal issues can take its toll on familial relationships. This can be too much for many couples to overcome and may lead to separation or divorce. Things may not get this dire, but the family may feel ashamed and isolate from their community and friends.
Neglect of Other Members: When one family member has a problem, other members may be neglected. This can lead to feelings of jealousy, resentment, and anger. Focusing on the illness of one individual can hurt the rest of the family.
Health Issues: The lifestyle of active addiction takes a huge toll on the mind and body. The effects of drug and alcohol abuse create a ton of short and long term issues. Family members have to deal with the emotional pain of finding their loved ones unconscious, taking them to hospitals, or things like that. They may also have to deal with their loved ones having serious medical issues, including: liver failure, accidental harm to self or others, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, driving under the influence, etc.
It’s important to understand that the above issues weren’t created on purpose. The addict or alcoholic is pulled along by forces outside of their control. Although that isn’t an excuse, understanding these personal issues makes things much easier for everyone involved.
Twelve-Step Fellowships for Family Members
AA and NA offer many meetings for family members to help build their understanding of addiction as a disease. They also offer a chance to engage and connect with others dealing with the same issues.
Al-Anon Meetings: (for adults) For those who have been affected by an alcoholic of addict family member.
Alateen Meetings: (for teens) For teens who have been affected by an alcoholic or addict family member.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a form of counseling that diagnoses and treats family relationships. Family therapy often breaks down the role that each individual plays in the larger whole of the family. By examining how these roles are faulty, or how to improve as individuals, the family becomes more comfortable, and better able to assist each other.
What Are the Benefits of Family Therapy?
-Peace of mind
-Move forward from the past
-Creating a supportive environment
-Process separation or divorce
What Are the Benefits for the Family After the Alcoholic or Addict Receives Help?
-Love and faith
-Independence of the addict or alcoholic
Addiction affects the entire family, not just the individual using. It’s a progressive and deadly disease, therefore successful treatment must be just as progressive and specialized. Fortunately, Lighthouse Recovery Institute takes this idea to heart.
We offer Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment, so our patients can focus on what’s important while in treatment and begin living healthy and successful lives.
Call Lighthouse today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015 to learn more about the importance of gender-specific substance abuse treatment.
Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Guiding You to a Brighter Tomorrow