Tag: family recovery

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Effects on the Family

What Are the Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse on the Family?

drug and alcohol abuse effects 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.

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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.

Why is your family member an addict?

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.

How do you deal with your family now that you’re sober?

What Are the Benefits of Family Therapy?

-Understanding
-Peace of mind
-Solve problems
-Enhance relationships
-Move forward from the past
-Communicate concerns
-Emotional connection
-Creating a supportive environment
-Process separation or divorce
-Conflict resolution

What Are the Benefits for the Family After the Alcoholic or Addict Receives Help?

-Decreased stress
-Happiness
-Growth
-Stronger relationships
-Love and faith
-Mended relationships
-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

My Brother is in Rehab…What Now?

You’re in Recovery and Your Brother is in Rehab…What Do You Do?

By: Tim Myers

Nothing. You do nothing. Nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary. You do nothing. Well, maybe make a sign that says Do Nothing, and hang it next to your bed.

I’m in recovery. I’ve been sober for almost four years. My brother’s in treatment and is scheduled to get out in just a few days. I’m not handling it very well.

family in rehab

First of all I’m like, “WHY WASN’T I A BETTER BROTHER!!??” That’s just me being a drama king. I know how I’ve lived my life for the past three years has showed him that we can recover. I know that, but still the feeling that I could’ve done more to prevent his addiction pops up.

Having those thoughts is arrogant as all hell. I’m not more powerful than addiction. If I were, I probably wouldn’t have pretended I was superman, tied a bath towel to my neck, and jumped from my horrible ex-girlfriend’s second story bedroom window…twice.

After I call my sponsor, I know it’s not my fault, but now I think I’m Superman again. “I CAN HELP, I CAN HELP, LOOK I’M SOBER!” Good for me, I should be sober! I shouldn’t get special attention now that my brother is hurting. Lord knows I’ve had my family’s attention for far to long anyway.

Is addiction genetic? Find out the link between addiction and genes today!

Helping Myself…Helps My Brother

My brother, the one in treatment, used to call me the “golden child.” He didn’t call me this because I was really fantastic, but because when I messed up my parents would say, “OH TIMMY!” and when I would do great things, like stay sober for a few moths, they’d say, “OH TIMMY!”

So, enough of Timmy. I’m not needed to help my brother right now. I’m not qualified and I’m still a newcomer. If my family could’ve gotten me sober, I wouldn’t have ended up in nine rehabs in five different sates in a ten-year period. My brother needs his space. He needs his own path, his own story, and his own life. I know this, so I’ll unpack my bags.

I’m sitting here racking my brain, trying to figure out what I can do. I realize anything I do to try and help my brother could possibly hurt him. I also realize that anything I do to help myself might help my brother.

This is the time I need to hit more meetings. This is the time I need to check out Al-Anon. This is the time to connect with fellow recovering friends who’ve been through the same struggles.

I could raise my hand at a meeting. I could buy a drunk I’m not related to a cup of coffee. I could pray and mediate. The best thing I can do for my brother is take care of myself. The worst thing I can do is get so caught up in his stuff that I let my own program fall into the pit.

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Attraction Rather Than Promotion

I look back to when I had five months sober. I looked at my sponsor like an older brother. If he had relapsed, it would have been a major blow to the idea that recovery is real and possible. It would have been a major blow to the idea that God is real and he loves me. If I go down, if I drink, there may not be too many other role models for my brother to look towards.

It wasn’t my fault. Thank God. I shouldn’t put the cape on and save the day (because it can’t be saved by anyone other than God).

I need to do nothing for my brother. I need to remain where I am. I need to take car of myself in all the ways I want to take care of him. I need to do nothing for my brother. I need to do everything for myself and the others who ask for my help.

I can do nothing for my brother right now, but by doing nothing, I may be helping him get everything.

Learn how to get your family back after addiction

Am I Doomed to be an Addict? The Link Between Addiction and Genes

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Kevin McEnroe’s Story: Addiction and Genetics

On July 15th, Kevin McEnroe was arrested on drug charges. Kevin is the son of tennis legend John McEnroe and Academy Award winning actress Tatum O’Neal.

Addiction and Genetics

Kevin was arrested in New York City’s East Village. Upon searching him, police found a LOT of drugs. In total, they confiscated: one Tranxene pill, six bags of coke, ten Morphine pills, ten unidentified pills, and twenty oxycodone pills.

Kevin’s dealer was also arrested. He was carrying thirteen bags and three large vials of coke.

Learn why healthy family dynamics are vital for sobriety

So What’s the Big Deal?

Another privileged white guy from New York arrested for drug possession. Is this story even news? At first glance, maybe it isn’t. Let’s dig just a bit deeper, though.

Did you know that both his father and mother are addicts? That’s right, John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal both used to get high.

John got sober a long time ago, but Tatum is a different story. She was sober for a number of years. She even wrote a bestselling memoir about her addiction. In 2008, she was arrested for attempting to buy crack.

This raises the REAL question, is addiction genetic?

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Is Addiction Genetic?

There’s no easy answer for the question of whether addiction is genetic. It is and it isn’t. There are some hard facts, though.

• Addiction is about 50% genetic and 50% environmental

• Children of addicts are eight times more likely to become addicts themselves

• Your genes aren’t your destiny

This last part is important. Remember, addiction is part genetic and part environmental. That’s where personal growth and individual responsibility come in.

What do you do when a family member’s in rehab?

Why is Addiction Genetic?

One of the reasons genes play such a large role in addiction is that, millions of years ago, they served an important purpose. Think about it like this – when an animal eats a food that’s good for it, there’s an evolutionary advantage to associating pleasure with that food.

Today, humans no longer need this particular gene, but it’s still there. It’s hardwired into our makeup by millions of years of evolution. Because we no longer need to associate pleasure with berries, the gene finds other ways to work. It tells our brain “wow, that hit of crack was great!” or “I should do heroin again.”

Am I in Trouble?

Addiction being partly genetic means different things for different people. However, we can offer some broad suggestions.

First, find out if your family has a history of addiction. This will let you know whether you’re genetically at risk. If there is a family history of addiction, you should abstain from drug and alcohol use. If you choose not to abstain, you should have a third party, like a therapist, monitor your use carefully. If there’s no family history of addiction, well, you should still carefully monitor your alcohol and drug use!

Now, what about if you’re in recovery and want children? There’s definitely a family history of addiction. The best thing you can do is pass on healthy coping skills to your children. This can mean bringing them to meetings with you, so they’re aware of the dangers they face from substances. This can mean becoming involved in family therapy. This can mean inviting them to join in your prayer and meditation routine.

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