Tag: therapy

Drug Addiction Is a Family Disease

Drug Addiction Impacts the Entire Family

There’s no way around the fact that drug addiction is a family disease. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it affects more than just the addict alone. It’s often that people hear about what addiction does to the person abusing drugs or alcohol, such as how it affects their body, mind, and life. But how often does anyone really hear about just how much drug addiction impacts the people that are closest to that person?

Addiction is a family disease because it deeply affects all of the people closest to the person with the addiction. For this reason, it is incredibly important for parents, spouses, children, and anyone else who is close to get help and counseling for the addiction, and to be a part of the addict’s recovery treatment.

Understanding Drug Addiction as a Family Disease

Treating drug addiction as the family disease that it is plays a critical role in the recovery of the individual who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. When an individual goes into treatment for drug addiction, they should be able to work on each of the underlying issues that pushed them to initially abuse drugs and alcohol in the first place.

Part of working on the underlying issues of addiction involves taking a look at the family. Did any trauma occur? Is there any tension between the family? How has addiction impacted the family and altered the family dynamic? These are the types of questions that will be discussed with the individual who is receiving treatment as well as the family during family sessions.

Family sessions are offered by the best drug rehab centers. Individuals receiving treatment for drug addiction are typically encouraged to share with their family about their treatment and invite them to a family session where they can work together on any underlying problems that may exist with a team of addiction professionals. Family members are also encouraged to be part of the recovery process and support their loved one – but not enable them.

Getting Involved in Your Loved One’s Addiction Treatment

Most rehabilitation facilities like Lighthouse offer these family programs. These programs are designed to help families cope with the trauma that comes along with addiction. We always encourage family members to be a part of the addicts drug addiction treatment. It is strongly recommended that the family participate on family days in-person or via skype if a personal visit isn’t possible and that they seek their own support system through programs like Al Anon or through a family psychologist.

It is important to be involved in your loved-one’s treatment so that you can keep tabs on their progress and know what issues are coming up while they are in rehab. You will have the opportunity to speak to their counselor individually and as a group with the patient. As difficult as it may be, it is important to listen to what is going on, be patient, and always be supportive of the addict’s progress.

Seeking Your Own Support

You will need to realize that you have a long path of healing and repair in front of you, so use the time that the addict is in treatment as a time to focus on you. Al Anon and Nar Anon meetings are a great way for loved ones of alcoholics and addicts to get support. These programs are similar to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings except that they cater strictly to the people dealing with loved ones who are alcoholics and addicts.

This may even be a great time for you to begin visiting a therapist as well. They will be able to give you tools to cope with any trauma from the past and anxiety for the future. Remember, the stronger you can make yourself, the stronger you can be for the addict, but you always need to take care of you.

Addiction is a Family Disease But Recovery Can Bring Families Together

When recovery is tackled as a team, it can bring families closer together than they ever were prior to addiction.

While no one wants to go through addiction and everything that goes along with it, if there is any silver lining its that with the right support, intervention, and a caring professional team, families can all walk away from treatment knowing much more about one another, and most importantly how they can all help each other live the best drug and alcohol free lives they can.

Do you have a loved one in need of treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism? Now is the time to advocate for your loved one and get them the help they need to recovery. Call Lighthouse today at 1-866-308-2090.


Why Does Staying Angry Keep Us Locked in Addiction?

Why are Addicts Always so Angry?

anger and addiction fuel each other

Anger and addiction go together like peanut butter and sardines, Christmas and menorahs, and a suit with sneakers.

Okay, those are some off-the-wall comparisons, but for good reason! Anger and addiction go together…but they shouldn’t!

I’ll explain exactly what I’m talking about below. First, though, here’s a bit of background – I found this insightful Psych Central article the other day. In it, Christine Hammond explores the intersection of anger and addictive behavior. Something we can all relate to, right?

I agree with her take on how anger fuels addiction, but think some solution is needed. Don’t you?

So, find my thoughts on how anger fans the flames of addiction and, more importantly, how to beat both anger and addiction below!

Anger & Addiction

It’s no secret that addicts and alcoholics are angry people. I say that as a man who’s lived both sides of the addiction coin – active drug use and years in recovery.

Guess what? I was angry in active addiction and angry in sobriety. My levels of anger cooled off considerably once I put down the drink and drugs, but they were still there.


Because anger and addiction are irrevocably intertwined. See, addicts and alcoholics don’t get loaded because we’re bad people – though we’ve certainly been known to do some bad things – we get loaded because we’re suffering from an emotional and mental disease.

On both fronts, mental and emotional, we struggle with anger and other character defects.

Sometimes this anger is directed at others. Phrases like how could you do that to me? Don’t you know what I’ve been through? If you lived me life, well, you’d get high too are all common refrains I used in active addiction.

Sometimes this anger is directed inwards. Thoughts like I’m a failure. I’m worthless and always mess everything up. I’m drunk again? What happened? bounced around my head on a daily basis.

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You want to know the cool thing about inwardly and outwardly directed anger? It’s actually just a symptom of a larger problem or issue.

I walked around angry for years of my life because A) I couldn’t accept not being in control of other peoples’ lives and B) I couldn’t accept not being in control of my own life.

After I ended up in like my 5 millionth rehab, a counselor pointed this out to me. My initial reaction to this jewel of wisdom was – drumroll please – anger!

After taking a minute to think about it, really think about it, I realized she was right. I was angry because, ultimately, I was powerless over much of what happens in this world.

Years, and a few thousand dollars of therapy, later…and I’m still powerless! The difference between today and back then? Today I accept my powerlessness. Today I embrace it and guess what?

I’m a lot less angry!

Beating Anger is also Beating Addiction

And this brings us to my grand point – my thesis if you want to get academic about it – anger kept me getting high for longer than I would have otherwise gotten high.

Don’t get me wrong, anger wasn’t the only emotional issue I dealt with and it certainly wasn’t the only reason I turned to drugs and alcohol. Still, if I’d been able to conquer my anger earlier – I’d also have gotten sober earlier.

Think about all the toxic stuff tied to anger. There’s self-pity, resentment, fear, jealously, and loneliness…just to name a few! That list could be increased by, oh, about 10 trillion.

Some of those, like resentments, are a byproduct of anger. Others, like fear, are tied into anger and fuel each other in a destructive fire of bad decisions.

So, how do we get rid of anger? How did I, a hopeless alcoholic and addict, beat anger and beat drugging and drinking?

The answer’s actually incredibly simple…but not easy!

Speaking of anger – why are alcoholics always so angry?

Want to Stop Being So Angry? Just Do This!

I stopped being so angry once…I let it go!

That’s the most generic advice ever, right? It’s also the most truthful advice I can offer about anger. If you want to stop being so angry, then stop being so angry!

beating anger is beating addiction

There were a few specific things I did to help speed this process along. After all, getting over anger can take a lifetime. Anything that can help cut down on some of these wasted years is certainly a plus.

To help let go of anger, I did the following:


  • Started going to intensive therapy – like twice a week intensive

  • Listened to what my therapist said. If she suggested I write a gratitude list or read a certain bit of cheesy, inspirational literature – I did

  • Attempt meditation and not the sitting cross-legged on the floor stuff, but sitting quietly with a prayer or saying and reflecting on just it means

  • Attended some anger management workshops and reached out to a community of recovering “rageoholics”

  • Started breathing exercises – even if I thought they were useless, I did them anyway

  • Took a long, hard look at my past and accepted where I was to blame in specific situations and resentments

After doing those…my anger wasn’t that hard to let go of. Ultimately, I have a choice. I can choose to be right – which often involves being angry – or I can choose to be happy.

I know what I choose. What about you?

Want to get better today? Find out how!

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.