Family Therapy and Substance Abuse

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Family Therapy and Substance Abuse


The Benefits of Family Therapy in Drug Rehab

Family counseling plays a vital role in the success of the patient’s long-term success from the turmoil of drug or alcohol addiction. It enables the therapist to assess the family system and the unique issues the family has experienced. The purpose is to assist the family as well as the patient to understand the disease of addiction and how to stop the vicious cycle. Family counseling aims to encourage understanding and collaboration among family members to solve the issues within the system.

Our goal during inpatient drug rehab or outpatient drug rehab is to empower the family to change and to allow harmony to return to their lives. With our compassionate and experienced team of clinicians and family support staff, we are available around the clock to support the family with their own journey of recovery.

Impact of Substance Abuse on Families

Based on our philosophy of individualized addiction treatment, we support a wide range of treatment options for the patient and their family. Each therapist will work with the family unit as a complete system and on an individual basis to create a plan based on the family dynamics. The treatment model for each family is dependent on the age of the patient and the gravity of the problems at hand.

Family members can often cope with drug addiction and alcoholism in unhealthy ways, often starting out by living in denial about the addiction or the severity of the problem. Codependency can result when someone must adapt to dysfunction in the family system. Codependency can often be confused with helping. Codependent behaviors are learned thoughts and behaviors that can lead to neglecting your own needs in favor of being concerned with a loved one’s problems.

Additionally, members of the family may experience feelings of abandonment, anxiety, anger, frustration, concern or guilt with the individual abusing substances or alcohol. People who abuse substances are likely to find themselves increasingly isolated from their families and peers. Often, they prefer associating with others who abuse substances or participate in some other form of antisocial activity.

Family Counseling for Parents

The unfortunate fact about drug or alcohol addiction is that it impacts the lives of everyone who loves the addict. Oftentimes parents of addicts and alcoholics feel isolated and alone in terms of how to handle their family member’s substance use or mental health.

It is imperative during family counseling with parents of addicts and alcoholics that they understand that they did not cause the addiction, they cannot control the addiction and they also can not cure the addiction. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we include such an emphasis on the family component to empower the parents to take back the control in their relationship with the addict and put them in the path to success. The goal is to help the family find the line between enabling and encouraging their child’s recovery process in addiction treatment.

Family Counseling for Spouses

One of the most challenging experiences a marriage can have may come when one spouse battles with drug or alcohol addiction. When this issue becomes paramount within a marriage, there are many barriers that can be present which can create difficulty in terms of drug addiction treatment and the recovery process. Spouses might have a feeling of powerlessness while their significant other is actively using drugs or alcohol in an addictive manner. The constant fear and cycle of false promises and relapse create an emotional roller coaster within the marriage.

As part of our inpatient drug treatment program, we engage both the patient and the spouse in the recovery process. The best addiction treatment programs involve family members in their loved one’s treatment. Through the family counseling program, we educate the spouse on the process of recovery and the risk factors associated with relapse. Everyone in the family system needs to have a relapse prevention plan and an aftercare plan when the spouse returns home after the treatment episode is completed, which our clinicians assist with prior to discharge. We work on the underlying issues in the marriage and barriers cultivating a more communicative and intimate domestic partnership such as communication, forgiveness, and preparedness for setbacks.

Treating Trauma in Addiction Treatment Center

In many cases, these symptoms will severely disrupt the life of the individual who has undergone significant trauma. As life is continuously disrupted and symptoms prove difficult to overcome (without intensive, professional therapeutic care, the psychological effects of trauma will prove lasting), individuals with trauma may turn to self-medication as a means of symptom reduction. At first, self-medication works – yet, this is how the cycle of substance abuse can initiate as an unhealthy way to cope.

Drugs and alcohol can numb the pain successfully for a given period of time, working to alleviate any potential physical symptoms while actively anesthetizing painful emotions. However, the issues are not being resolved – the underlying causes of the mental, physical, and spiritual anguish is not being addressed or treated. It is only a matter of time before the drugs and alcohol cease to be effective in coping, and an individual is left in a state of despair and hopelessness even worse than before.

Types of Family Therapy Available

Family counseling for addiction is based on best practiced and evidenced-based treatment modalities. Due to the range of sources, family therapies for substance abuse could differ based on the specific model the therapist is utilizing for the specific family system. Each of our programs at Lighthouse Recovery Institute will integrate family therapy and incorporate the family at different levels to best fit the individual’s needs and the family’s goals. If substance abuse has been negatively impacting your life or a family member’s life, it may be time to seek out family therapy. Call today for more information and appropriate treatment options.



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Lighthouse Recovery Institute