Addiction is a Family Disease
Addiction is a Family Disease.
Not only does it affect the person with Substance Use Disorder, each person their life touches is impacted. There is no specific guide book on how to handle a loved one’s addiction. Children find navigating the complex nature of addiction very difficult, especially when it is a parent who is struggling.
Thankfully, groups such as Al-Anon, Alateen, and National Association for Children of Addiction exist. Adult Children of Alcoholics describe themselves as a group of individuals desiring to recover from growing up with an addicted parent. Through these groups, attendees begin to heal. Their themes include hope, support, and healing. As adults, you can address trauma experienced in childhood with a new method. A lot of time is focused on repairing their “inner child”.
It is no secret that if you want treatment to work, you must address any underlying issues. Childhood trauma is a very likely influence for adult substance abuse. If the circumstances fueling the addiction are not put out, the fire will continue to rage. Not even an ember can be left. While witnessing a parent struggle with addiction can be traumatizing, children of substance abusers can still become addicted themselves. While it may be through learned behavior, genetics, or to suppress feelings it happens.
So, what do you do if you see a family member struggling with addiction?
Say something. It is always best to confront something before it spirals out of control. Take the time to truly analyze how your loved ones are coping with life, not just what they’re saying. Sometimes signs of struggle can be overlooked. If you think a loved one might be struggling with addiction confront them while they are alone and make it apparent you are coming from a loving place of concern, not judgement.
At Seabrook, we have a program to help families navigate the throws of addiction together. Families begin to heal and strengthen bonds strained by addiction during our three-day, shared family experience. Offered in a group setting that creates a sense of safety and acceptance, Seabrook’s Family Matrix encourages loved ones to explore relationships and discuss addiction-related topics in depth.
- Identifying enabling behaviors
- Setting appropriate boundaries
- Discovering common goals
- Learning about the disease of addiction
- Understanding the latest research on addiction
Once families have a clear picture of how addiction affects individual members and hijacks family dynamics, they can begin restructuring relationships with a new sense of hope as the miracle of recovery is revealed. Seabrook’s experienced and loving counselors use vision boards and mindfulness techniques to help family members solidify the Family Matrix experience with common goals that propel the group forward with a new spirit.
Where Can I Receive Help?
Seabrook is proud to be a CARF-accredited facility and a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), an organization promoting best-practices in the fields of behavioral health and evidence-based addiction recovery. Emphasizing the role of the family throughout residential and outpatient treatment, our team will meet you where you are and provide the tools your family needs to achieve freedom and restoration from substance misuse.
To learn more about Seabrook’s Family Matrix program, or one of our other addiction and co-occurring disorder treatment programs, you can call our admissions team at 800.761.7575.