Breaking the Family Cycle of Addiction
Addiction is known as the ‘family disease’ and this is true in more ways than one. It is a family disease because the effects of addiction are felt by not only the individual struggling with addiction but everyone around them. However, addiction is also a family disease in the sense that it has a genetic component to it, and that individuals are predisposed to have an addiction. Of course, environmental factors come into play here, but for some, addiction is unavoidable.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or any other substance and in need of immediate help, please call Blueprints for Recovery today to discover how we may be able to help you with recovery.
Breaking the Cycle of Addiction
Is it even possible to break the cycle of family addiction if it is genetically predisposed or inherited? It may seem impossible, but there are solutions.
The most effective way to stop the cycle of addiction from continuing in the family is to avoid abusing drugs and alcohol. With the right environment and lifestyle, addiction can be avoided in families. This is true even if the parent is an alcoholic. Children who grow up in addicted families can escape becoming a statistic of addiction themselves if they have strong relationships with others who live a sober and healthy life. Positive role models are important to children in these types of environments, whether they are teachers, coaches, or extended family members. Since the frontal lobe of a child's brain, which is responsible for mature decision making, is not fully developed until the age of 25, only adults will be able to recognize the importance of escaping addiction.
Some key points to break the cycle could be:
- Staying away from negative people
- Finding a mentor or someone older who is able to guide and advise
- Getting the authorities involved if one feels threatened
- Knowing that the addiction is not anyone else’s fault except for the person struggling with it
The Benefits of Family Therapy
There are a lot of benefits to be gained by attending family therapy:
- Obtaining a better understanding of addiction. It is important to learn how it affects behavior takes place when the family gets educated about drugs and addiction.
- Awareness of family dynamics. This includes knowing how everyone should be treated in a way to achieve the most positive outcome. Maladaptive family patterns go a long way towards contributing to continuing substance abuse.
- Improved communication. This is especially true where there might have been little or no communication within the family. This is essential and will require the family as a whole to be emotionally invested in getting a successful outcome.
- Regaining of trust. Family members who struggle with addiction can also be dishonest and lie and steal for their habit. Others in the family may find it difficult to open their hearts to help the individual, and therapy will help mend this breach.
- Setting boundaries. It is never easy to clarify boundaries, but it is a necessary step forward in the goal of healthy recovery for the family. All family members are encouraged to set healthy boundaries, including detaching from anyone who is still in active addiction.
- Finally, self-care is important. In addiction treatment, the focus is mostly on the individual struggling with addiction, but other family members may learn that they need help too.
Do you have a family member who is struggling to with addiction? Our staff and programs support individualized programs to help resolve addictive behaviors and can help the whole family start healing. Call us today on (888) 744-9969.