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Family Therapy in Treatment

When most people think of those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions, they only think of how those addictions are adversely affecting the addicts themselves. Addicts make bad decisions and problems that cause disorder and pain within their lives. Rarely do people consider in the beginning how a dependency may be affecting the household of an addict/alcoholic. And more often than perhaps not, most people do not think how family members and family units may contribute to dependency.

It should be noted that the affects can be extremely damaging, when it comes to drug and alcohol habits affecting your family of an addict/alcoholic. It’s possible that verbal and even physical abuse become issues when a dependency occurs. The family of an addict or alcoholic usually experiences a great amount of mental pain because they watch their loved one damage themselves again and again. Trust may be lost, resentments may build, and the relationships in a family can become very difficult between your addict and other family members.

Let’s also maybe not forget that the presence of addiction in a single person in a family can result in the growth of addiction in other members of the family later on. This can be most frequent with addicted parents setting a good example for their kids to check out.

When drugs or alcohol are part of family life, children learn in the beginning to control their emotions, withdraw from family interaction, act out or as a means to control their environment self-medicate. Members of the family develop methods for coping that are more and more dysfunctional, because addiction and alcoholism are gradual. Often the children are left to fend for themselves or accept the part of parenting other children within the family.

Several of the characteristics that children develop in response to addiction or alcoholism include:

* Anxiety

* Depression

* Helplessness

* Hypervigilance

* Desire to self medicate

* High danger behavior

* PTSD

Obviously, addressing the household in rehab is essential. The addict will come back to the same dysfunctional family system while the addict is in therapy, once therapy is accomplished when it is maybe not addressed. This increases the incidence of relapse and also creates the family members for failed relationships later on. Family therapy will help identify unhealthy patterns in the family. Therapy will help family increase trust and communication.

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