Dealing with addiction can be tough, both for the addict and for those closest to them. No matter the type of addiction, there is a high chance changes in the addict’s behavior will impact their relationship with those around them. However, there are resources to help families cope with these situations and help them better contribute to the recovery of the addict.
Any caring family worries about the state of someone with an addiction problem within the family. The addict in the family could be either a parent or a ward, and the effects of the addiction could impact the entire family in various ways. So how does the whole family cope, considering addiction recovery is not often a short journey?
If you have been in search of resources for families of addicts, you are in the right place. In this article, we will look into the impact of addiction on families and possible addiction support for families in general.
How Does Addiction Impact Families?
The effect of addiction on families are numerous and can either be reversible or might have long-lasting damage to the existing relationship. Some of these effects include:
Loss of trust: The basis of any relationship is trust, and trust relies on honesty and forthrightness to exist. Addicts are often not honest with their partners, parents, or children, eventually losing trust in the home.
Financial instability: Many addictions are costly, and because of the effect of the addictive substances, addicts end up spending too much money maintaining their dangerous lifestyle. This affects the general finances of their home and prevents the addicts from taking responsibility for basic things at home.
Change in family roles: A person with an addiction is often unable to fulfill some of their family roles, and these roles go beyond just financial roles. For example, a father who is an alcoholic cannot spend quality time with his children besides the fact that he cannot fulfill his financial obligations to the home. This forces the hand of the other partner to assume more responsibilities in the home.
Impact on children in the family: The impact of addiction on children in the family can be devastating. They include psychological trauma, where the addicted parent maltreats the child, and physical trauma, where addicted parents cause bruises or injuries. Children in homes with addiction also experience neglect, which can eventually lead to children taking on their parents’ addictions.
When cases of addiction affect the parent’s inability to take care of their children, they are eventually removed from their care. This contributes greatly to the number of children in foster care across the country. An estimated 38.9% of children removed from their homes and placed in out-of-home care had parental alcohol and other drug abuse as a condition of removal, according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and Treatment Episode Data Set Admissions (TEDS-A).
What Can Be Done for Families of Those with Addictions?
With the toll addiction takes on the family, there is a need for such families to get help. There are various resources for alcoholics families and families coping with an addict. This can help them cope better and also help the recovery of the addict in the family.
Families of addicts need all the help they can get, especially the children. Specialized support can be provided for children in such families, helping them understand the problems and teaching them how to avoid going down the same road. But there are other steps families of addicts can take; these include:
Going to Therapy: This is helpful for families with an addict. While it is well known that addicts need therapy, their families also need therapy sessions to deal with and unpack the conflicting emotions they are dealing with. They should have both individual and family sessions with their therapists.
Learn to take care of themselves: Many families are usually stuck in the loop of looking out for the addict, and they do not get to take care of their own needs. As much as possible, spouses of addicts should get enough sleep and eat healthily too.
Accept that there is a limit to what you can do: Dealing with a family member who is an addict causes worry, and that’s understandable, but it’s also important to know there are limits to what you can do for them. Understanding these limits will help the family cope better and help the addict’s journey to recovery too.
Join a family support group: The addiction problem is pervasive, and families face the exact hardships yours face too. A support group helps develop a community and also helps your family learn better methods to aid the addict in the family.
Are There Support Groups for Families of Addicts?
There are various support groups for families that are coping with an addict. CFC recovery provides resources for families of addicts and has a family support program to help families better deal with addiction.CFC recovery is committed to helping individuals and families fight addiction and seek a better quality of life. We provide various services that help recovery and consultation on addiction-related issues. We have been on this mission for a decade now and have qualified professionals at your service. Are you struggling with an addiction? Reach out to us today, and we will help you with the next steps.