Personal Care

Fighting against drug addiction: how to protect your family?

When a family lives with an addicted member, everyone is affected. The whole family feels how emotional, psychological, financial, and environmental sides of their lives are changing, and not for the better. Sometimes, an addict demonstrates questionable behavior in order to keep their drug abuse. They may steal, lie, and manipulate family members.

It’s important not to give in to the feeling of despair and powerlessness. Encourage your spouse or a child who is struggling with addiction to seek help. All of you can find it at a family rehab.

What is family rehab?

A lot of family rehab centers provide comprehensive support for individuals who are willing to stop abusing drugs and at least one of their family members who want to assist in recovery. There, an addicted person receives treatment and learns to control their addiction effectively, and non-addicted family members focus on restoring the healthy relationships within the family. Thus, the program focuses rather on the system than on the individual.

Family rehab treatment is provided in two formats:

  • Inpatient rehab. An addict lives in residential treatment facilities where he/she is monitored by staff personnel. Some rehabs house spouses or even children of the patient. But mostly, non-addicted members of the family visit facilities to take part in the therapy. This option is recommended for people with severe and long-term addictions or those who have co-occurring mental or medical health conditions.
  • Outpatient rehab. A patient continues living at home with his/her family and visits a facility to get treatment regularly. Family members join them when it’s required.

Why choose family rehab?

Family therapy focuses on the interpersonal relationships that occur within one family unit. It can help people to evolve from a loving family with good intentions to a strong and supportive unit that meets everyone’s needs.

Family therapy lasts 2 or 3 months. You’ll get counseling and training designed to form the following skills:

  • Conflict solving
  • Setting appropriate boundaries
  • Relapse prevention
  • Effective communication, including voicing and discussing the developmental needs of every family member.

Parents are asked to engage their children in family therapy sessions. Teenagers and adults learn to support their parents during and after residential addiction treatment. They feel freer to address the problematic issues in a safe, secure, and controlled environment.

Family therapy includes a children’s program designed specifically for small kids. It aims at teaching them to talk about their feelings, develop self-care skills, and improve communication with their moms or dads.

The techniques used in work with kids include games, artwork, role-play exercises and other entertaining activities. The playful form allows explaining complex issues to the youngest members of the family. Parents participate in some therapy sessions together with their kids in order to establish healthy communication.

Is family therapy really helpful and why?

Completing a treatment program in a family rehabilitation center will contribute to long-lasting sobriety of the patient and benefit his/her loved people. A meta-analysis done by Institute of Psychiatry National Addiction Centre London, UK, found out that family therapy is more effective for drug abuse than such non-family approaches as individual and group therapy.

British researchers analyzed 13 studies that compared family or couples therapy with non-family or non-couples therapy. Patients who underwent the therapy with their spouses, children, or parents showed greater reductions in drug use than did patients who received individual counseling. Family counseling turned out to be effective in both adults and adolescents.

All in all, adding the family members to the recovery process is the best option. Family counseling allows people to distinguish the wrong and right ways to approach substance abuse and addiction treatment and recovery. Sometimes, having good intentions doesn’t mean dealing with a situation the right way. Everyone develops a solid foundation that will allow them to encourage continued recovery when they go back home.

Often, it makes sense to continue counseling post-treatment in order to keep relationships strong and prevent the victim of addiction from relapsing.

The most important thing any addicted individual needs is to know that they are not alone in their struggle and they can rely on someone. If a person you love is facing addiction, do not ignore the problem! Accept the addiction, the effects it makes on the family and relationship, and find a family rehab that will give you help you deserve.

About the Author

Jeffrey Buckley is a blogger who investigates human health issues and behaviorist anthropology. He researches substance abuse problems and the ways to overcome addictions.

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