Why Addiction Treatment Should Include Family Therapy

Some families think that placing their loved ones into a substance abuse treatment program will solve all their problems with their loved ones in a snap of a finger. While this is a first and critical step to helping your loved one begin their recovery process, it can be hard for them to stay in recovery without support from family.

Struggling from addiction is a difficult concept to process for many. Some various myths and misconceptions shroud it, making people deal with their affected relatives in the wrong ways. What typically happens with those struggling with substance abuse disorder is that they harbor resentment. These negative feelings can be destructive and are among the most common relapse triggers, making it difficult for even the most successful addiction treatment program to overcome. This risk of relapse is why family therapy is a must in the recovery process.

The Role of the Family

Leaving your loved ones to the counselors and doctors’ hands in a substance abuse clinic or rehab is the first step to helping them. However, there are plenty of unprocessed emotions and hurt feelings buried deep due to years of drug or alcohol abuse. Addiction can at times turn people into the worst versions of themselves, which plays into how they interact with family and friends.

Treating substance abuse is never linear, and there will always be roadblocks that make the whole process of recovery difficult. Perhaps hurtful behaviors have been done in the past, or favoritism has been prominent in the family. These seemingly small things can be why resentments occur and are sometime the cause of why people abuse drugs or alcohol in the first place.

One of the many end goals of substance abuse treatment is to repair broken family relationships, as these sometimes can be lost to addiction. Since the family always has a role in a person’s life, whether during youth or even currently, the processing of emotions can heal the familial ecosystem.

Healing Broken Relationships

There is plenty of mistrust and frustration when families deal with drug or alcohol addiction. Often, the concept at play is called “codependency,” where many issues arise. This codependency often makes people enablers and can cause anger and many arguments between the addicted person and others.

Healing broken relationships comes with removing behaviors that are damaging and cultivating the right ways to deal with tough times and decisions. An example of this is teaching parents who have always given their children everything they ever wanted to say no to manipulative behaviors. Parents who can learn healthy boundaries and know what is fair and unfair in helping their affected child will help heal broken relationships. Likewise, patients will be able to express their pains, shame, and other wounds that might have surfaced.

Other times, parents who suffer from substance abuse can be put into family therapy with their children to discuss the nature of their actions. Often, processing these emotions can help people understand the nature of addiction and how to help each other in the recovery process.

Working with Professionals to Heal Age-Old Wounds

There are various reasons why people’s addictive personalities surface. While they are often a cause of genetics and hereditary means, the environment in which people grow up plays a huge role in how they mature as adults. Years or even decades of unprocessed emotions and things swept under the rug can be damaging to relationships. Family therapy can help uncover the deepest underlying pains and resentments integral in helping addicts in recovery and relapse prevention.

American Treatment Network is a substance abuse clinic in Havertown, PA, that offers a holistic approach to addressing opioid and alcohol addiction. We provide medication-assisted treatment, as well as individual, group, and family counseling. Contact us to get help today.


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