Why Do They Say That Addiction is a Family Disease?

May 27, 2016 - , , - 0 Comments

Experts often say that alcohol or drug addiction is a family disease because spouses, children and parents are affected by an addict’s behavior in many ways. An addict may have a drastic change in their personality, making it impossible for them to act responsibly at home or work. In addition to angry outbursts or falling asleep while driving a vehicle, an addict may begin to steal money from an employer or relatives, leading to financial problems. An addict might lose their job, get kicked out of a college program or get arrested for possession of drugs.

The Pattern of Alcohol or Drug Addiction Affects Children

These poor behavior patterns begin to erode family relationships as a spouse becomes distrustful of the addict or a parent is unable to spend time with their other children. Children who grow up in a dysfunctional atmosphere with one or more addicted parents suffer from consequences such as lack of food or proper housing. There are studies that reveal that the children who grow up in a home where there are addicts will frequently repeat the same pattern as adults. Researchers are still trying to determine if the reason for this behavior is caused by a physical attraction to using drugs or alcohol or if it is because the children have learned that this behavior is appropriate.

Families of Addicts Need Counseling

In many cases, a family unit is ripped apart by addiction with spouses getting a divorce or parents forcing an addicted child to leave a home. Fortunately, our rehabilitation programs also focus on repairing families in addition to helping addicts. In the initial stages of a rehabilitation program, counselors want the addict to focus 100 percent of their attention on sobriety.

Counseling Helps Families to Heal

During this time, counselors will reach out to the relatives of the addict to offer one-on-one counseling sessions. These sessions are a way for the relatives of an addict to begin to heal from the traumas caused by a loved one’s addictive behavior. Eventually, the recovering addict and relatives will participate in counseling together, and this is a vital part of everyone’s healing process. With counseling, everyone in a family, including an addict can begin to express their feelings about how an addiction has affected them and determine how to heal the family unit.

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