Addiction is a disease that affects the entire human being – mind, body, and soul.
What’s worse, it affects the people around you and in most cases, leaves permanent damage to others.
Addiction can be caused by many factors, such as drugs, substance abuse alcohol, and many more.
Besides the most common reasons behind addiction, its peril can encompass work addiction, shopping addiction, internet addiction, addiction to solvents, and more.
But light always finds a way, so there is help out there for families of addicts to prevent addiction and overcome the hurdles along the way before they do irreversible damage to you and your loved ones.
What Causes Addiction?
There are tons of reasons why addiction takes over one individual.
The most usual ones are drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes since they are easy to come by today if you know where to look.
All of these substances affect how you feel, mentally and physically.
The after-effects of substance abuse are too enjoyable for individuals to let go of and crave for more.
Gambling is also known to cause addiction because people the pleasure of hitting the jackpot leads people into believing that they will keep on winning – with no end in sight.
Gambling-prone behavior can quickly turn into a habit that becomes extremely hard to break, and there is no other way out except to seek help from families with addicts.
How Addiction Affects a Child?
When speaking about addiction and children, it’s important to point out that children bear the most damage from the addiction in the family.
Since kids are the most vulnerable ones, family addiction often leaves permanent damage, and there’s a probability that the child will follow in the footsteps of their parents, too.
Although most kids know how to hide this, things like trouble with sleeping and overbearing sadness can affect their time at school and in life in the future.
Coming from the fact that children are highly-adaptable, they might not show the outcome of family addiction until they grow older.
Addiction has proven to be highly impacting children as they witness their parents as they sink deeper and deeper into an obsession.
This can be averted if the kid is nowhere near the addict parent, that’s not easily achievable.
How Addiction Affects Parents?
After children, parents are the most vulnerable category since parents can be affected if their daughter or son succumbs to substance abuse.
This is usually known as college addiction – teenagers turn to substances or even drugs to improve their studying and stay up longer.
The one thing parents can do is to seek a family therapist and understand addiction to its core.
If you are not ready to seek professional help, try talking to your children and seeing what results from the discussions.
How Addiction Can Affect the Whole Family?
Addiction doesn’t pick sides – everyone is affected no matter what form of addiction is, with no exceptions.
There is no right or wrong way to respond to addiction, and addiction takes over your mind and body in a way that will be hard to understand unless someone in the family is an expert in the field.
Addictions affect whole families on a massive level.
The adverse effects of addiction, such as yelling at family members, and punishing kids, leave severe marks on everyone involved in the situation.
Addictions tend to affect family members differently and can turn a loving relationship sour and completely change those that were once honest and kind and turn them into selfish and sometimes even violent persons.
One of the solutions is to seek help from a family therapist, and the best way to do it is to become proactive during the early stages of addiction before the ship sails off, probably forever.
How Online Addiction Therapy Can Help to Stop it?
Today, there are more solutions for addiction than ever before.
There’s probably nothing we can’t find on the internet, so getting a valuable piece of information is most likely to happen with the next scroll of the page.
Online therapy can be of great assistance, as it offers many solutions to stop addiction.
There are many online therapy websites for everyone to find answers and solutions to addictions and, in some cases, insights on how to treat them.
Instead of scheduling a physical meeting with a therapist and waiting for days or weeks, you can simply go online and get in touch with a professional in no time.
How Can Addictions Affect You and Those Around You?
The struggle with addiction can seriously damage your life in all aspects – it will impact your work, relationships, behavior, you name it – it affects you and those around you, especially if you have children.
Additionally, addictions can cause loss of control over many aspects of life and continue to deteriorate your condition more and more, thus passively impacting those around you in the most negative way.
When it comes to the people around you, the effects of addiction will be shown in later years or as they were present at that moment.
How Do Drug Addictions Ruin Relationships?
Abuse, conflict, and distrust are the side-effects of addiction in a relationship and can cause massive damage to a person.
Substances are often used as a ‘gateway’ to escaping problems in life and, in most cases, turn into an addiction.
Substance abuse issues can lead to a downward spiral of addiction, with no way out if the person refuses to seek professional care.
This is one of the most challenging kinks a person can face during addiction, and getting professional care should be a priority.
Signs of Addiction
One of the most common misconceptions about addiction is that it’s caused by excessive partying and a free-spirited way of life; however, that’s not even remotely true.
Addiction begins the moment a person loses control.
Mental illnesses, stress, trauma, emotional discomfort, and similar backgrounds are considered addictive behaviors.
Most people that wish to escape the emotional turmoil in their lives turn to drugs and alcohol, as they get predictable and familiar results.
Still, the false comfort of the drugs will only last for a while before reality kicks in, and the troubles are right there where the addict has left them.
Using drugs or alcohol will only deliver a sense of false comfort to the person using, which is why oftentimes people get smitten by the experience and forget the hell that follows.
Some people might need help with addiction if they:
- Make too many excuses;
- Fight for substances;
- Fight for money;
- Turn to alcohol to forget about the problems;
- Center the relationship around the substance;
- Exhibit episodes of violence and abuse;
- Isolate from family and friends;
- Sleep way too much for a healthy person, or don’t sleep at all;
It’s crucial to be aware of these ‘red flags’ before things spiral out of control and are beyond fixing.
However, the shortlist above is only scratching the surface of the signs of drug addiction – there is a myriad of other signs that might give off the presence of an addict.
The Irreversible Damage of Deception
Deception is known as the take-off point of addiction. Individuals that keep their daily life a secret from everyone else can seriously hurt the relationship.
As time goes on, more minor lies will manifest into bigger ones and more significant deceptions, such as manipulating your loved ones, deceiving them, and ultimately starting to leave a double life.
These individuals will want to hide their shame and guilt from their families by simply lying to them.
An addict will keep things from the loved ones, which only makes the existing problem even more prominent and worse than before.
To uncover deception, make sure to look out for lies about:
- Where they are;
- With whom they are;
- How long will they be gone;
- Where are they going;
- Do they have a dramatic change in behavior;
- Who are they with;
- On what do they spend money;
- How much will they drink/have drank;
- Are they on drugs at the moment or not;
If you notice any strange behavior and recognize one of these lies, you know you’re dealing with deception.
The person is trying their best to cover its ’tracks’ from you by all means.
Can Treatment Help Your Family Relationship?
Yes, but not all of them. Some treatments are devised to help you improve or even solve your addiction problem at the core.
When it comes to rehab centers, sessions are performed individually or in groups.
For most people, group sessions are better, as the individual gets to meet other people suffering from the same problem with addiction.
Groups can offer solace for difficult times, and the individual will know that they aren’t alone on the journey to recovery.
If some of your loved ones struggle with any form of addiction, the best thing you can do is get them professional help, through individual or group sessions.
So yes, treatments can help, as they remain the only solution to the addiction problem.
This is something that cannot wait – get help as fast as possible if you struggle with addiction!
How Can Teenage Addiction Affect the Whole Family?
CDC reports claim that underaged drinkers drink more than their adult counterparts.
According to the reports, around 19% of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 drink alcohol regularly, but some argue that the percentage is far higher than the initial 19%.
Smoking marijuana is more common than cigarettes in the younger population.
Since teenagers are always up for a challenge, they are willing to try anything, sometimes, no matter the consequences.
Teenage addiction comes in two forms: internal (genetics) and external (peer pressure in school).
Those teens that have witnessed their parents abusing alcohol or substances are more likely to replicate the behavior and become substance abusers themselves.
Even if one teenager in the family gets addicted, it will definitely impact the whole family in the most negative way, in some of the following aspects:
- Causing parental grief;
- Stealing cash to support their addictive habits;
- Trying to run away from home;
- Side effects;
- Terrible performance at school;
- Exposure to other more potent drugs;
- Reckless behavior at home and with other people.
It’s not a secret that teens can become overwhelmed by addictive substances and will try to run away from home when they see a chance.
The teenager becomes vulnerable to sexual assaults and emotional and economic exploitation in this case.
College Addiction Also Affects Families
Teenagers who abuse substances are likely to struggle with their ongoing addiction problems in college.
Since college days are the epitome of parties with hundreds of people, some teens will continue to indulge in banned substances to cheer up their mood.
Once the snowball starts rolling, they will find it difficult to stop, as their body now requires more of the substances they ingested.
College campus reports state that sexual assaults are becoming ever so prominent, and such incidents are inevitably linked to drug abuse, and alcohol overconsumption.
Some of the signs announcing addiction among college students include:
- Struggling with college commitments;
- Mood swings;
- Problems with cash;
- Out-of-character behavior;
- Sudden and atypical friendships
Once the parents realize that their kid has become a substance addict in college, problems will swirl inside the family.
Due to addiction, the individual will struggle at college and might even get expelled if caught with prohibited substances.
Addiction & Family Relationship
Addiction makes romantic partners codependent, in the most negative connotation.
Being in a romantic relationship with an addict means dealing with a lot of toxicity and one-sided behavior.
Family members are often on the receiving end of the toxically negative behavior brought upon by substance abuse.
Family Therapy for Addiction
Family therapy, also known as family consulting, is a therapy that involves interventions including family involvement, approaches, and family-level assignments.
Broad evidence points out that individuals with support from their family members are more likely to stay in rehab and see the process through.
The involvement of the family in therapy is considered crucial, but not for everyone.
For example, if you deal with a person addicted to substance abuse, you might feel emotionally and physically exhausted, you might feel scared to share details with a stranger (the therapist), or you may fear the unknown (the outcome of the therapy), whether that person will change or not.
If you’re second-guessing family consulting as a therapy option, there’s another alternative to the problem.
You can ask for one-on-one sessions with each family member, as sometimes it’s better to talk individually without the presence of other family members during sessions.
How Does Family Therapy for Addiction Work
Family therapy is differently designed than typical addiction therapy.
In most cases, treatment involves the presence of all family members including the therapist or going through individual sessions.
Sessions will last about an hour and be different from the previous sessions.
For example, one session might be focused on the individual’s concerns and feelings.
In contrast, the other session can focus on education, effective communication, and improved listening.
In practice, the therapist might need many therapy sessions to be able to come close to preventing or eliminating the problem of substance addiction altogether.
There are a handful of family therapy options to take into account, such as:
1. Family Behavior Therapy (FBT)
This is one of the most successful family therapy models targeted at working with adults and adolescents suffering from SUDs.
This particular addiction therapy enables the individual to choose their own therapy, with the single aim to improve their home environment and wellbeing.
Family behavior therapy focuses on how the behavior of a particular individual with substance abuse affects the entire family and attempts to change these behavioral patterns to improve the well-being of the whole family.
2. Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT)
These therapy sessions are focused on married couples with one of the spouses battling substance abuse addiction.
The therapy delivers different rewards for the person via the ‘Recovery Contract’ daily, including the individual that suffers from SUD expressing their intent to quit drinking and stop using drugs, for example, and the partner, on the other hand, supports the effort to stay sober.
The therapy aims to improve communication, diminish stress, and maintain abstinence from any form of substance addiction.
3. Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT)
The brief strategic family therapy aims toward families that deal with adolescents who suffer from substance addiction.
Unlike most therapies, this one is more or less limited, with around 12 to 16 sessions in total. This type of therapy is focused on interventions tied to family interactions.
4. Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
Same as the previous one, functional family therapy, or FFT for short, focuses on families with adolescents with SUDs.
FFT aims to improve family interactions since it’s considered that unhealthy family dynamics often lead to problematic behaviors inside the family.
One of the many strategies used in this therapy includes the method for effective communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving, behavioral contracts, parenting skills, and many more.
With so many options to rely on, FFT therapy is more frequently the preferred choice of therapy for struggling families.
5. Solution-Focused Therapy
This therapy is exactly what the name suggests -its focus lies on one and one thing only.
The solution-focused therapy is for those families that struggle with co-occurring disorders.
Unlike some of the other therapies mentioned here, this one focuses on finding an immediate solution for the issue. It does not involve pinpointing the exact reason for the family’s dysfunction at all.
6. Multi-Dimensional Therapy (MDT)
Multidimensional family therapy is designed in a way to improve the behavior of adolescents and the well-being of the family as a whole via a comprehensive treatment plan which involves third parties such as the legal system, schools, and other relevant parties.
This therapy model aims to help with addiction using more than one source; schools are known to have psychiatrists that can help at all times, which allows the therapists to use third-party sources for additional help.
Including more instances in the process of dealing with substance abuse often proves to be of great help since it leads to a faster solution to the problem in question.
Look for Treatment
So far, the best and the most effective way to battle any form of addiction is to look for treatment.
Luckily for everyone, there are tons of different therapies today that can help you immensely and even eliminate the problem at the core.
If any of your loved ones are struggling with substance abuse addiction, offer a helping hand and be the support system they need.
Looking for treatment options is the right step toward lifting the burden of addiction off the shoulders of the struggling individual.
You can help an individual in need and save the family from suffering irreversible damage by taking them to group counseling and treatments;
you can let your loved one share their fears and struggles with other people that are going through the same nightmarish situations.
The Final Say
Addiction is an invisible monster that can creep up on anyone.
If you see that your loved one acts strange, do something – talk about it, listen to them, and offer help.
Luckily for everyone struggling with addiction, there are a lot of methods and therapies that can yield a positive result, as long as the affected individual is willing to take matters into their own hands.
How does addiction affect families? – In so many negative ways, but fortunately, help is possible.
In essence, it all comes down to the struggling individual’s will – should they return to their old loving ways, or the family’s relationship will deteriorate over time.
It would be a pity not to ask for help when help is within reach.