Drug addiction is not just an individual problem. It is a family crisis that has happened many times throughout history. Addiction affects parents, brothers and sisters, children and even friends, who are sometimes just as close as family. The fact that family members care for one another makes it impossible to sever the emotional tie, not that you would want to do so. However, the same bond can pull loved ones along a rollercoaster of pain, resentment, hopes, and fears. Sometimes, the experience continues for years or decades.
Although the family may never give up, drug addiction can damage relationships in lasting ways. Family therapy helps bring loved ones together so both sides can begin to understand each other and themselves. Through that understanding, a stronger relationship is forged and the addicted person could find renewed strength to get sober and stay that way.
Drug Addiction Makes Communication Difficult
It is natural for family members to become angry when addiction overtakes a loved one’s life. Some days, it might seem like no one communicates at all without yelling.
Anger about the disease is only part of where resentment grows. Addiction makes communication tense or impossible. If the addict lies to or steals from family, trust withers and may die.
That does not mean love always dies along with it. In fact, love is why pain is such a common way to describe life with an addict in the family. Over time, ordinary conversations may become rarer. Everyday actions might be viewed with suspicion. Family members might want to show tough love, but it could backfire without a mediator to help you.
Well-Meaning Family Members Can Make the Problem Worse
Love can also lead some family members to function as enablers. Because arguments and crushed feelings are the norm in a family with addiction problems, a moment of peace may be too tempting to resist.
Mom or dad might hand over the car keys in the hope that their child will not get into trouble this time, but deep down, they still probably worry.
Oftentimes, enabling behavior begins innocently enough and it is usually rooted in a desire for peace. Family members cannot be expected to know the best way to help. Fortunately, that is what a family therapist who specializes in addiction knows best.
Family Therapy Levels the Communication Playing Field
With an addiction in the family, both sides may feel misunderstood. When a genuine attempt to get clean is met with a snide remark, relapse might be less than 24 hours away. On the other side of that coin, family members should not be expected to dole out an infinite supply of patience and trust that has never been earned.
With a family member in treatment, there is space to think and evaluate. The addicted person and their family can learn how to listen to understand and speak to be understood. That is nearly impossible under a thick cloud of drugs. However, in Florida drug rehab, it is not just possible, it happens every day.
Therapy may seem intimidating and scary for a person suffering from addiction. However, when you are in a drug treatment program that is designed for you, it does not have to be. Your therapists understand your strengths and weaknesses, and they genuinely want to help you repair past hurts and rebuild strong relationships again.
The longer a person has been an addict, the more likely they are to live in a way that hurts the ones who love them most. In Florida drug rehab, family therapy can help you and the people who love you break the cycle, make amends, and start building trust again.
If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from addiction, we can help. Contact us to learn more about admissions and the many different therapies we offer.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.