While an individual’s addiction may be hidden behind tight lips and closed doors, it doesn’t mean that the people around that person won’t be affected. As much as addiction thrives in isolation, it can continue to grow in an unhealthy familial dynamic. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), addiction is a family disease. If the family is considered a “system,” where connection circulates fluidly through multiple relationships, addiction causes a spark that can subtly create tension, dishonesty, fear, and resentment – overtime changing thinking patterns and behavioral patterns that cause the entire system to malfunction.

While addiction medicine has advanced in recent years, so has the way those family members have. Not only are facilities beginning to address individuals behaviors, but once a person enters drug alcohol rehab centers in Ohio, family work often becomes a central focus

One Change Equals an Entire Shift

No matter what situation families may find themselves in, each part of the family system is interconnected. When one part moves or makes a change, the other parts of the system move in response. For instance, if one parent or caretaker suddenly becomes an enforcer and over-protective, it can shape the behavioral patterns of the other members of the family in a number of ways – short or long-term. The child in the family may become irate, temperamental, and plan ways to defy their parents new roles. Over time, they may go behind a family members back and be in a continual state of conflict.

Much in the same, these types of dynamic shifts can happen with addiction. Similar to the destructive patterns of the person with substance use disorder, other members in the family system can begin to feel a number of negative feelings while their behaviors shift. Trust can begin to dissipate. Conflict can become a normalcy. Other family members can be more guarded if their loved one is hiding their addiction in secrecy. Then, there are those who will live in a state of denial, making excuses for their loved ones behaviors, which later develops into codependency.

Children Affected By Addiction

Conversely, the impact of children and young people affected by addiction can be grave and oftentimes felt long after childhood and into adulthood. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, one in five adult Americans lived with an alcoholic relative while growing up. Overall, these children become a higher risk for developing emotional, behavioral and social problems. Some children may be forced into a parental role for parents who are no longer capable of providing proper parenting, and in social situations become emotionally isolated. No matter the situation, children of those that have suffered from addiction inhibit a greater risk of developing an addiction themselves. 

Recovery For The Family

While it’s clear that each person involved in the addicts and alcoholics life is impacted in some way, it doesn’t mean that the person suffering from substance use disorder is the only one that needs help. Oftentimes, healing the entire family system can also help ensure an individual’s recovery. Inpatient or residential treatment typically offer family therapy sessions and even weekends to begin to heal the entire family dynamic. There are also various resources for families including Alanon, Alateen and even Families Anonymous to help family members work on their own negative coping mechanisms they’ve developed as a result of their loved ones addiction.

Alcohol addiction rehab centers in Ohio can help break the cycle of maladaptive behavioral patterns that currently exist. At Lumiere Healing Centers, we offer family therapy to help the family understand and heal from the devastating effects of addiction. For more information, visit us today at lumirehealingcenters.com or call us for a free insurance verification at: 513-987-9392.

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