Addiction does not only affect the individual. Because of the addicted person’s behavioral changes, it may affect the entire family who lives under the same roof including parents, spouses, and children. The addicted family member often experiences physical and mental deterioration, which can be painful to witness.
Addiction frequently occurs with dysfunctions that involve neglect, conflicts, or abuse. Substance addiction may increase a person’s aggressive behaviors resulting in domestic violence or abuse.
Recovery affects the entire family, too. A recovering person often relies on the family as a natural support system. However, when addiction has brought trauma into these significant relationships, there may need to be reparation and healing before each family member can become recovery-supportive. Marriages with children especially need healing from the repercussions of a spouse’s addiction.
How Does Addiction Impact Marriages With Young Children?
Peaceful, loving marriages can be strained by a spouse’s addiction because the person with a substance use disorder tends to lie or be secretive about the problem. Trust between the married couple may erode leading to conflicts. Children may be traumatized from witnessing marital strife and observing a parent suffering from substance addiction.
Parental substance addiction also puts young children at a higher risk of substance use in their adulthood. This increased risk is due to the conflict within the home leading to mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression. Moreover, seeing a parent using substances as a negative role model may increase the likelihood of children opting to self-medicate by using substances when they grow up.
Aggression or violent behavior caused by substance use can endanger children’s physical and mental health. These children also tend to display more emotional distress and struggle with low self-esteem. Some children may not feel safe in their own homes. They may develop self-blame for a parent’s aggression or violence caused by addiction. In extreme cases, children should be removed from such family environments.
How Does Teen Addiction Affect the Family?
Young people developing substance use disorder can also wreak havoc on the family. Substances like cocaine can over-stimulate young people, causing them to sleep less and perform poorly in school. There may be reckless behavior within and outside the home. The young person may lie to his or her parents to get the financial means to purchase drugs.
Teen addiction may cause parental grief. As parents exert more control with maturing children, some teenagers may respond by stealing money and running away from home. This can further isolate them from a strong and supportive family system while allowing association with dangerous peer groups. They may become more vulnerable to sexual and economic exploitation.
How Does a Young Adult’s Addiction Impact the Family?
When young people leave home for college, they are more likely to be exposed to substances, including illicit drugs. College campuses often become a hotbed for substance addiction and related misbehavior. Parents may not detect the problem or monitor their children’s new groups of friends, which is typical because the child has moved out of the home and less monitoring is natural at this phase in life. This decreased supervision makes it easier for addiction to become a long-term lifestyle among young people.
Addiction in young adults may lead to poor academic performance or dropping out of college. Upon returning home to their parents, these young adults may have become the “fail to launch” cohort with severe substance use disorders. Parents are faced with the double challenge of helping them to achieve sobriety and financial independence.
How Are Build Recovery-Supportive Families Built?
Although families often bear the brunt of addiction, they are also the natural healing system for recovering individuals. Health professionals often assess a person’s chance of recovery or relapse in the context of his or her family environment. Relationships are the communication conduits that connect family members. Communicating with other fellow human beings is a part of human nature. For a person with an addiction to shift his or her attachment from substances to meaningful relationships, these communication conduits may need to be repaired.
Health professionals often integrate a family-based intervention and trauma-informed treatment to help people who suffer from both substance use disorder and dysfunctional family dynamics. Because these two conditions may reinforce each other, they need to be addressed simultaneously. Family therapy or couples therapy may be a good starting point for some individuals. Families dealing with teen addiction are also encouraged to coordinate with school systems so that teenagers may access school-based services.
Support from family members is important for people recovering from substance addiction. Functional families are the natural healing system. Health professionals often assess a person’s chance of recovery or relapse in the context of his or her family environment. A person with an addiction needs to shift his or her attachment from substances to meaningful relationships, starting with family. Health professionals often integrate a family-based intervention and trauma-informed treatment to help people who suffer from both substance addiction and family dysfunctions. Because these two conditions may reinforce each other, they need to be addressed simultaneously. Family therapy or couples therapy may be a good starting point. Casa Recovery’s professional therapists are highly experienced in helping families support their loved ones going through recovery. Each client’s treatment team will work with them to provide customized efficient and effective treatment methods that have been developed and applied in clinical settings. To learn more, call today at (888) 928-2272.