Addiction does not only impact the person who is abusing drugs and/or alcohol, but it also impacts everyone around him or her – including his or her family.
Anyone who has ever had an addict or alcoholic in his or her family can understand just how true of a statement this is. Even though he or she might not be the one actually using addictive substances, the effects caused by his or her loved one doing so can deeply impact them in unimaginable ways.
When a family member is addicted to one or more substances, he or she can become a shell of what he or she once was. It is probable that he or she will begin behaving in ways that are nowhere near consistent to what is his or her “norm”, and those behaviors can have lasting rippling effects. Some of the most common behaviors that typically trigger family conflict in the face of addiction include the following:
These are just a fraction of the kinds of behaviors that can begin to push a wedge between the addict and his or her family. And, the longer that the addiction continues for, the deeper that wedge goes. In order to effectively repair a family torn apart by addiction, participating in therapy. The West Virginia family addiction counseling offered at our professional facility can be an excellent starting point.
By the time a family begins our West Virginia family addiction counseling, they might be feeling hopeless and exhausted as a result of what they have already been through. In many cases, family members do not even want to participate in family therapy. However, when they do, they can experience several different benefits.
For starters, many families in family therapy have either very little or very poor communication with one another. In order to get anywhere, family members must be able to talk to one another effectively. The family therapist can help guide family members as they begin talking with one another by leading through example and guiding the conversation. Two of the most important parts of communicating with one another is doing so in a manner where the others understand what is being said and begin able to clearly distinguish what one’s needs are. The longer that the family participates in our West Virginia family addiction counseling, the better their internal communication can become.
Even if an individual stops abusing drugs and/or alcohol, the rest of the family is likely still operating with the same behaviors, even if they know it or not. When someone is addicted to a family unit, it is only natural for family members to do everything within their power to keep that person safe. Unfortunately, this often leads to enabling behaviors, which only fuel the addiction further. And while the family member is sober, he or she can still display behaviors reflective of active addiction as he or she recovers. And when those behaviors are shown, it is important to avoid responding through enabling. Family addiction counseling will not only help family members identify what behaviors qualify as enabling behaviors but also help them figure out what kinds of positive behaviors to replace the enabling behaviors with.
Think of addiction as a boat with a hole in it. The more that the family member uses, the more water the boat takes on. And, if other family members make it a point to constantly jump aboard to fix the hole using only makeshift tools, they too will eventually go under. However, by stepping back to shore, family members can see that if they go back out to the boat, they will lose themselves in the process.
In a family therapy setting, this metaphor not only describes enabling behaviors but also helps exemplify how and why to practice good self-care. Self-care can include eating and sleeping well, doing things that one enjoys, and so on. But when a family member is addicted, other family members might ignore their own self-care in an effort to protect the user. Through our West Virginia family addiction counseling, both the user and the rest of his or her family can not only accept that it is OK to take time for self-care but develop new ways to accomplish these goals.
Our family addiction counseling in West Virginia can also help everyone involved develop empathy for each other’s emotions, understand addiction better, prevent further instances of substance abuse, and improve the mental and physical well-being of the entire family.
If you have a family member who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, reach out for help right now. Even if your addicted loved one is not ready to get help, that does not mean that you and your family members have to stay unwell. By making the decision to get treatment for yourselves, you are inadvertently helping your addicted loved one, too.
Should your loved one be ready to participate in treatment, call us today. We can help you and your family get your loved one into treatment, where we will take over his or her care as he or she recovers. During that time, you can come and visit and participate in family therapy sessions that will help address the many concerns that you and your family members have regarding addiction.
Do not let one more day go by where you and your family suffer. Call our West Virginia family addiction counseling center today to get the help that you and your loved ones deserve.