The disease of addiction affects the entire family and can strain relationships, erode trust, and cause a wide range of emotions, from pain and hurt to resentment and anger. Just as frustrating is how a family can feel like they are losing their loved one, and no matter what they do, they cannot save them. Once your loved one starts rehab, you need to understand how family programming benefits addiction treatment for everyone.
Addiction is a Family Disease
One thing many people forget all too easily is that addiction is a family disease. It not only affects the person addicted to alcohol or drugs but also those around them. Unfortunately, many families do not know how to react when they suspect their loved one is misusing substances.
Initially, they can take on different attitudes and roles that they believe are helpful. However, these roles are counterproductive to ensuring your loved one realizes how family programming benefits addiction treatment.
Addiction: The Five Dysfunction Family Member Roles
The savior role is where one person starts to pull away from the rest of the family and become an overachiever. They do this to set themself apart from the addicted family member. They also want to minimize the amount of shame the family feels by always being available whenever the family needs them.
Furthermore, the savior can enable the addict by attempting to cover up their addiction. They usually are not ready to admit their loved one has an addiction because they are still in denial. Until they come to terms with this, they can feel helpless because they do not know what they can actually do to help.
The mascot takes on a maladaptive coping response to hide their hurt and pain by using humor to attempt to lighten up the seriousness of the addiction. This person essentially becomes the family comedian. But unfortunately, their humor can also become hurtful and directed at the person suffering from the substance use disorder.
The Lost Child
This family member tends to suppress their emotions even though they are hurting on the inside. They dislike being put into places of conflict and will use avoidance whenever possible. They think they are helping the family and the addict because they do not further strain the family’s emotions.
The scapegoat intentionally causes problems and creates conflict to draw attention away from the family member with the addiction. They essentially become the person the family always blames when something goes wrong since the family focuses on them, not the addict.
The enabler’s behaviors may seem like they are helping their loved one. But, in reality, they do not help because they do not force the addict to face the consequences. Instead, they tend to make excuses to try to maintain harmony and avoid feeling embarrassed or ashamed.
What Role Does Family Play in Addiction Recovery?
The role of the family in addiction recovery is an essential part of addiction treatment. Healthy support from the family is vital to treatment success. It also helps address damaged relationships, rebuild trust, and reduce the risk of relapse.
How Family Programming Benefits Addiction Treatment
One of the ways in which family programming benefits addiction treatment has to to do with education. Learning more about addiction helps the family take on healthy roles and provides them with the tools needed to avoid enabling addiction, including:
- Understanding addiction and the physical and psychological effects it has on everyone.
- The importance of consequences and holding the addict accountable for their behavior.
- The addiction treatment process.
- How to set and maintain healthy boundaries within the family unit.
- Developing effective communication methods.
- How to avoid enabling addiction and still being able to help the addict.
Furthermore, family programming can consist of referring family members to special support groups for loved ones of addicts. These support groups can provide insight into how other families are coping with their loved ones’ addictions, what they are doing to help, and how they are taking steps to rebuild relationships with the addict.
Lastly, family counseling and therapy is another essential component of family programming. Family sessions allow family members to learn how to express their feeling and emotions while repairing relationships and rebuilding trust.
How Family Programming Benefits Addiction Treatment in Palm Springs, CA
At Phoenix Rising Recovery in Palm Springs, CA, we offer family programming to help families find support groups for addiction while learning more about this disease. Family members are also welcome to tour our luxury treatment center, learn more about our personalized addiction treatment programs, and learn how to establish healthy boundaries without enabling. To speak with an addiction treatment specialist to learn more about our family support groups and family programming, contact us today.