How Addiction Affects Families and Relationships
Addiction is a disease that affects not only a person and their physical and psychological well-being but it also affects their families as well as the people they surround themselves with. Loved ones, family members, and close friends can be deeply affected by a person’s relationship with addiction and sometimes can also play a major role in the recovery process. Experiencing how addiction affects families is a common thread among a lot of people with a substance use disorder who have seen changes in their relationships with loved ones.
Wellness Recovery Center of NJ is a New Jersey drug rehab center that offers comprehensive family therapy for addiction and dual diagnosis. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about how we can help.
Signs of Addiction in Family Members
When you are close to someone to the point where you consider them family or a best friend, it can be easy to sense when something is different about them. There are common signs of addiction to look out for in a family member or loved one. These include bouts of depression, falling behind at school or at work, change in appearance and hygiene, lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed, headaches, excessive sweating, stealing or borrowing money, changes in sleep habits, and distance from family members and friends. These behavioral changes and signs are a strong example of how addiction affects relationships; therefore, there are many cases where a person’s family or close friends are the people who recognize that you have an addiction problem.
Contact our outpatient rehab in New Jersey to learn more about our options for substance abuse treatment.
How Addiction Affects Families
Addiction is truly a ‘family disease’ because of its effect not only on the person with an addiction but also on the entire family. Although those who have a substance use disorder are the ones with the disorder, family members can be just as affected and can develop subsequent effects of the disease.
One way addiction affects families is by changing the entire dynamic of a relationship by putting family members or friends in the position where they take on the role of ‘caregiver’ even if it ends up being a role they didn’t anticipate taking on. For example, if a parent is experiencing addiction problems and ends up relying on their child to take care of them, it could lead to an unnatural dynamic that may affect the relationship later on.
Additionally, there are many circumstances in which a family member unknowingly played a negative role in the addiction, and it can affect the relationship moving forward. Oftentimes, it is difficult to know how to act when dealing with a family member as a person with a substance use disorder, and we can do the ‘wrong’ thing without knowing it. The person with a substance use disorder may be aware of the way their family member negatively impacted them. Still, the family member may not have known how to deal with the situation and did or said unhelpful and destructive things. It is a difficult line to tow; therefore, family therapy can benefit both parties involved.
Solutions for Family Problems as a Result of Addiction
The best thing about addiction therapy is that it can be tailored to you and your specific needs. If family and relationships are affected as a result of your addiction, family therapy can be a great way to bring about positive change in your family dynamic. Through family therapy, all members are able to be present and active throughout the process of counseling and intervention. You and your family or loved one will have the opportunity to share your own experience, and this allows for a line of communication to open up, which is essential to addiction recovery.
It is not always initially clear how addiction affects families and relationships because neither party involved may have the right experience or tools needed to communicate effectively and work together toward recovery. A family member may not understand the disease, and that can be frustrating throughout addiction, recovery, and onward. Family therapy offers a safe space for both people with addiction and their family members/loved ones to mutually come to a common understanding of the disease and move forward in a way that will benefit not only recovery but also the relationship with each other.
Get Help For Your Addiction Today
Addiction is a complex disease that affects not only the person going through it but also the family members and loved ones around them. It can be extremely devastating to see how addiction affects relationships, and it is important to mutually want to work toward a place of understanding and common ground. At Wellness Recovery Center of New Jersey, we believe in whole-person care, meaning that recovery is in the mind, body, and soul, as well as outside factors like family and relationships. Wellness Recovery Center is a safe space to start your recovery journey and make yourself and your loved ones proud. Please visit us today to recover from your addiction, move forward with family relationships, and more.