Alcohol dependency and Drug Addiction Are Family Diseases

Addiction and alcohol dependency aren’t only a matter of treating the addict or alcoholic, the whole family should also admit they too are in pain and find help.
As Al-Anon claims, families and good friends are relieved and surprised as soon as they learn they didn’t cause the alcoholism, and that they cannot cure it and they cannot control it.

homeless families childrenHouseholds with a alcoholic or substance abuser become dysfunctional and decline into chaos and crisis. It’s no longer a well-balanced energetic system. As the substance abuse progresses your family also grows to be unwell: socially, financially, psychologically, emotionally and possibly even physically – with poor health and wellness resulting from a range of stress-related complications.

Spiritually there is a reduction of hope as well as an end to happiness. Family members are unable to distinguish the illness from the individual they love, so there is conflict between loving the substance abuser and holding them in contempt. An environment of confidence, courtesy, respect, love and kindness is substituted with one of suspicion, fright, betrayal, depression and cynicism.

Co-dependency will grow as a response to the disorderly conditions in the family of the alcoholic/drug addict and creates less healthy patterns of relating and behavior. Frequently co-dependents develop compulsions of their own and a loss of control much like those of the substance addict.

Inappropriate feelings, thought processes and reactions between loved ones and the alcoholic or drug addict start out as coping systems that can help the family members survive when they start suffering from deep emotional pain, but these quickly end up being self-defeating. Co-dependency behaviors may include controlling, perfectionism, repression of emotions and thoughts, unreasonable rules, a lack of genuine closeness, and behavioral addictions, such as working too much, spending too much, overeating, religiosity, and so forth.

Families with members struggling with substance addiction or alcoholism also have patterns of denial. They are not able to acknowledge the magnitude or progression of the issue. Forms of denial include anger, blame, lessening the condition, excuses, evasion and deflection. Denial blinds the alcoholic or substance abuser along with their family members from realizing the simple truth.

Enabling is a very common solution to chemical dependency that takes various forms. It allows the alcoholic or drug addict to avoid the effects of their abusing drugs and behavior. The enabler is a friend or family member that endeavors to help the alcoholic or drug addict and that will lie for and rescue the chemical substance abuser or alcoholic from diverse calamities. Even though the enabler may think they are assisting the individual with an chemical dependency the opposite is true. Enablers allow the ailment of addiction to grow to even more acute levels.

I believe the addicts rehabilitation is contingent on their loved ones’ recovery. That’s why treatment should include instructive and family group therapy sessions. Within this protected environment both the addict/alcoholic and the family can be granted a possibility to start the healing of the generally catastrophic repercussions of their substance abuse.

Self-care and also the proper care of other family members must be the top priority. Don’t allow the family life to become overshadowed from the negativity of chemical dependency. Alcoholism and drug addiction can cause isolation, a sense of guilt and shame. Via breaking the cycle of silence and denial both the abuser and their loved ones can begin to understand, get rid of shame and process repressed feelings. The family can discover that everyone played a part in the dependency but, no one is responsible for causing it.

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