When someone struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, the journey to recovery and sobriety is often a long one. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to addiction treatment — and even the smallest of achievements can truly test a person.
With all of the hard work that someone addicted to drugs or alcohol must put in to free themselves from their substance disorder, it helps to surround themselves with a good support group. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the family members and friends in an adult’s life don’t offer a positive influence, achieving recovery can be that much harder.
In order for you or a loved one to have a positive, encouraging, and successful recovery journey from substance abuse, it’s important to understand the role that family plays in achieving sobriety and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
The Connection Between Family, Addiction, and Recovery
The Impact Family Members Have on Those with Substance Abuse Problems
Whether a person has a good or bad relationship with members of their family, those people often have a very influential position in an adult’s life, regardless if it’s positive or negative. Because of this, family members can be connected to the reason someone struggles with alcohol or drugs — either through direct cause, enabling, or otherwise.
Addiction Can Be Genetic
In some cases, if a parent or grandparent struggled with addiction in the past, addictive tendencies can also be passed down to younger generations. For example, if someone’s father struggled with alcoholism, their offspring could be predisposed to alcoholism as they grow up.
If you know that someone in your family has struggled with substance abuse in the past, it’s often best to practice precaution in an effort to avoid forming addictive habits yourself.
Familial Tension Can Lead to Addiction
While every family is bound to have their issues, if there is a large amount of tension between an adult and another family member, they may turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to cope with the resulting feelings of anger, anxiety, etc. Unfortunately, their resulting addiction could cause even greater tensions in the family, which could result in alienation.
Family Members Can Enable Addiction
In many cases, parents, children, spouses, and other family members may not want to admit that a loved one has a problem with substance abuse. Rather than address the problem, they may do their best to ignore all the signs they’re seeing and pretend the problem isn’t there.
Family members may also not want to deal with the problem — so, rather than try to seek help for their loved one, they may do whatever they can to placate the person and keep them at bay.
This can include giving their loved one money (either to finance their addiction or manage financial problems that resulted because of it), allowing their loved one to move in with them if they have been evicted, or make excuses for their behavior if other people ask.
The main issue here is that enabling only allows a substance-abuse problem to become worse as time goes on.
A Family’s Role in Helping During Recovery
Once a person has sought treatment for substance abuse, the support system they have after leaving rehab can make all the difference. For this reason, it’s essential that families understand the role they play in their loved one’s recovery as well as set reasonable expectations of how recovery will improve a person.
Recovery Will Not Fix Everything
There’s a good chance that, while a loved one was struggling with drugs or alcohol, there was probably tension that arose between them and family members. Whatever those issues were, it’s important to understand that going to recovery will not resolve those issues alone.
Attending treatment for substance abuse will help your loved one understand why they made certain choices when they were using drugs or alcohol and how those choices affected those in their lives. However, in order to repair the relationships that may have been damaged, you will both need to put effort in to work through those problems.
It May Be Stressful for Both of You
Upon completing their treatment for substance abuse, your loved one may feel a bit stressed returning home and trying to resume their normal life. However, that’s not to say that it won’t be stressful for you as well.
Whether you still feel a sense of uneasiness because of actions and choices your loved one made while they were using or you’re struggling to adjust to changes that need to be made to support their recovery, it may be worthwhile to seek an outlet for any stress and anxiety you feel as well.
Your Support Makes a Difference
When it comes down to it, having positive support from family members can make all the difference in how well your loved one copes with their recovery. For this reason, it’s important for you and other family members to try to be a shoulder to lean on and a person of encouragement for your loved one recovering from addiction.
Addiction Treatment for Midlife Adults in North Carolina
Silver Ridge is a unique rehabilitation center in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville. Our services are tailored to meet the needs of established, midlife adults age 35 and up who are struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction.
Using evidence-based practices such as acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational therapy, we provide a holistic approach to recovery. Get the help you or your loved one needs today. Contact us 24/7 to learn more about our addiction treatment.