Being in a family with a parent who is addicted to prescription pain medication will teach you that their addiction affects the entire family because it damages your relationship with each other. Family therapy is a very important part of prescription addiction treatment because family involvement in recovery helps you understand the complications of the addiction. It is also a way the family can prepare themselves to help their loved one have a successful recovery. Therapy teaches the family healthy coping skills and helps repair damaged relationships caused by addiction.
Families need to realize that even though they are not addicted, they can still change and take care of themselves which is good for the addict and the family as a whole. The family has their own healing and recovery needs and sometimes they are so focused on their loved one with the addiction that they lose the ability to care for themselves over time. Each family member will suffer either physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually so getting help is crucial for everyone’s overall well-being. Family therapy is also a good way to identify how to improve communication and rebuild trust.
According to Drugabuse.com, Family Therapy: A Vital Part of Addiction Treatment, explains some benefits of family therapy:
• Assisting the substance user to gain awareness of their needs and behaviors.
• Improving the mental and physical state of the entire family unit.
• Permitting family members to gain self-care interventions to improve their own well-being.
• Improving communication styles and relationship quality.
• Helping families understand and avoid enabling behaviors.
• Address codependent behavior that may be preventing recovery.
• Learning and understanding the systems in place that support and deter substance use.
• Preventing the substance use from spreading throughout the family or down through future generations (Patterson, 2017).
Recovery.org, Family Therapy for Substance Abuse, explains how most inpatient treatment centers offer a family component with the following treatments:
• Residential or inpatient treatment
• Outpatient treatment
• Individual marriage and family therapy (Zac, 2016)
The life of a family with a prescription addiction problem is usually chaotic and unpredictable. Therapy is a neutral ground for the family to negotiate and organize their feelings with a therapist as the mediator. Family therapy will teach the family to use their strengths to support their loved one with the addiction so they can stick to their recovery without relapse. It will also strengthen the whole family’s emotional health. Prevention is also very important so the addiction is not passed on to other family members. By utilizing family therapy, people can heal and break the vicious cycle of addiction.
Eric, Patterson. (n.d.). Family therapy: a vital part of addiction treatment. Drugabuse.com. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://drugabuse.com/library/family-therapy-a-vital-part-of-addiction-treatment/
Happy family. (n.p.). (2013, February). digital image. Retrieved March 8, 2017, from Retrieved from http://imgarcade.com/1/happy-family/
Zac, Evelyn. (2016, July 21). Family Therapy for Substance Abuse. Recovery.org. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://www.recovery.org/topics/family-therapy-substance-abuse/