Alcoholism in the family statistics Alcoholism in the family what you can do Alcoholism in the family system Alcoholism in the family article Alcoholism in the family essay Alcoholism runs in the family Alcoholism in the family family roles Alcoholism eff. Alcoholism and the Family - NewDay Counseling - Addiction Treatment

Families of alcoholic (or other types of chemical dependence) suffer greatly through the disease’s progression. Much has been written and talked about on the subject of alcoholism and the family. Anyone who knows anything about alcoholism knows that it tears families apart and often causes long term psychological problems with family members, yet there are few resources aimed at helping family members. Alanon is the biggest self-help group – it has given comfort and healing to millions of family members. I use “alcoholism” as the example here, but it could be addiction to opioids, cocaine, Xanax, etc. Nar-anon is the self help group from most other drugs. (see below) Alcoholism in the family.

As alcoholism/addiction progresses, the family becomes confused, angry, afraid, disillusioned and plain heart-broken as someone they love begins to inexplicably change before their eyes. There is no easy explanation for alcoholism/addiction. It helps, though, to understand as much as possible about the disease and what causes the insane behavior. Family members begin to question themselves, when they don’t understand alcoholism — what have I done? Why is she doing this to me? Does he no longer love me? Does she want to leave because of something I did or didn’t do? The family problems surrounding alcoholism become worse over time unless someone breaks outside the disease to do something different.

Most often family members try everything they can think of to get a loved one to stop drinking, but all the efforts fail. Hopelessness sets in, and many times family members give up and move on. Other times, family members live with the alcoholism for years and years. The following is from NCADD:

Living with addiction can put family members under unusual stress. Normal routines are constantly being interrupted by unexpected or even frightening kinds of experiences that are part of living with alcohol and drug use. What is being said often doesn’t match up with what family members sense, feel beneath the surface or see right in front of their eyes. The alcohol or drug user as well as family members may bend, manipulate and deny reality in their attempt to maintain a family order that they experience as gradually slipping away. The entire system becomes absorbed by a problem that is slowly spinning out of control. Little things become big and big things get minimized as pain is denied and slips out sideways.

Alcoholism in the family statistics Alcoholism in the family what you can do Alcoholism in the family system Alcoholism in the family article Alcoholism in the family essay Alcoholism runs in the family Alcoholism in the family family roles Alcoholism eff

Without help, active addiction can totally disrupt family life and cause harmful effects that can last a lifetime.

Support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are available for the friends and family of people suffering from addiction (alcohol and drugs, respectively). While these support services are important for making connections with others who may be trying to navigate day-to-day life with addiction in the family, so is seeking professional therapy. Individual therapy for each family member, not just the addict, is important for the mental health of both the addict’s spouse or partner and children, and meeting with a therapist as a family can help improve communication among family members, rebalance the family dynamic and give family members a safe environment to express their anger, fear and other concerns. Family therapy may also be helpful in preventing the children of addicts from succumbing to the disease themselves.

Helpful Links for Family and Friends of Addicts

Nar-anon (nar-anon.org) For family members of addicts.

Gam-anon (gam-anon.org) For family members of gamblers.

Alcoholism in the family statistics Alcoholism in the family what you can do Alcoholism in the family system Alcoholism in the family article Alcoholism in the family essay Alcoholism runs in the family Alcoholism in the family family roles Alcoholism eff

Coda.org (coda.org) For co-dependent individuals.

Adultchildren.org (adultchildren.org) For adult children of alcoholics and addicts.

People recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction, their families, and their children can and often do achieve optimum levels of health and functioning, but this achievement is best measured in years rather than days, weeks, or months. In the process of recovery, families are strengthened through increased levels of genuine intimacy and families are better able to cope with life’s challenges.

Alcoholism in the family statistics Alcoholism in the family what you can do Alcoholism in the family system Alcoholism in the family article Alcoholism in the family essay Alcoholism runs in the family Alcoholism in the family family roles Alcoholism eff

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