Family Therapy for Substance Use Disorder

May 15, 2019
Family Therapy for Substance Use Disorder

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 in 10 children grow up in a home where at least one parent has a substance use disorder (SUD). Because of this, the way that treatment for patients with addiction has evolved from focusing on just the patient, to focusing on the entire family. Family dynamics are like structural systems that keep everyone functioning. When one part of the structure becomes weak, the entire system is affected. In this case, if a mother or father develops a substance abuse disorder, their parents, children, and siblings will need to be a part of the recovery to get their family dynamic back to an operational state.

Effects of Substance Abuse on the Family

Addiction can leave family members feeling angry, worried, and unlike themselves. They may begin to distrust the member of their family with the drug or alcohol abuse disorder, and this can leave them feeling guilty. Parents and children of people living with a SUD may develop anxiety over whether or not their loved one will return home alive after being away from them. Children especially, are vulnerable to the effects of substance abuse because they are still growing and developing relationships with their caretakers. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, a child who grows up in the home of a parent with a drug or alcohol abuse disorder is 3 times more likely to be physically or sexually abused.

Because of this potential environment and distrust with their caretakers, these children have a higher chance of growing up and experiencing addiction themselves, as well as developing mental health disorders. This then creates a cycle of addiction. Legal issues can ensue, with anything from child custody and abuse, to drug charges, to hefty fines that must be paid. Families may be faced with attending court dates and using their own money to keep their loved one out of jail. All of this creates a negative and sometimes hostile environment, leaving the family members and the user feeling confused and unsure of where to turn. With the help of family therapy, families can start to become whole again.

Safe Landing Is Here for You

At Safe Landing Recovery we offer family therapy as one of our treatment options. Rehabilitation that lasts will require a strong family connection and we can help get you there. Whether you are seen residential, partially, or outwardly, we help families mend the bonds that were broken during the time of addiction. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Alexandrea Holder

Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.