Family Therapy for Drug Recovery

family supporting their daughter through teen substance use disorder treatment

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Addiction to drugs is more than meets the eye and what is often seen at surface level. Addiction involves the body, mind, and also impacts the lives of those involved with a person who is abusing drugs.

When a person is struggling with a drug addiction, this can negatively impact their ability to relate with others and effectively engage in relationships. Addictions often isolate individuals from their families and the people they love the most, preventing even the most meaningful relationships from growing or progressing.

Families Suffer From Addiction

As a family member of a person who is struggling with addiction, the pain that is often experienced can be devastating and destructive in multiple ways. If you have a loved one that is dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may have a myriad of questions and feelings that are running through your mind.

Will our relationship ever be the same? Will the person I once knew ever come back from this? What is going to happen to our family through this process? Watching someone you love deal with an addiction can be a roller coaster of emotions.

Addressing All Aspects of an Addict’s Life

The recovery process from an addiction is also a journey, one that requires commitment, dedication, and support from many individuals. Recovery from addiction often addresses a person’s life on multiple levels – including their physical well being, mental health, surrounding environment and relationships, including family.

Many different types of psychotherapy can help a recovering addict heal, including individual and family therapy. Family therapy involves family members who have been a foundational part of a person’s life.

The Role of Family Therapy

Healthy lifestyle - young women bikingFamily therapy can play a central role in the treatment of substance abuse, particularly as it seeks to address the needs of all family members involved. Family therapy can be an effective approach for intervening with complex relationships and encouraging production changes that lead to restoration and healing within the family unit.

A qualified therapist, who can help mediate counseling and productive conversations between members, typically leads family therapy.

No matter where you have found yourself today, as either an addiction sufferer or loved one of an addict, there is hope for you through the journey of recovery.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you been in recovery from a drug addiction? If so, was family therapy part of your treatment and recovery process? How was this beneficial and helpful to your recovery from drugs?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
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