“Addiction is a family disease” is what we hear, but how does that really happen? Usually the addict is the identified patient who we immediately recognize needs addiction treatment. The family members who are not addicts are usually overlooked and are also in need of support and help.
Most treatment centers will offer a family program to help the family members recognize that they too have been negatively impacted by addiction. Unhealthy patterns are common to those who have a loved one who is addicted. Some of these characteristics can be:
- Poor Communication
- Internalizing Feelings
- Sarcasm, Anger and Intimidation
- Emotional Abuse or Avoidance
These 5 unhealthy characteristics can be worked through and families do and can heal to get better. Everyone is responsible to get help and if you are capable of going to family therapy, this should be part of the recovery process.
As the addict begins to make healthy changes the family will also have to make changes. These changes include: Assertive communication, healthy expression of feelings, conflict resolution, learning how to forgive and health, love and eliminating enabling behaviors.