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Handling Family Issues While in Addiction Rehab

a family handles their issues in addiction rehab with family therapy

You want to help, but you don’t know how to get your family all on the same page. Thankfully, there is hope. Working through your family issues brings your family together and helps your loved one recover, and Vertava Health Texas can help. Contact us at 844.311.8395 for information about our family therapy program in Scurry, Texas.

Handling Family Issues While in Addiction Rehab

Family therapy is vital to recovery, as it invites the entire family unit to explore how they contribute to and help a loved one’s addiction, how to communicate better, and what needs to change in order for them to become stronger. One of the ways this is done is by contemplating the influence of the family roles, what happens when the influence is broken, and what family issues contribute to addiction, as well as how to remedy them.

The Influence of Common Family Roles

When addiction strikes a family, it often becomes a series of roles. These roles are typically similar to the family member’s past behaviors. These roles are many, but the most common ones can be described in the following way: the person suffering from addiction, the enabler, the hero, the scapegoat, and the mascot. While not every family will be large enough to fill these roles or the many others, members change roles at various times. The person struggling with addiction is obviously the focus of the family unit in this circumstance. The role of everyone else will be reliant on the way they interact with this person. For example, the enabler is the person who helps clean up the mess their loved one is making. They will make excuses, help them get to school, get them to work, give them money that ends up being used for drugs, and try to keep them happy. The hero is the member of the family who steps up to take care of the family in the absence of the addicted loved one. They are often the eldest child in a family, taking on an overachieving persona, excelling in school and career paths, and helping the family get through the day. They often take on a high level of stress and personal guilt. The scapegoat is the person in the family who is always wrong and is blamed for family problems. This family member is often oppositional or difficult, but not always. Some families will actually find ways to blame this member of the family for their loved one’s addiction or take out their frustrations on them instead. The mascot is the funny one who revels in their ability to make the family laugh. They usually make a constant punchline out of the scapegoat and look to use humor to cover up the problematic situation in the house. They often have a hard time accepting the reality of their loved one’s addictions and try to make a joke out of their use.

Breaking the Influence of These Family Roles

The one thing that combines all the above-mentioned family roles is the way they try to deal with or even cover up their loved one’s addiction. They are also often directly oppositional to one another. As mentioned, the mascot is likely to clash with their constant punchline, the scapegoat. Meanwhile, the hero might get angry at the enabler for allowing the addiction to continue. With unmentioned and less common roles, clashing within the family unit is just as prevalent. These conflicts are a major drag because they will distract you and your family from doing what must be done to help your loved one beat addiction. Breaking these roles is an essential but crucial step. In the case of these specific roles, it requires the enabler to stop covering up their loved one’s mistakes, a relaxation of the hero’s workload, an active presence for the often-neglected scapegoat, and a more serious approach from the mascot. Sit down with your family and identify your roles, make amends, and agree to work together temporarily to help your loved one get into alcohol rehabilitation. Once they are in rehab, you can then work together to help alleviate family roles and issues that contribute to your discord and your loved one’s addiction concerns. Honestly, it will be good for both your loved one’s health and the health of your family unit.

Family Issues that Contribute to Addiction

Beyond the influence of family roles are the problems that plague every family unit. It is almost impossible to find a family whose members have no issues with each other. Addiction is often caused by these all-too-common problems. In fact, addiction often exacerbates the severity of these concerns. Common family problems include:

  • Personality conflicts
  • Loved ones who have deceased
  • Life failures or struggles suffered by the loved one
  • Emotional difficulties between one or two family members
  • Romantic issues or past betrayals
  • Money problems or conflicts
  • Anger or resentment over drug use

These problems influence addiction by creating a great deal of stress in the family. Often, people turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve their stress. In a tight family unit, many of these problems can feel unavoidable or inescapable. As a result, addiction sets in and accelerates the severity of these concerns. The cycle is complex and can seem almost unbreakable.

Here’s the thing about it: you have to take care of these problems as quickly as possible in order to help accelerate your loved one’s recovery. You can’t let your contrasting family roles and issues continue to rule your family.

Working Through Addiction As a Family

Once your loved one is in rehab, your family needs to stay an active and vital part of their recovery process. For example, you need to actively work together to understand the ways your family issues have contributed to their addiction. You also need to find ways to assess and solve those problems. Family therapy is often an essential part of the rehabilitation experience, especially if your family has issues that contributed directly to your loved one’s addiction. Working together, you will open up old wounds, discover past hurts, find explanations for problematic behaviors, and work together to change negative behaviors and replace them with healing ones. Once your loved one is out of rehab, you need to work together to address your family issues continually. Avoid falling on past behaviors and be open and honest with each other. One way to increase openness is to hold a family meeting once a week. Here people can open up and honestly discuss concerns and issues. You can also discuss your loved one’s process through recovery and brainstorm ways to help them continue on their journey.

Vertava Health – Texas Makes Families Stronger

Drug rehab is not an easy process for any family, but it is one that abounds with healing potential. A successful recovery journey will bring your family closer together and create a more loving and stable environment. This wonderful reality can be achieved with Vertava Health Texas. Contact us to learn more about how crucial rehab is for your family’s health.