The Effects of Drug Abuse Treatment on a Family

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The effects of drug abuse go beyond the abuser and the family and loved ones of the person suffering from drug abuse suffer as well. According to a 2010 government survey, over 8 percent of the American population had used an illicit drug within one month of taking the survey. This same survey showed that over 17 million Americans were abusing street drugs, which does not even include those who abuse prescription drugs. Drugs are a problem that continues to grow in society, but each year thousands of people recognize that they have an addiction and seek professional help. Dealing with the effects of drug abuse does not end when a person leaves treatment; it extends into their entire life and requires the love and support of family members.

The Effects of Drug Abuse Treatment

The effects of drug abuse treatment on a family can be profound.  Many families do not understand the disease of addiction and have a hard time understanding why their loved one behaves in uncharacteristic ways.  Many families find it particularly difficult to watch their loved one suffer from the disease and do not know how to seek help.  Families with small children or in which a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol may have a difficult time coping with the impact on the family structure or the family’s stability.  It is best for family members to seek family therapy when dealing with the effects of drug abuse, not just the individual suffering from addiction.

Drug abuse treatment is a good first step in helping rebuild the family unit, but it requires more than just the individual effort of the person suffering from addiction.  Family therapy can help the family unit cope with the effects of drug abuse, such as the pain and frustration of addiction and poor of communication, and educate family members on the disease of addiction.  Family therapy can also help rebuild trust or outline ways that a loved one suffering from addiction can rebuild trust in the family unit.

Drug abuse treatment can help a family heal, but it takes time.  Family members should not expect their loved one to leave treatment with a magical cure.  Recovery is a lifelong process that requires continual dedication and hard work to healthy living.  Each day a person is in recovery they will face challenges and need the strength to make positive choices.  Families should focus on moving beyond the negative effects of drug abuse and instead look at ways to more forward to a positive and healthy future.  The negative feelings family members may have about the drug abuse should be re-channeled to forgiveness and a desire to rebuild the family unit.

There is hope for those seeking to beat the pains of addiction and their families. Studies have proven that with the proper treatment, people suffering from addiction can overcome the disease.  The healing process is a long one, especially for families, but many families find that they can overcome the negative effects of drug abuse and make their family whole again.