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How Family Can Challenge Your SobrietyWhile recovery is ultimately the choice and responsibility of the drug user, addiction is a family disease. According to an article in the June 2013 issue of Social Work in Public Health, “Treating Substance Abuse: Partner and Family Approaches” explains that family members have an important role in the creation and continuation of a substance abuse disorder. The most effective clinicians recognize this and offer interventions and treatment options that include families and partners of addicts. Tennessee residents who abuse drugs will need family help to recover, so seek help as soon as possible to make sobriety possible.

How Families Affect Addiction

An article by Linda McCann, “An Exploration into the Causes of Addiction” (2010) discusses a study wherein 70% of a small group of heroin users experienced a history of family drug or alcohol abuse. It may seem obvious that a chaotic, stressful or traumatic home life can cause poor coping skills, or the desire to escape and self-medicate through drug use, but even well-intentioned family members can cause or add to an addiction problem. In Friends and Families of Addiction: A Survival Manual (2006), Carol Gillespie and Kay Little explain that enabling keeps Tennessee drug addicts from experiencing the consequences of their actions. It is a process rooted in a desire to help, but instead, “it ‘helps’ the addict continue living in the addiction” (24). Enabling allows an addiction to continue for longer than it must, and enabling actions can encourage a relapse if they go unaddressed during recovery.

Family Therapy for Long-Term Addiction Recovery

In Treating Patients with Alcohol and Other Drug Problems: An Integrated Approach (2011), Robert Margolis and Joan Zweben explore how returning to a dysfunctional family after addiction treatment contributes to relapse. In response to these problems, they offer family therapy approaches for long-term recovery maintenance. Margolis and Zweben suggest that therapy will help Tennessee families accomplish the following feats:

  • Engage one another
  • Join together
  • Stabilize
  • Learn the facts about addiction and recovery
  • Analyze family systems
  • Develop coping strategies
  • Develop relapse prevention strategies

When families do not seek treatment as a whole and lack the tools for maintaining recovery, they can encourage relapse rather than support sobriety. The May 2009 issue of Journal of Family Therapy states that families who pursue therapy together experience the following results:

  • Less substance abuse
  • Greater relationship satisfaction
  • Improvement in other areas of relationship adjustment

Families can challenge sobriety by avoiding therapy and withholding additional support.

Recovery for Tennessee Families

If you or a Tennessee family member struggles with addiction recovery, then please call our toll-free helpline. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to find the best resources for your family as a whole. Don’t let addiction take away your son, daughter, sibling or parent.