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Addiction and Family: The Ultimate Guide on Addiction & Your Family

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Learn about Addiction and How it Affects Your Family

Having an addict in the family is a challenge for everyone involved.

The addict lives a life of loneliness, isolation, and uncertainty with the ever-present threat of arrest, overdose, and death. And for the family members, life is uncertain as well, with midnight phone calls, pleas for money, expensive trips to rehab, and frequent relapses.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that an alcoholic is like a tornado roaring through a family’s lives.

It is easy to feel helpless when a family member is struggling with drinking or using drugs. Having an alcoholic loved one is heartbreaking and frightening, and the longer the situation goes on the more desperate you may become.

Watching someone you care about spiral down into alcoholism and substance abuse is never easy, but you are not alone.

We compiled a list of articles that can help your family better understand alcoholism and drug addiction. These articles were originally published on one of our four blogs.

We compiled them here in hopes that you can better understand addiction and find the help you and your family need to heal.

Addiction and Family Impacts

Addiction impacts the entire family.

Everyone from the parent who is using to the child that is not getting enough attention because the parents are continuously worried about their addicted child.

The first step in getting help is helping yourself. Find a group family members can attend. Al-Anon is for friends and families of alcoholics.  Al-Anon can improve the recovery experience for you and your loved one in treatment. Look for meetings in the neighborhood. Not all meetings are equally supportive, so go to several and see which one is the best fit. Usually, the treatment center where your loved is can help you find a healthy meeting.

Articles on Contributing to the Problem of Addiction

Understand Addiction

Substance use disorder, also referred to as drug addiction, affects a person’s brain and behavior. The disease leads to an inability to control the use of a substance—whether illegal or not.

The more you understand about addiction the better off you will be. But you will need help on top of this. That’s why we suggested above to get extra help at Al-Anon.

Understand There’s Not a Quick Fix

Many families believe that once their loved one goes to treatment the first time, they are cured. But the first 30 days are only the beginning. Read about the philosophy of the group your loved one is involved with. Learn as much as you can about the group, how it functions, who it includes, what the rules are and what to expect.

Have a Plan After Treatment

Ethical treatment centers will give your loved one a plan when they leave treatment so your loved one can keep treating mental health and substance use disorder or alcoholism. Often, transitional living is important for addiction treatment.

Understand Chronic Relapse

The cycle of chronic relapse is far more common than most people struggling with addiction think. What most addicts and their family members may not realize is that chronic relapse is not caused by a lack of willpower. More often than not, the root cause is far more complicated than that. 

Relapsing time and time again can take its toll on you, your family members, and everyone around you. In fact, it can be more damaging, time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally taxing than the actual process of rehabilitation itself. 

There is a certain type of alcoholic that cannot get sober. Traditional 30 and 60-day treatment does not work. It can be like a revolving door. Money, time, and other resources can be exhausted. Learn about chronic relapse.

Underlying Mental Health Problems

Being a recovered member society and not being tempted to drink or use drugs is possible. But it takes a psychic change or attitude adjustment. Here are articles that will help you understand the 12 Step program and the mental shift that is required.

Understanding the Principles that Lead to Being Recovered

Being a recovered member of society and not being tempted to drink or use drugs is possible. But it takes a psychic change or attitude adjustment. Here are articles that will help you understand the 12 Step program and the mental shift that is required

Getting Professional Help

For decades now, the 12-steps have proven incredibly effective, with millions of success stories around the world. But in order for the model to work its magic, the recovering addicts themselves must do their part, and having the right kind of help and support from their family will help a lot as well. It’s critical to get professional help from ethical treatment centers.

Related articles:

Find Recovery, Not Just Sobriety.



LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

"A Message To Families"

Brook McKenzie, LCDCI, Chief Operating Officer