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Archive for the ‘Family Therapy’ Category

Links Between Social Media Usage and Substance Abuse

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Links Between Social Media Usage and Substance AbuseSome people are at a greater risk of substance abuse than others. Researchers believe there is a genetic link to addiction, as people with a family history of substance abuse disorders may struggle with addiction themselves. While there are inherent factors that contribute to illness, lifestyle also plays a role. A lack of support system and intense exposure to peer pressure, for example, are contributing factors to substance abuse and addiction. Even our social media networks can influence our decision to use drugs or develop unhealthy behaviors. Could Facebook be putting your loved ones at risk?

Social Networking and Teens

In 2011 when Columbia University added relevant inventory items to their annual National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVI: Teens and Parent, researchers began examining the link between social media use and substance abuse. The survey asked 12 to 17-year-olds whether they spent time on social media sites, such as Facebook, every day. The overwhelming majority (70%) reported typical day social media use. This daily use put them at higher risk for several kinds of substance abuse. Compared to their peers who did not use social media, these teens were five times more likely to smoke, three times more likely to drink, and twice as likely to use marijuana.

Social Networking and Teens

Evidence also suggests that Facebook and other social media sites can normalize binge drinking and other dangerous substance abuse behaviors among teens. According to the survey, nearly half of all teens that use social media regularly have also seen pictures of their peers drinking, passed out, or using drugs. These children were three times more likely to drink and four times more likely to use marijuana themselves.

A 2013 study from the University of Michigan found a positive correlation between Facebook use and unhappiness and dissatisfaction with lives. In other words, the more some teens use social media, the more discontented they can become. Combined with co-morbid mental disorders such as depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety, or environmental factors such as lack of social support or situational induced stress, teens are more likely to turn to substance abuse. 

Cyber-Bullying and Substance Abuse

Teens are more vulnerable to peer pressure and bullying than they ever before. It’s easier for teens to achieve anonymity online. The disconnected nature of online discourse causes teens to be bolder in regard to teasing. About half of young people (aged 18 and younger) admit to being cyber-bullied at some point. Over half of young people who use social media admit observing cyber-bullying. Compared to their peers who have not been bullied online, teens that experience cyber-bullying are twice as likely to abuse alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.

Can We Become Addicted to Social Media?

A 2015 study from the University of Albany revealed we could actually become addicted to social media. Published in the journal Addiction, the study found about ten percent of Facebook’s user’s display “disordered social media use”. The individuals who met this criterion were also more likely to have impulse control disorders and drinking problems. The study’s head researcher suggested these findings illuminate the idea that the same risk factors that increase susceptibility to substance addiction also increase the likelihood of disordered online social networking.

Addiction, Facebook, and Our Brains

These findings aren’t entirely surprising when we consider our biology. Drugs are addictive because of the way they interact with our brains neurotransmitters; creating a rush of endorphins we call a high. While chemical substances create a more intense cycle or high and withdrawal, other activities such as sex, gambling, and even social media use create similar cycles of cravings and rewards. The social media rewards we receive (for example, a notification saying someone “likes” our activity) can create cravings for more approval, generating an addictive pattern much like substances do.

In its most basic form, this is called variable schedule reinforcement, and it’s effective in creating patterns of compulsive behavior. Facebook makes it easy to fall into addictive behavior because of things like push notifications and apps. Users don’t even need to log in to get their social approval; it’s available on the go with their mobile app.

Correlation, Not Causation

While the literature regarding social media use, addiction, and substance abuse are illuminating, it’s important to consider them in context. These studies suggest a link between social media use and addictive behaviors in at-risk members of the population. This doesn’t mean that we are all addicted to social media. People that already struggle with impulse control are more likely to display disordered social media use, and these people are also more likely to struggle with substance abuse.

Correlation, Not Causation

Addiction is a complex medical condition that arises from a combination of risk factors. Biological predisposition, co-occurring mental disorders, and environmental reasons such as stress and lack of family involvement all contribute to addiction. There is never just one reason for addiction, and each struggle with substance abuse is unique.

Social media can be a wonderful way to connect with others and share experiences. On the other hand, overuse can become a problem for some. In teens exposed to illicit drug use online, social media use can lead to an increased likelihood of smoking, drinking, and marijuana use. Parents should take steps to be involved in their teen’s online activities by talking to them about online safety and the dangers of using illicit substances.

Teens Are Becoming More Active on Social Media Which Leads to More Cases of Cyber-Bullying and Substance Abuse! Speak to Our Counselors About How to Help Prevent Your Teen from Experimenting with Drugs and Alcohol Today!

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Codependency (Part II): The Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Codependency: The Characteristics of Codependent Behaviors

This is Part 2 of our codependency series. If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

One of the major problems seen in the families of addicts is codependency. Codependency is a set of dysfunctional behaviors that family members adopt in order to survive the emotional pain and stress caused by living with an addicted family member. Do you believe that love, acceptance, security and approval are dependent upon taking care of your addicted family member? While such actions may temporarily ease conflict and tension within the family, in the end they protect the addict from the negative consequences of his/her addiction allowing the addict to continue drinking or abusing chemical substances.

Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior. In a healthy relationship, showing compassion by attending to another’s needs strengthens the relationship and leads to mutual appreciation, good communication, deeper intimacy and trust. However, the compassionate person never loses sight of who they are and recognizes that their own needs are of equal importance.
In the case of the codependent person, their identity rests upon their ability to rescue others. Often they are dependent on another’s inability to function and are unconsciously drawn to troubled, needy and dependent people. Obsessive care taking becomes a way of fulfilling their emotional needs. While intentions are well meant, these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual, in this case the addict, to continue on a destructive path.

The Cost of Codependency

Unlike compassion, codependency is associated with an overwhelming feeling of guilt; guilt is often the motivating factor for decisions and behaviors within the relationship, even though they don’t make any logical sense.

There are many definitions of co-dependency. In his book Co-dependence, Healing the Human Condition, Charles L. Whitfield, M.D. defines codependence as “A disease of lost selfhood.” Often, codependency is rooted in a person’s childhood. Exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behavioral patterns need to be examined. Treatment includes education, experiential and individual group therapy. Feelings that have been buried need to be examined in order for the codependent to retrace and identify self-defeating behavioral patterns.

Does someone you love abuse drugs and alcohol? Are you filled with despair and worry about this person constantly? Has your life become controlled by the addict’s addictive behavior? If you answer yes to these questions, know that help is at hand. The first step is acknowledging that you need help. Joining a 12-Step program such as Codependents Anonymous, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon is a good beginning. Seeking the help of a professional therapist is also highly recommended.

Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you so absorbed in trying to stop your loved one’s dependence on alcohol or chemical substances to the point that your own life has now become unmanageable?
  • Does every moment of your waking day revolve around attempts to rescue, to control, to take on responsibilities that in reality are not yours to take on?
  • Do you find yourself, ranting and raging, complaining, policing, nagging the alcoholic/drug addicted family member?
  • Have you felt overwhelming fatigue?
  • Do you feel victimized?
  • Do you feel depressed?
  • Do you feel helpless and hopeless?
  • Are you experiencing a wide range of emotions that have begun to disturb you to the point that obtaining a good night’s sleep is nigh impossible?
  • Are you neglecting your own life and in so doing have stopped taking care of yourself?
  • Do you constantly feel responsible for others behavior?
  • Do you feel excessive guilt whenever you spend time on your own projects believing that your role is to take care of others needs?
  • Do you have difficulty expressing your own wants? Do you find yourself becoming angry when your own needs are unmet?
  • Do you seek approval and validation?
  • Have you become totally absorbed to the point of obsession with watching over and covering up for someone who is abusing drugs and alcohol?
  • Do you have difficulty setting boundaries – saying NO?
  • Are you driven by fear of failure and the need to avoid being wrong or making any mistakes?
  • Are you losing your own identity in trying to rescue and fix others?
  • Do you pretend that circumstances aren’t as bad as they are?
  • Are you in a constant state of anxiety?

Could you be Codependent?

In her book, Codependent No More, Melody Beattie describes codependency as follows: “A person who has let someone else’s behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior” (Beattie 1987). My question to you is “Have you allowed someone else’s behavior to take control of your life?” If so, it is possible to learn to enjoy life again, to learn to detach with love. Make a plan to embark on your own recovery journey — you will find it to be an exciting and empowering voyage of discovery.

By Judi Jenett

Judi Jenett is the Family Program Coordinator for The Treatment Center.

Judi's pic

Codependency (Part I): Addiction in the Family

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Codependency: What To Do If Your Loved One is Addicted

Codependency: Addiction in the Family

When someone you love has become addicted to drugs or alcohol you may find yourself trying to protect them from the consequences of their own actions. You believe that by doing all in your power to help that person recover, to help that person stay on the straight and narrow path, all will be well. However, there is a fine line between offering healthy support versus harmful enabling behavior.

Enabling is often seen in relationships between addicts/alcoholics and codependents. Enabling behavior occurs when a codependent person, either directly or indirectly, takes on the full responsibility for tidying up the wreckage of the addict’s self-destructive actions or makes excuses for their conduct.

Rescuing someone or solving someone’s problems may seem like a caring and compassionate action, but in the case of the disease of addiction, trying to control another’s harmful and destructive abuse of chemical substances is an impossible task. What you can do is to focus on your own life, your own well-being.

Only when the addicted person is faced with the consequences of their actions, only when the realization that they have hit rock bottom and have no one there to pick up the pieces of their self-destructive behavior/conduct will they be able to come to the realization that they need professional help.

When we find ourselves trying to fix another’s problem or if we find ourselves needing to help the other person for the purpose of feeling our own sense of identity – then we are dealing with co-dependency. There may be times when we all battle some form of co-dependent behavior but when the struggle becomes all-encompassing and affects one’s emotional, spiritual and physical well-being, then it’s time to seek help.

In my next blog we will delve into the patterns and characteristics of codependent behavior (or codependency).

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. At The Treatment Center, we help our patients experience hope and healing from their addiction. Regardless of what substance you are addicted to, The Treatment Center can help you break free from the chains of addiction. Call us now at 877.392.3342, or chat with an admissions counselor online. Our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays.

 

By Judi Jenett

Judi Jenett is the Family Program Coordinator for The Treatment Center.

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Trauma (Part 2): Symptoms of Trauma and Effective Therapies

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Trauma-an-Often-Overlooked-pt-2

By Family Therapist, Judi Jenett

Family Therapist, Judi Jenett | The Treatment Center blog

In Part 1 of the trauma blog series, I explained how complex trauma, adversity early in life, and untreated psychological trauma is often the root of addiction.

In Part 2 of this blog, we explore the symptoms of trauma and effective therapies that have been scientifically proven to help trauma survivors cope better.

Symptoms of Trauma

In severe cases, the person who has been harmed as a result of a deep rooted trauma may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is characterized by recurrent, unwanted distressing thoughts and flashbacks.

Symptoms of changes in emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) include irritability, explosive outbursts and aggressive behavior. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulties in concentration
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Constant feelings of danger

Self-destructive behaviors such as drinking too much or driving too fast as a way of anesthetizing the pain may become a daily occurrence. Life may become unbearable to the point of such despair that suicide may seem to be the only way out.

Reaching Out for Help

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, reach out for help straight away. Contact your doctor, mental health provider or other health care professional. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here in the United States is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) trained counselors will be standing by.

Remember, with the right treatment, self-help strategies, and support, you can speed your recovery. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on. Using mood-altering substances will not help you work through your pain, working through trauma will, and this requires courage and commitment.

Evidence-based Treatment Methods

Some of the modalities incorporated in the treatment of trauma symptoms include:

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems. Scientific and evidence based research has established EMDR as an effective treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Clinicians have also reported success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:

  • Addictions
  • Pain disorders
  • Complicated grief
  • Panic attacks
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Disturbing memories
  • Phobias
  • Performance anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Sexual and/or physical abuse
  • Body dysmorphic disorders
  • Personality disorders

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilizes the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behavior. The subconscious mind is considered to be the source or root of many of our behaviors, emotions, attitudes and motivations.

Experiential Workshops

Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience and involves actions, movements and activities rather than the more traditional “talk therapy.” This approach encourages patients to identify and address hidden or subconscious issues through activities such as role-playing, guided imagery, the use of props, and a range of other active experiences.

One of the many advantages of experiential therapy is that the experiences and activities that form the core of the process provide opportunities for the therapist to observe patients in situations where the patients are not focused on the therapy itself. Change, emotional growth, and personal empowerment are among the benefits of participating in an effective experiential therapy workshop.

Group Therapy

Probably the biggest advantage of group therapy is that it helps a patient realize that he or she is not alone — that there are other people who have similar problems. This is often a revelation and a huge relief to the person.

Patients listen to each other and openly provide feedback; these interactions give patients an opportunity to increase understanding, try out new ways of being with others and learn more about the ways they interact. Most people find that they have important things in common with other group members, and as others work n concerns, they in turn can learn much more about themselves.

Vibroacoustic Therapy

Vibroacoustic therapy combines the physical vibrations of relaxing music with the vibrations of Pulsed Low Frequency Sine Tones. The process of Vibroacoustic therapy involves the use of recorded music, played through an amplifier and delivered to the body via a Vibroacoustic bed or chair. The physical vibrations of both the music and the low frequency sine tone are felt in the body and promote a feeling of calm. This form of therapy is a safe, drug-free, non-invasive approach to reducing pain, hyperactivity, stress and anxiety.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a safe and effective way to soothe physical pain and to manage stress. Trauma survivors need to feel safe, valued, in control, and open enough to be intimate with boundaries and trustful with others. Massage therapy provides a comfortable and relaxed setting to help trauma survivors manage their symptoms. While massage therapy can trigger traumatic memory, it’s also a powerful healing tool to help patients grow and thrive through healthy nurturance, intimacy with boundaries, and loving touch.

Receive Holistic Services at Restore

The Treatment Center recognizes the importance of an integrative program that treats both substance abuse and the accompanying trauma that often exists. Patients can receive hypnotherapy, vibroacoustic therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care from highly trained therapists at Restore, our holistic care center. The staff at Restore understands that recovering from trauma combined with chemical addiction takes time.

Patients need time to heal and to mourn the losses they have experienced. If you have been exposed to a traumatic event/s during childhood and beyond and have turned to drugs and/or alcohol as a coping mechanism, please reach out to an admission counselor today and call 877-392-3342. They are available to answer any questions you may have about our services.

To make an appointment at Restore, call (561) 402-7222 or for more information reach out to our Director of Holistic Therapies, Erin Runhaar-Cobas at [email protected] The staff at Restore is here to help the community thrive in recovery.

Trauma (Part 1): An Often Overlooked Root of Addiction

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Trauma-an-Often-Overlooked-pt-1

By Family Therapist, Judi Jenett

Family Therapist, Judi Jenett | The Treatment Center blog

The very word trauma evokes images of major events such as war, rape, kidnapping, and abuse. Natural disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and windstorms affect thousands of people every year, causing loss of life, loss of home and leaving economic damage in their wake.

When traumatic experiences occur, they often leave mental and physical scars that may feel impossible to overcome. Our sense of safety and predictability is challenged and this may trigger strong physical and emotional reactions.

The Truth about Complex Trauma

Complex trauma describes the dual problem of children’s exposure to traumatic events that occur within the caregiving system, the social environment that is supposed to be the source of safety and stability in a child’s life. Early experiences such as emotional abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, witnessing unpredictable domestic violence and repeated abandonment, often leave a child unable to develop appropriate language and verbal skills.

Children whose parents continuously dismiss or reject them learn to disregard or distrust their emotions, relationships and even their own bodies. Parental invalidation generates helplessness and hopelessness. The connection (bond) between a parent and a child is broken; the child is then forced to act “as though the trauma never happened.”

Exposure to Adversity Early in Life

Other traumatic events such as losing a parent to death or divorce can also leave emotional and psychological scars. Growing up in an alcoholic or addicted home or in any other environment where children are taught to bury their feelings causes intense feelings of fear and pain.

Children who have been exposed to severe adversity early in life are at increased risk of developing mental health problems, including drug and alcohol dependence. What happens within the family unit early in a child’s life will have a huge influence over them later in life.

Self-medicating with Drugs and Alcohol

What most of these young people have in common is the wide range of psychoactive substances used to self-medicate, a way of drowning out emotional and psychological pain. This form of mood management can and often does lead to addiction and the disease of addiction is progressive.

Drug and alcohol use allows a person to disconnect from their feelings rather than think about or relive the traumatic event. By using drugs, alcohol or other substances, feelings of fear and powerlessness, depression and those ever-present intrusive memories are dampened. Likewise, guilt or rage is avoided, thus the cycle of addictive or impulsive behavior begins.

When Psychological Trauma Goes Untreated

The effects of untreated psychological trauma can be devastating and infiltrate nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. Trauma disrupts the body’s natural equilibrium, freezing you into a state of hyperarousal and fear.

The nature of the traumatic event, the level of social and emotional support, past traumatic experiences, ones personality type, and the presence or non-presence of sound coping skills plays a large role in whether one will be more susceptible to trauma.

It is not a sign of emotional weakness or a character flaw to have flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, sleep difficulties or tremendous stress after witnessing a serious accident; debilitation from illness or injury; bullying; separation from home or loved one; incarceration; serious illness; loss of a loved one.

Complex trauma in early childhood can affect adults later in life. In part 2 of this blog, we will explore some of the symptoms of trauma and the feelings that are often attached to traumatic events and situations. Also revealed are some healthy coping mechanisms and therapeutic methods for survivors of trauma.

Building Trust and Meaningful Relationships in Recovery

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Building Trust and Meaningful Relationships in Recovery

By Family Therapist, Judi Jenett

Family Therapist, Judi Jenett | The Treatment Center blog

Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust, there can be no cohesive family unit and rebuilding trust for those recovering from an addiction is a process that can take many months or years. The disease of addiction creates imbalances in relationships and challenges the entire family system.

Families often experience a variety of emotions, unexpressed anger and pain, confusion, embarrassment, guilt, shame and fear. Added to this, are the physical and psychological symptoms such as loss of sleep, headaches, depression, helplessness, hopelessness, isolation, loss of concentration and great sorrow.

Managing the Unmanageable

Many times family members are so focused on the addict that they lose sight of their own needs. Many families have been deeply hurt by the actions of their loved ones; serious financial problems may have developed due to excessive spending, frequent work absences or loss of employment.

Extramarital affairs and untrustworthy behavior may have led to marital conflict. Major concerns and fears over verbal, emotional or physical abuse may have caused severe anxiety and lead a person to disguise their true feelings in order to manage the unmanageable. However, it is possible to heal the hurt that has been caused.

Restoring the Family Dynamic in Recovery

Addiction in the family need not destroy the family unit, family members can strengthen their relationships with one another by being willing to talk and explore new avenues of communication in an honest and open format. When the addicted family member begins their journey toward long-term sobriety, they will be more open to receiving your love, support and guidance.

Working through issues separately and together takes time, but relationships can be repaired. Exploring the dynamics within the family are key to opening the doors to change. Building family connections requires effective family communication; clear, honest and regular communication leads to strong family ties.

Addressing Enabling and Codependency

Exploring the dynamics of the family unit helps families to step back and recognize long-standing patterns of ineffective communication, codependency or conflict. These patterns may have started in childhood long before the addiction. When a child experiences inconsistent parenting, in an attempt to avoid upsetting the family homeostasis, they turn to people pleasing behavior.

This unhealthy dynamic may continue into adult life as a way of ensuring emotional danger is kept at bay. If emotions and fears cannot be expressed openly, children may develop destructive and impulsive behaviors in an attempt to conquer their pain. Feelings of low self worth and shame, and feelings of helplessness may overwhelm those living within an addicted family system. Despite well-meaning intentions, families may inadvertently become trapped in a cycle of enabling and codependency.

The Importance of Family Therapy

Family therapy is an essential part of your own and your loved one’s recovery. The Treatment Center understands and recognizes the importance of ongoing family therapy and makes it an integral part of The Treatment Center’s Intensive Outpatient Program. For families who live locally, we provide a monthly/bi-monthly Family Support Group.

The support group offers a safe place to explore the genetic, emotional and social factors that may have inadvertently led to a breakdown of family cohesion. Meeting with a therapist as a family can help improve communication among family members, rebalance the family dynamic and give family members a safe environment to express their anger, fear and other concerns.

Attending Family Workshops

Family therapy may also be helpful in preventing the children of addicts from succumbing to the disease themselves. The family connections that you learn to develop today will no doubt reflect the type of relationships you have with your family tomorrow.

For further information and/or registration, please contact me, family therapist, Judi Jenett. Assistance will also be provided with hotel reservations. You can contact me directly via email [email protected] or by calling 561-557-2797.

Why Recovering from Addiction is a Family Affair

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Recovering from Addiction a Family Affair | Family Program

 

“If you loved me, you’d stop.” Does this sound familiar to you? It’s a common sentiment among family members who are trying to control their loved one’s addictive behaviors. Yet, it’s impossible to stop the nightmare of addiction without the proper medical treatment.

As a family member struggling with your loved one’s addiction, it’s easy to believe it’s “their problem” alone. However, addiction brings with it a host of underlying issues within the entire family. The usual emotions of anger, pain, resentment, fear, love, and desperation can get bottled up or taken out on others.

The stigma and shame that follows the addict also follows the family. Often without realizing it, many family members develop trauma due to their loved one’s addiction. However, with individual counseling and support group meetings, the entire family can heal.

The Goal of Family Recovery

Addiction is a family disease and recovering from addiction is a family affair. The ultimate goal in family recovery is to help each individual family member improve their wellness and health. Often, a well-thought-out family recovery program will help one:

  • Learn more about the disease of addiction
  • Address relationship issues with codependency
  • Establish healthy boundary setting
  • Prevent old behaviors (e.g. denial, blaming, shaming, enabling)
  • Learn new communication skills with family members
  • Learn healthy ways to detach from others with love
  • Engage in personal and family activities (e.g. attending 12-step meetings or participating in recovery events)
  • Learn more about the recovery process and how to deal with relapse

While the above helps, everyone’s family and situation is different. Stepping into recovery with a loved one can seem like you’re entering a whole new world. However, it’s helpful for each family member to receive therapy while their loved one is receiving addiction treatment.

There is no one definitive method for treating families with loved ones who are struggling with addiction. Yet, attending meetings on a regular basis such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, or even 12-step meetings with your loved one, can help support and improve the family dynamic.

Getting Help for the Entire Family

The family role in addiction recovery is very powerful. Even if one doesn’t have the support of family members, the support of friends is just as important.

Participating in recovery events can help reduce the stigma of addiction and further connect you with other families and friends who can relate. The more involved you are in family recovery, the better position you’re in to help your loved one maintain lasting sobriety.

Recovering from addiction is a lifelong family affair. If you’re a family member or friend of someone in active addiction or recovery, engaging in a family program with licensed therapists can help restore hope for everyone involved.

For Couples in Need of Addiction Treatment

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Couples Addiction Treatment | Couples Drug Therapy | Couples rehab

Addiction is a disease that affects all areas of life. The physical and emotional effects are suffered not only by the addict, but their friends and family as well. These consequences are felt severely by the romantic relationship, possibly more than any other. Whether it’s a lifelong marriage or the earlier stages of a relationship, addiction can quickly destroy a union between two people. When one or both partners are suffering from addiction, the steps to save the relationship are similar. When couples choose to receive help together, they have a higher chance of recovering together.

For couples who are wondering if they are in need of treatment, there are many consequences to consider if they refuse to receive help. Addiction causes a lot of distrust, anger and resentment. When one or both members of a couple are in active addiction, many unhealthy behaviors begin to develop. If these behaviors are not addressed and dealt with, the future of a relationship will be in jeopardy.

Oftentimes, if couples want to save their relationship and family, their only choice is to receive treatment together. With many unhealthy coping mechanisms already in the works, couples need outside help to rebuild a happy and healthy relationship. Whether both members are addicted or only one, the need to heal together remains the same. The first step is admitting there are things to work on for both parties and a willingness to work on healing both together and individually.

It’s important to recognize there are many issues that will still be there once addiction treatment is complete. Long-term treatment in the form of therapy and support groups are key for a lasting recovery. For a non-addicted partner, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon have proven to help many who suffer from a loved one’s addiction. In order for a relationship to last after rehab, the work is far from over.

Couples addiction treatment is the most successful when both members fully support one another. Whether it’s couples rehab, couples drug therapy or other sources, there are many ways to receive help together. If you are ready to receive help for an addiction or better understand your loved one’s substance abuse, we are here to help. Contact us today: 877-412-3342.

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