The Role of Family in An Addict’s Recovery

Many times, relationships within the home of addicted individuals are described as ones of “enabling” or “co-dependency.”
After coming to grips with the fact that a member of the family is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, it may be important for each member of the household to evaluate their role in supporting the addict.

With a clear understanding of the underlying factors that often lead loved ones to unwillingly support the addiction of their family member; it becomes vastly important that they adopt a new healthier perspective that will actually encourage the recovering addict’s road to sobriety.  Two important facts that each member of the addict’s household needs to know:  The addiction and treatment of their loved one will have a direct impact on the lives of each member of the household; their actions can either help or hinder their loved one’s ability to achieve and maintain long-term addiction recovery.

As addiction is recognized as a family disease, it is important for each member of the household to recognize their relationship with the addict and how that dependency on drugs or alcohol has impacted their relationship.  Once the addicted member of the family enters the treatment phase of their recovery process, it is important for surrounding family members to avail themselves of all counseling opportunities.  Interaction of the individuals in the home with the addict, as well as with each other, can have a direct impact on the successful sobriety of the recovering addict, as well as help heal any past or existing emotional wounds.

Many times, relationships within the home of addicted individuals are described as ones of “enabling” or “co-dependency.”  In a co-dependent relationship, a family member may adopt behavior which strives to control the behavior of another individual; at the direct risk of their own needs.  Also known as relationship addiction, this dysfunctional helping relationship often finds one incapable of doing anything other than supporting or enabling another’s addiction, under the delusion of control.

The term “enabling” refers to that family member who refuses to allow the addicted member of the household actually suffer the consequences of their dependency.  Included among these can be the obsessive need to ensure that their bills are paid, that they have a roof over their head, any physical or monetary damages they have caused are covered, and offering any other means of protecting them from the results of their out-of-control dependency behaviors.  Excuses are made, while the emotional and/or physical tolls on the members of the household are disregarded in favor of protecting the addicted loved one.

As the definitions of codependency and enabling make clear, those steps that you may rationalize as “helpful” may actually have had the exact opposite effect.  By negating your own needs or the needs of your family in order to protect the needs of the addict; you may actually be extending the addict’s lifestyle of chemical dependency.  It is only through the addicted personality’s recognition of the destruction that their substance abuse is having on their own personal life, as well as the lives of those around them, that they may begin to grasp the need for a program of recovery.

Distributed by Client Initiatives

Media Contact
Company Name: Wilderness Treatment Center
Contact Person: Matthew Brekke
Phone: 406-854-2832
Address:200 Hubbart Dam Rd
City: Marion
State: Montana
Country: United States