Family counseling: for addicts and their family members
The focus of our Orange County Rehab and Detox is about the long-term recovery and success of our patients. No one becomes addicted because their life is too perfect. Addiction is an illness habitually responding to the overwhelming pressures, expectations, and anxieties of our life. The most important aspect of curing addiction isn’t simply taking the drugs and alcohol out of our life because these substances are ubiquitous. Drugs and alcohol will always be shown in television, music, advertisements, and our social circles. To truly overcome addiction means to change ourselves and our environment so we can learn to love ourselves and feel good without them. For many, that journey starts with loving yourself as you are and culminate with acceptance and encouragement from family.
Addiction is an Illness That Can Be Treated
Addicted individuals suffer through illness. They often feel pessimistic and blame themselves for not healing properly. The fault is never on the victim, yet these harmful feelings are pervasive among people just starting rehab and recovery. One study found that belief in our ability to change is often lowest at the start of rehab. However, people who entered rehab with these low self-expectations, or self-efficacy, often have tremendous rates of recovery as they discover what they’re capable of with the right support and family counseling. Sometimes that means overcoming long-held beliefs that were shaped by negative life and family experiences.
Addiction Often Starts at Home
A strict or toxic home environment can usually breed addiction. If you think about prohibition, the banning of all alcohol didn’t cure alcoholism. Some would say it caused it to become worse.
Much the same way, families that demonize drugs and alcohol often miss a significant point. We become addicted when substances seem to fill a void in us that we can’t understand, let alone overcome. It’s like the substances manage to scratch an itch that’s been deep in our chest for years. Storytellers call this a “shard of glass,” an invisible, but always a present source of pain and frustration from a traumatic event or other negative emotion slowly clawing its way to our core.
Many families miss this important conversation. The US wouldn’t be in an addiction epidemic if everyone’s life was going perfectly. Rather, the narrative has been that addiction itself is the problem, and the only solution is abstinence. However, abstinence simply leaves us dwelling with our shard of glass. Because this false narrative is perpetuated in public conversation, we pass it down from spouse to spouse and parent to child. In many cases, this can cause disconnect or even resentment between parents and children when it comes to addiction.
Family counseling is a critical tool to bridging these disconnects. Many people in rehab feel like they burned bridges with loved ones, but that’s not often the case. Families are hurt by the addiction, in themselves and their loved ones, and that pain can be expressed in unhealthy ways. Helping families work together to understand the disease, to repair the consequences of addiction, and to address their many shards of glass is the true path to recovery.
If you or your loved ones are considering rehab or if addiction has left a strong, negative impact on your family, we urge you to consider family drug counseling for addiction at our Orange County Rehab. Call us as soon as you can at (714)782-3973.