Addiction Treatment for Family
We offer addiction treatment for teens, adolescents and parents, and help find family therapy and counseling.
Why is Family Addiction Treatment Important?
Chances for sustained recovery increase dramatically when families are involved, as addiction reaches far beyond the individual.
The family often recognizes the problem before their loved one is ready to acknowledge or get help for his or her addiction. Our staff lends its hope and experience to family members so they can understand the impact of addition on their own lives.
Call or email us today if you or a loved one needs help. Our Treatment Consultants work with families to decide if a loved one is ready for treatment, and what to do next. There are ways to help the addict safely reach rock bottom. Facilitating interventions, developing treatment plans and arranging aftercare programs led by skilled, caring professionals – we make the connections that allow families to break the destructive patterns of addiction.
American Addiction Centers owns and operates exceptional nationwide facilities. While each facility is unique, all strongly focus on family care. Upon admission, clients are assigned a treatment team, and individualized treatment plans emphasize the rebuilding of family strength and support.
Getting Past the Pain; How Spouses Deal with a Loved One’s Addiction
Family members and spouses of addicts are now learning to stand up for themselves, to work through their feelings, to get help for their loved ones and themselves. Addiction affects more than just the addict, and family members are beginning to take a stand for themselves and get the help they really need.
Discovering an Addiction
Spouses usually remember the exact day when they learned about their loved one’s addiction problem. Whether it was something that was suspected for weeks or even years, or if it came as a big surprise, the feelings are usually the same. Betrayal, rejection, pain, and loneliness are all to be expected when a person learns their partner has a substance abuse problem. Even though we may know addiction is a disease, it still causes those close to the addict to feel personally wronged. It is impossible to trust a spouse that has lied about their addiction, or has snuck out and gotten high when their spouse wasn’t around or paying attention. This is what so many people have a problem with – that they can’t trust their spouse anymore.
But as we see with so many families lately, there is hope for these relationships, and our emotional scars can heal. It is often just as important for the spouse of an addict to get help as for the addict themselves, because without healing our emotions, the relationship will continue to struggle.
Support During Treatment
Each spouse deals with treating their loved one’s addiction in a different way. Many people that attend counseling with their spouse carry with them so much anger and hurt; it is obvious that feelings need to be worked out. Other people are just so happy to have their spouse in treatment that they look past the pain they themselves have been in and do all they can to help their loved one. Still others are able to remember their loved one for who they were, (and who they will be again someday) and are able to happily stand behind their spouse in therapy. But for each of these couples, it is necessary to give attention to the feelings of the loved ones that have been affected by addiction.
Therapy for Loved Ones
Spouses of addicts need to remember that they can be part of the recovery process, and they need to work on their own recovery as well. Spouses working through an addiction should spend quality time together in a non-stressful setting. Keeping communication open will help heal feelings. Support groups like Al-Anon help family members learn from other people’s experiences and gain strength from people who have been in their position. Family therapy is helpful for relatives to work together to end an addiction and the pain it causes.
Drug Prevention At An Early Age
Many organizations spend valuable time and money addressing certain issues that affect society, including the problem of substance abuse among the underprivileged. While substance abuse can affect anyone from any demographic, people in poverty, especially those living in big cities, are often more at risk for drug abuse. Thankfully, helping low income individuals avoid drugs has become a common charitable endeavor in our country, but there are so many more people that still need this kind of help.
Drug Abuse among the Inner City Youth
Drugs are a huge part of many inner city neighborhoods. In many low income, urban areas, residents spend what little money they have on drugs. Drugs are the cause of much of the crime and violence in inner cities, and drugs are responsible for keeping people from getting out of poverty.
Not only do drugs affect adults living in poverty, but they have lasting effects on children raised in that culture. Urban youth raised around drugs are more likely to witness violence and dysfunction, which causes them to have problems in school and to be at greater risk to get caught up in drugs themselves at a young age.
Drug Prevention Study
A study done on children from the lowest-income neighborhoods of Chicago in the 1980s and 90s shows the difference that can be made by people willing to work with at risk youth. The study tracked 1,539 children by from preschool until the age of 28, and found that those children who attended a preschool program designed specifically for them were 28% less likely to develop drug or alcohol problems in adulthood. The program helped parents and their children become more involved in their school and community. “It’s kind of like a chain reaction,” the lead researcher said. “The cognitive advantage and family support leads to a later advantage in terms of school commitment and ultimately, these kids don’t get involved in the justice system.” (1)
Drug Prevention Programs
The long-term effects of programs that work directly with youth are almost always positive, but it is not good enough to simply bring youth into a program or facility. They need positive interaction with adults. These kids need to learn life skills and to develop social skills, in order to become responsible adults someday.
Programs work best when they target young children, such as the preschoolers in the study. But that does not mean we should give up on older students. Prevention programs and life skills building techniques can be effective in grade school and high school students; it just may take more time to reach these kids.
Programs that provide even general assistance to youth have the added benefit of helping keep them off drugs. Kids with adult support and guidance are more likely to stay off drugs and away from crime, and get a job when they are adults.
Children raised among drugs in low income, inner city areas do not have to be another statistic of drug addiction. They can break out of the cycle of poverty, drugs, and violence; they just need someone who cares about them to help give them support and encouragement.
Four Ways to Relate to Your Teen
We talk quite a bit about parenting here, and how as parents we can be a force in keeping our children drug-free. Sometimes, though, it is so hard to relate to our teen or feel like we are getting through.
How do you keep in touch with a moody, hormone-ridden, know-it-all teen? Below are four suggestions to help you out.
Find ways to stay connected. The things you used to do together may no longer be as fun for either of you. Playing family games, going to the park, or going to a movie with the family may become uncool to your teen. But you could spend time going to a local sports game, learning a new hobby or skill together, or shopping or eating out with your teen.
Find ways to show interest. Just because your teen might not want to see a movie with you right now or let you go everywhere with them doesn’t mean they don’t want you to know about the things they are interested in. Find what is important to your teen and what they want to share with you, and ask them about it. Don’t pry or meddle; just be open, and most importantly, listen. Sometimes we finally get a teen to open up and talk because we’ve found the conversation they are interested in, and then we stop listening. So maybe you don’t really care about what clothes a certain guy at school was wearing yesterday, or the cool science experiment they got to do, but for the sake of your relationship, you need to listen when your child talks about these things.
Have friends over. It is important to get to know your teen’s friends. The best way to do this is to invite them over to your house. Work on making your house the fun place where all the kids want to spend time. You don’t need to have all the latest video games or toys (although having some cool stuff would help), but you do have to be welcoming. A pleasant smile, friendly conversation, maybe a pizza or two, and then the freedom to hang out in an area on their own goes a long way. Always be home when your teen has friends over, and supervise what they are doing, but you don’t need to hover or intrude on their conversations.
Enlist some help around the house. Just because your child is now a teen, don’t let them stop doing chores. Keep a regular list of things you expect your teen to do around the house, and follow through with it. Teach them responsibility and hard work. Teach them how to maintain a house themselves by doing things like painting or helping with minor repairs.
Working on these things with your teen will help improve your relationship. It will also give you many opportunities to talk to them about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Don’t let the chance for meaningful conversation slip by. Parents who stay connected with their teen and who talk to them about things like drugs will be much more successful in keeping their kids drug-free.
Elderly Family Members and Opiate Addiction
Addiction is often viewed as an issue that exists mainly among young people. And while drug use continues to rise among adolescents and teens, it’s addiction to alcohol, heroin and prescription painkillers that surrounds the elderly community that is most hidden — yet prevalent — in the country; older people are not only more likely to be diagnosed with chronic illnesses that require prescription medication, but as the body ages, older people are more susceptible to drug dependencies.
According to AgingCare, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that in 2008, “the number of people who were 50 years of age and older who requested help for substance abuse was, 231,200. When compared with the 1992 figure of only 102,700 people, this increase is staggering… it has been estimated that the number of prescription drug abusers over the age of 50 may reach 2.7 million by the year 2020.”
Why would an elderly person who suffers with addiction go so unnoticed, or avoid treating his or her own addiction?
- Shame. Older addicts are often too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about addiction.
- Family denial. Family members are commonly in denial of their loved one’s addiction and struggle with connecting their loved one to the stigma attached to substance abuse. Children of elderly parents don’t often want to admit that their parent is not the same as he or she once was, and is now “an addict.”
- The elderly don’t typically commit crimes to obtain drugs, so law enforcement doesn’t have a reason, or chance, to crack down… therefore, drug use among elderly often goes unnoticed, and thus prohibition can’t be enforced.
The Boston Globe recently reported on an event held in Boston, called Opiate 101, that focused on how seniors can safely discard prescription medicine to prevent young people from gaining access to the drugs, though the topic of elderly addiction was inevitably discussed.
Maryanne Frangules, executive director of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, said opiate addiction among seniors is ‘”not something people really talk about. I get calls from people asking, ‘What do I do about my mother? What do I do about my father?’ It is very difficult when you know someone is in chronic pain and they are prescribed a medication and it alters their personality.‘”