If you or a loved one is battling substance abuse, a majority of the time it means that family was part or whole of the decision to enroll in a treatment program. At Changing Tides, in the Outer Banks, we offer Family Therapy, so you can learn how to cope, what to promote, how to guide your loved one through recovery and so much more!

When family members know about the options of continued support groups (like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous), individual therapy programs, day treatment/partial hospitalization programs and outpatient rehab, you will know of what a well-rounded, comprehensive approach Changing Tides offers to promote long-term sobriety.

How does this tie into a family element?

One common form of addiction treatment included in these comprehensive plans is family therapy for addiction. This is because substance abuse can affect every close family member of the person abusing substances. Additionally, family therapy helps ensure a higher success rate during addiction treatment. Read on to learn more about Changing Tides’ Family Therapy for Addiction and how it can be beneficial for you and your family…

Families — Get Help Now!!

The road to recovery is a team effort when the family is involved.  Changing Tides is here for you!

How Substance Abuse Impacts Families?

Substance abuse can impact the entire family system by creating family conflict. Many family members will also find themselves unsure of how to handle substance abuse. As a result, they may end up unintentionally enabling the addict, or not accepting the behavioral aspects of addiction, pushing the addict further and further away. One common thread we see with families tied to addiction is the enablement of an addict because they can demand so much and deny reality.  Addiction is a disease and when rooted it’s sometimes all that matters.  

Enabling an addicted loved one doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It often comes from a place of love, and many people don’t even realize they’re doing it. Enablement can mean providing an addict with money that goes towards their addiction or accepting an addict’s word that they aren’t getting high when you know they are. A qualified treatment provider, like Changing Tides, can help address these concerns with each individual. Most importantly, our addiction therapist can help provide examples of enabling you may not be aware of so you can start to change your behaviors, as we start to change the behaviors of your loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol.  

What is Enabling?

Enabling is when someone helps the drug or alcohol addiction continue, whether purposefully or unknowingly. Regardless of the intention, enablement is dangerous as it fuels the cycle of addiction, which can ultimately be fatal. Supporting an addict can be a lot harder than enabling them. It often requires saying “no” to certain requests and using “tough love” techniques when necessary. However, support can also mean sitting with the addict during withdrawal, providing assistance for getting back on their feet and other obviously helpful things. 

In most instances, alcoholism or drug abuse, specifically tied with enabling your loved one, can lead to fighting among family members. Depending on who the addict is in their immediate family, this can upset family dynamics and cause significant stress. Stress can be made worse by family members who don’t know how to help their loved ones battle substance abuse. Unfortunately, it can often lead to an even more stressful and unstable environment in this scenario, which isn’t good for anyone. 

Changing Tides wrote a blog discussing how alcoholism affects the family.  The more you know, the better!

Benefits of Family Therapy in Substance Abuse Treatment

Off the bat, Changing Tides addresses the elephant in the room: Substance abuse is a disease – and when the family is involved, the disease can spread, or stop the spread over time with guided support. While family members can unknowingly hurt those with substance use disorders by enabling them, they can also play a crucial role in helping their loved ones recover with family therapy. Family therapists assist in the recovery process by educating family members on how they can help and identifying what they may be doing to make the problem worse. 

Family therapy allows the family unit to be present and active during recovery. Even though our outpatient treatment programs and sober living offer the peace of the ocean (30 feet off the beautiful shores of Kitty Hawk) and allow pets, the family element in addiction recovery is often missing.  

This process often starts with individual therapy to help the therapist gain insight into family functionality and damaged relationships before gathering as a group. Family involvement isn’t always just family members learning but participating in counseling sessions with their loved ones. 

Why Structure in Family Therapy is Important

In dysfunctional families, each family member usually takes on a role subconsciously, which can affect how addiction treatment is experienced. For example, the family “scapegoat” may feel like they’re to blame for their loved one’s substance use disorder. Family therapy can help identify the family roles that may have contributed to substance abuse and mental health issues. Structured family therapy sessions for substance abuse treatment focus on improving communication, resolving conflicts and promoting healing for the whole unit. 

What to Expect in Family Therapy?

Family dysfunction isn’t always to blame for a loved one’s addiction. Sometimes a person may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health problems and self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. However, other family members (including extended family members) can unknowingly worsen the problem because they don’t understand how addiction works. Besides family-wide work, the addict will likely undergo residential treatment and behavioral health treatment, among others.

A substance abuse problem often has several causes, making it a complex problem that isn’t any one person’s fault. The home environment and family dynamic are only contributing factors. However, tapping into the existing family support system can significantly help promote long-term recovery. 

Changing Tides’ Treatment providers will ask questions about family communication, support and problems during sessions. Addiction treatment work will focus on the family’s strengths and weaknesses to best foster repair and positive changes. 

What Happens After Family Therapy?

Addiction is a lifelong disease that can’t be cured. Therefore, treatment and recovery must be a lifelong pursuit for someone to stay sober. While individual therapy focuses on the addict’s specific issues and can provide a lot of support, the best treatment centers recognize that family involvement is critical. Addicts need ongoing support and assistance from their families. 

Family therapy for drug addiction will give each person the tools necessary to recognize signs of relapse or struggling with sobriety. Family therapy for alcohol addiction also provides each person in the family unit with the tools they need to support their loved one without enabling them. 

Changing Tides Is Here To Help

Family therapy at knowledgeable rehab centers is key to overcoming substance abuse. If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step on the road to recovery, Changing Tides is here to help. We provide comprehensive substance abuse treatment, including family therapy, in the Outer Banks (OBX), North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Beach. We can also offer more information on insurance providers if payment is a concern.

Call us today at (252) 715-3905. If you prefer, you can also fill out our online contact form and one of our caring staff members will get back to you as soon as possible.