How Addiction Affects Your Relationships

Gemma Andaya
Gemma Andaya
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    Addiction has a detrimental effect on people’s relationships and family dynamics. When a person’s behavior becomes erratic or unstable because of their addiction, it will affect the relationships they have with other people, without exception. Many people who struggle with substance use disorders evade or twist the truth to try and hide their addiction and are also often enabled by family members who are simply trying to help but don’t know-how. As addiction progresses, it becomes harder for everyone involved to deny that there is a problem as it takes a greater toll on their relationships and wellbeing. 

     

    Addiction Affects All Relationships

    Addiction prevents people from being present and authentic, which affects relationships of all kinds. The effects of drug addiction or alcoholism can be financially and emotionally devastating for all parties involved, but there are often unhealthy dynamics at play that allow the addiction to continue. In codependent relationships, someone plays the role of rescuer over and over again, managing whatever crises or challenges occur because of their friend or family member’s addiction. 

     

    This enabling behavior allows the person struggling with a substance use disorder to continue using with fewer consequences. In romantic relationships, having an addicted partner can take its toll as it often feels unsafe or even shameful to ask for help outside of the partnership. In healthy relationships, however, it would be made very clear that certain things are unacceptable, and that destructive behavior will not be allowed to continue. 

    An Intervention May Be Necessary

    In some situations, no matter how hard you try to stop enabling someone who is suffering from addiction, it can be very difficult to facilitate change. You may have tried to get the message across with kindness or were promised that “this is the last time”, but things aren’t improving. In that case, staging an intervention may be necessary. As uncomfortable as an intervention may be, it’s better than waiting for a crisis. Interventions save lives and can be done in a way that is respectful, discreet, and compassionate. Here are a few types of interventions to consider: 

     

    • Hire an intervention specialist or addiction professional to help you plan an intervention 
    • The ARISE intervention model focuses on the entire family unit, not just the person struggling with an addiction
    • The CRAFT intervention method uses a therapeutic approach and is offered by treatment centers to encourage people to enter rehab

    Therapy For All

    When someone is struggling with a substance use disorder, whether it’s an alcohol addiction or drug abuse, it points to other issues beneath the surface. Addiction affects your relationships and is a symptom of deep-rooted trauma, often connected to family dynamics and patterns. Perhaps there’s a history of domestic violence or alcoholism in the family that was never addressed or some other form of dysfunction. This unaddressed trauma is why family therapy is so beneficial and helps not only the individual who is in treatment but other family members as well. 

     

    Treatment For The Substance Abuser

    We offer a range of psychotherapies, pharmacological therapies, and experiential therapies to better address the unique needs of everyone who enters one of our programs.  A person struggling with substance abuse may need a combination of therapies from all three groups, as each therapy addresses different aspects of addiction and recovery.  Here are some treatments we offer:

     

    • Medically assisted detox 
    • Individual Trauma Therapy 
    • Process Group Therapy 
    • Somatic and Movement therapies 
    • Equine Therapy 

    Therapy For The Family

    We offer therapy for the entire family because it helps improve chances for long-term recovery. 

    Being shown support and compassion by family members is invaluable during treatment, as having a strong support network can make the difference between a successful recovery and a stalled one. There may be family therapy groups with and without the person who is struggling with addiction being present, as they both facilitate healing and change. 

     

    Support Groups For Friends

    There are many support groups and 12-step programs available for friends of people who are struggling with addiction. These groups are often held at local places of worship or a nearby treatment center and can help you find clarity and healing. The nature of addiction is chaotic and all-consuming, and these support groups are designed to help you bring the focus back on yourself and your own life. Here are a few kinds of support groups: 

     

    • Al-Anon 
    • Codependents Anonymous 
    • Nar-Anon 
    • Nar-ateen
    • Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

    Continuing The Healthy Lifestyle In Aftercare

    Addiction recovery doesn’t end when a treatment program ends. Integrating the new tools and skills you’ve learned in treatment is essential for continued sobriety and being able to create a meaningful, joy-filled life. We offer ongoing support to all of our alumni for this very reason, as we are committed to the long-term health and well-being of everyone who graduates from one of our programs. Continuing a healthy lifestyle can look like attending regular therapy sessions, taking weekly yoga classes, going to support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and much more. 

    How We Can Help You

    At Nestled Recovery, we offer a unique, holistic approach to treatment and recovery from addiction and mental health disorders. You can expect to receive exceptional trauma-informed care at our state-of-the-art treatment facility while learning how to incorporate mindfulness techniques into your healing journey. With the Eight Dimensions of Wellness as our guide, we create tailored treatment programs that consider the whole individual: mind, body, and spirit. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, contact us today. We can help you stage an intervention if necessary and are always available to answer any questions you may have. 

     

    Sources:

     

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/intervention/art-20047451

    https://www.americanaddictionfoundation.com/getting-help/support-groups-families-addicts-alcoholics/