Cincinnati Family Therapy
Compassionate Drug & Alcohol Treatment
When a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it’s rarely just them who is negatively affected – the people they surround themselves with are forced to deal with the consequences, too. Addiction can ruin a person’s relationships with family members, and family members may not also be aware of how their actions fuel or enable their loved one’s addiction. When a person begins the recovery process at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center, they may recognize that some healing needs to be done with their family members, too. Our Cincinnati team offers family therapy programs to help clients and their loved ones understand their relationships and begin the repair process. Clients who learn effective communication techniques and are able to strengthen their bonds with their families are also more likely to lead healthier lives once they’ve completed treatment. If you’re ready to access a better future, our professionals are ready to help you get there through our variety of holistic treatments.
Is Addiction Hereditary?
Family therapy can be especially helpful if your family has a history of substance use or addiction. Many organizations like the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) classify addiction as a brain disease, and predisposition for this kind of disease can include genetics. If your parents or other family members have struggled with addiction to alcohol or drugs in the past, you have an increased chance of also developing an addiction – one study of 231 determined that the children of people with addiction are eight times more likely to develop an addiction in their lives.
However, it’s also important to note that environmental factors in your family or upbringing can also contribute to addiction. Children who are exposed to alcohol or drugs at an early age, for example, are more likely to experiment with these substances, increasing the risk of addiction. Children who experience abuse or neglect are at risk of using drugs as a coping mechanism long into adulthood, too.
Your family’s history of mental illness may also play a key role in your addiction. Mental health disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia are all hereditary, and these disorders are a major risk factor for addiction. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), people who are diagnosed with mental health conditions are twice as likely to suffer from a substance use disorder.
Family therapy plays a key role in helping you and your loved ones understand the countless possible factors that may contribute to your addiction and other issues.
Ways Addiction Impacts Families
Many organizations and addiction experts refer to addiction as a family disease because it puts the loved ones of an afflicted individual under a lot of distress. Family members who can be impacted by a loved one’s addiction typically include spouses, children, parents, and siblings. When a person with addiction begins changing their behaviors or causes frightening experiences, their family members may suffer from trauma or begin adapting their own behaviors in response. All of this can cause a family to become dysfunctional and even add to the addiction.
Addiction can impact a family in various ways, including:
- Damaging relationships: Aggression and fights can easily sever ties between family members, but sometimes a damaged relationship isn’t caused by something as obvious. Isolation is a common behavior exhibited by people with addiction, and relationships can break down over time when a person begins distancing themselves from loved ones.
- Adding responsibilities: It’s common for people with addiction to neglect their responsibilities when their mind is focused on seeking and using drugs. As a result, their family members may have to pick up the slack around the house and make excuses for them when others address any issues. Children may also be saddled with responsibilities that aren’t appropriate for their age.
- Neglecting the health of loved ones: When a family member is abusing alcohol or drugs, the rest of the family may be compelled to put that person’s needs and concerns first. A consequence of this is that the rest of the family’s needs and emotions take a back seat and aren’t addressed.
- Putting their safety at risk: Some people struggling with addiction can act out aggressively or display other symptoms that put others’ safety at risk. A lot of children of addiction may grow up living in fear or their spouses may feel obligated to remove the children from the situation entirely and take legal addiction.
Benefits of Family Therapy
Just as group therapy enables a group of strangers to work on their recovery together, family therapy can help the members of a family heal as one unit. While this therapy is initially designed to address addiction and its impact on a family, it can also dig deeper and allow families to get to the root of decades of dysfunction and trauma.
Some other benefits of a family’s involvement in therapy and recovery include:
- Opportunities for family members to voice their feelings and concerns
- Reducing feelings of stress, fear, and anger that may be related to the addiction
- Learning about addiction and how it impacts family members
- Learning about what to expect when treatment is complete
- Giving the person with addiction a loving support system
- Opportunities to discuss any mental health issues
- Improvements in communication skills
Begin the healing process for yourself and your family today by calling our Cincinnati professionals at (513) 780-5201 to learn more about family therapy.