Why attend a Family Educational Program?
It’s not unusual for substance abusers to believe that their negative behavior affects only themselves. If you’ve ever been part of an alcoholic’s or drug addict’s family, however, you know that is not true. When one family member suffers from substance abuse, the entire family is affected. That’s why Transformations offers family educational programs along with substance abuse recovery programs.
How Addiction Affects Family Members
It’s often been said that it’s not easy to love an addict. When someone you care deeply about is suffering from the disease of alcoholism or drug addiction, it hurts to watch them struggle. It hurts even more when you become a victim of your loved one’s condition. Maybe you’re a target of verbal or physical abuse, maybe you suffer financially when they spend the rent or grocery money on booze or drugs. Your home may be in endless turmoil and anger, resentment, fear, and worry are now your constant companions. You may be asking how you can help or you may be ready to wash your hands and walk away from the situation.
It’s not just the adults in the family that experience the impact of substance abuse, either. The children often become nervous and afraid that something painful or traumatic is going to occur at any moment. They may begin to rebel or misbehave in retaliation or they could suffer from depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, or low self-esteem. They could even turn to drugs or alcohol themselves to escape the reality of their dysfunctional family.
Now your relationship has come to a turning point. Your loved one is trying to gain control of their addiction and begin a new life of sobriety. You are a vital part of that process. There are actions you can take to help and things you need to avoid doing as well. Family education programs at Transformations help you learn the difference and just as importantly, they help you discover how to heal and take care of your own needs along the way.
Co-Dependency and Addiction
One thing family members of those with an addiction problem often have in common is co-dependency. That means the person the addict shares a relationship with pushes aside their own needs or desires and gives the addict control. A co-dependent feels guilty when they focus on anything other than the person with the problem. You may think by letting the addicted member of the family be the leader you’ll avoid damaging the relationship any further or prevent them from becoming angry and lashing out. What it does in reality, however, is support the addictive behavior.
You’re not to blame for co-dependency. It’s a coping strategy many people use to try and maintain some kind of order in their household. You do need to realize however, that co-dependency isn’t helping you, the rest of your family, or the addicted person. In actuality, it’s making things worse. At Transformations family educational program we’ll help you learn to avoid this damaging behavior and develop more positive and effective strategies. The Transformations team can help you permanently break the binds of co-dependency.
Enabling the Addict
Another role family members often play is that of enabler, which means whether you realize it or not, you’re helping the addicted person to continue their negative behaviors and protecting them from its consequences. Have you ever called in sick for your family member because they were too drunk or hung over to go to work? Do you make excuses for that person or give them money to buy drugs or alcohol? Those are just a couple of examples of enabling.
Learning how to curtail enabling actions is one of the most important steps you can take towards helping your family heal. Transformations family educational programs can help you recognize enabling behaviors and substitute constructive behaviors to replace those that promote your family member’s addiction.
The Family’s Role in Addiction and Recovery
Everyone in the family is affected when one of its members is a substance abuser. Addiction is a family problem. In turn, recovery is a family affair and each member plays an important role. Our goal in the Transformations family educational program is to support each of you as you make the transition, to educate you and help you as you work together to become a whole, functional family unit, stronger and healthier than ever before.