Alcoholism or addiction to alcohol is sometimes referred to as a family disease. This is for two reasons- firstly because alcoholism often tends to run in families and secondly because an individual’s addiction to alcohol affects the whole family.
It’s crucial to understand the complex role that families can play in alcohol treatment. When you’re addicted to alcohol, your family can be a source of great help or they can be the ones inadvertently enabling your addiction. Since alcoholism changes your behavior, your family or loved ones can respond to this by distancing themselves, falling into denial about your drinking or enabling it through neglect, constant conflict, and other unintentional ways.
This is why it’s important to get the whole family involved in alcohol treatment. Providing family therapy as part of the treatment process increases the treatment’s effectiveness.
Effects of Alcoholism on Families
One of the cornerstones of alcohol treatment Family Therapy at Evolve Indy is to educate our clients and their families on the far-reaching effects of alcoholism.
Often, clients are in denial about their drinking problem, usually resorting to excuses such as “I don’t drink every day”, “I can still go to work” or “I am not hurting anybody.”
Getting the family involved in the treatment process many times serves as a wakeup call for alcoholics. We have had several clients admit that they sought treatment after hearing how their behaviors and drinking habits affected their spouses or children.
But just how does alcohol dependency affect your family?
It causes marital strife.
Addiction to alcohol normally makes an individual prioritize their drinking above everything else. This leads to a neglect of responsibilities and obligations. Additionally, living with an alcoholic can be chaotic and unpredictable, creating a lot of stress for their spouses. As the addiction takes hold, interactions between the couple become increasingly negative as fights keep breaking out. In fact, alcoholism is one of the leading causes of divorce in the US.
It leads to developmental issues in children.
Parents battling alcoholism are usually neglectful of the emotional and physical needs of their children. They might completely neglect their kids, become abusive or overcompensate by being too permissive. As a result, these children grow up with serious cognitive, behavioral and emotional issues.
Alcoholism often leads to domestic abuse.
Alcohol inhibits self-control and disrupts critical thinking skills all of which are a recipe for increased domestic abuse. This can take the form of physical or emotional abuse. The person struggling with alcohol addiction might resort to humiliating, manipulating, blackmailing, intimidating or even insulting other family members. People who drink are also prone to violence whenever they feel frustrated.
It can cause financial problems.
Alcoholism is an expensive habit to maintain. Alcoholics might spend several hundred or thousand dollars on drinks every month depending on what they drink. These are finances that could be put to other use to benefit the family. Additional financial costs due to DUI arrests, court fines, medical bills due to health effects of alcohol abuse or even the loss of a job because of alcoholism all take a toll on a family’s finances.
It leads to physical and mental health issues within the family.
While the person with a drinking problem bears the brunt of the physical problems caused by alcohol abuse, those close to them experience the emotional side effects of the addiction. The constant fighting, neglect, lies, emotional or physical abuse that come with living with an alcoholic can pile up causing anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and stress for their family members.
Alcohol Treatment Family Therapy at Evolve Indy
At Evolve Indy, we run a Family Therapy Program in Indiana for those affected by addiction, including alcoholism.
Our program is designed to assess the needs of the whole family to come up with a suitable treatment plan. We also offer ongoing support for the family to help them cope both during and after a patient’s treatment.
Here’s what you can expect from our program:
Family therapy sessions.
These are held via phone unless your family resides in Indiana and can come for the sessions on campus. These sessions explore how alcohol abuse affects family dynamics. They provide a safe place for you to open up and share how your loved one’s addiction has affected your life. You all also get to learn new skills to deal with alcoholism and you’re given a chance to practice these skills during some of the therapy sessions.
Education on the disease of alcoholism.
Education is power and if your loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, learning all you can about it gives you more ammunition to help them fight the addiction. The Evolve Indy Family Therapy Program emphasizes educating affected families on the nature, causes, and symptoms of alcohol addiction. We also cover relapse, what to do to help your loved one avoid it as well as how to cope once it happens.
Opportunities to voice your questions and concerns.
Having a loved one go into treatment for alcohol abuse is a step in the right direction. You are sure to have lots of questions on the treatment and recovery process and how you can support your loved one in their journey to sobriety. Our alcohol treatment program gives you the chance to air these questions and any other concerns that might come up during the recovery journey.
An environment that promotes recovery.
Breaking free of a drinking problem is hard for anyone to do. Your loved one requires the right environment, away from any negative influences that contribute to their alcoholism. Our recovery treatment center is staffed with qualified professionals who have assisted countless others to kick their drinking habits and they’ll do the same for your loved one.
The first step in alcohol treatment is admitting you have a problem. The next is finding an appropriate alcohol treatment program to launch your recovery process. Get in touch with Evolve Indy today for more information.