While many people assume that it is just the individual with the addiction that requires treatment and support, here at UKAT, we recognise that addiction is an illness that affects all other family members too. Living with an addict can have a dramatic impact on all involved and it can cause a number of physical and mental health issues that will need to be addressed.
Family members are often left to deal with the fallout from the addiction, which could include things such as violent behaviour, aggression, financial hardship, and lost jobs. Relationships tend to take a hit too, with some family members being unable to cope with a loved one’s addiction.
UKAT recovery clinics believe that family therapy is an important part of the recovery process. We know that addiction is an illness that has far-reaching consequences and as such we believe that the family as a whole should be provided with support throughout the process. It is our aim to help all those affected by addiction to understand what the illness is all about so that they can learn how to deal with it. Family members are taught how to support their addicted loved one and how to react in the event of a relapse. We will also provide effective support for family members through a variety of treatments designed around rebuilding relationships and regaining trust.
Addiction is a destructive force that can literally rip families apart. While substance abuse may have a catastrophic effect on the individual concerned in terms of his or her mental and physical health, it can also have a devastating impact on other family members such as spouses, parents, children, and siblings as well as to extended family members.
Watching a loved one suffer because of addiction is heartbreaking, but it can also be incredibly frustrating to watch someone you love continuing to act in this manner and knowing that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Some family members will try to ‘fix’ their loved one and will believe that they have the ability to make this person stop drinking or taking drugs just by reasoning with him or her. Those with no experience of addiction often make this mistake. They fail to understand that addiction is an illness that changes the way the brain functions. Individuals with addictions cannot control their impulses, so they cannot be reasoned with. He or she will continue to drink, take drugs, gamble, whatever, even when he or she knows that to do so will cause negative consequences for him or herself and their loved ones. Once the urge takes over, the person has no power to resist.
Other family members will experience feelings of guilt and shame because of their loved one’s problem while others will be hurt, disappointed and angry. It might eventually get to the point in which they may begin to resent the addicted individual.
UKAT’s family programmes are designed to ensure that all family members get the help and support needed to recover from addiction. We know all too well that all family members suffer when one member has an addiction. Children, in particular, are affected by a parents’ addiction, and this can have emotional consequences that can last into adulthood if not treated appropriately and in a timely manner.
Family members need to be able to speak with a professional counsellor or therapist in order to find the best way to cope with the impact the addiction is having on them within the family unit. These individuals will have their own emotional and psychological issues to deal with, but our professional and fully trained staff can help, and are on hand to do so.
Our family programmes will also help in terms of how each family member reacts when the addicted individual eventually returns home after completing treatment. Our aim is to help family members learn how to support their loved one through recovery, and we will also provide them with information and advice on what to do if their loved one goes on to suffer a relapse.
Although family members do not have to overcome the physical effects of the addiction their loved one is suffering from, there are many emotional and mental issues that will need to be treated. UKAT’s family programme aims to address these problems through various treatments that can include counselling and therapy sessions.
We are here for those suffering from addiction as well as those directly affected by it. We believe that family treatment is a vital part of the recovery process and, as such, we consider it an essential component of the service that we at UKAT provide.