Family Drug Rehab Programs

Drug abuse and addiction affect every member of a family. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, friends and relatives often play a pivotal role in helping someone recover from addiction. Family therapy is an important component of the drug rehab process and can significantly strengthen the experience. Many drug addiction treatment centers understand the importance of family involvement, and in the U.S., 42 percent of those surveyed by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute said that family therapy was a standard part of treatment.

What Is Family Therapy?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, family therapy is a form of behavioral therapy that focuses treatment of addiction on the idea that a family is a system and with any system, the individual parts are all dependent upon each other for success. Family therapy works on building the strength of the family as a whole to bring about adequate change in the person suffering from addiction. Since there is no concrete definition of family, family therapy may involve all loved ones, including non-immediate family members and even friends.

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How Does Family Drug Rehab Therapy Work?

Family therapy might involve group counseling with the entire family, counseling with smaller subgroups, and individual counseling for each family member. Therapists educate family members on the disease of addiction and help develop healthy emotional and behavioral relationships between family members. Family therapy for addiction can involve the family visiting a therapist’s office or the therapist making house visits.

There are four main modules of modern family therapy:

  • The Family Disease Model looks at the family as a whole when treating the effects of addiction. Therapy will help to reveal any family members who are enabling the addicted loved one and will teach them about why it isn’t helpful to enable this person.
  • The Family Systems Model guides family members to work with each other to create balance in their home amidst substance abuse.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy shows the effect that family interactions have on triggering and reinforcing substance use.
  • Multidimensional Family Therapy works with family members of addicted loved ones to develop healthy relationships and helps improve behavior, emotions, and the environment inside a household.

How Are Family Members Involved With Addiction Treatment?

When looking into family drug rehab therapy, loved ones of an addicted individual can be involved in their family member’s treatment by:

  • Learning about addiction treatment and the recovery process their family member will be going through
  • Being active in recovery planning
  • Providing feedback, suggestions, and asking questions in counseling sessions
  • Attending all family therapy appointments
  • Treating their addicted family member with compassion, respect, and support without judgment

What Are The Goals Of Family Therapy?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, family therapy for substance abuse has been designed to help family members cope with living with addiction while healing any emotional wounds of their own. Family therapy has been very beneficial for many families because it takes into account the fact that more than just the addicted person needs guidance, support, compassion, and healing. Therapy helps to:

  • Create a group understanding of the importance of family involvement with addiction
  • Assist family members in understanding the impact of parental substance abuse on their children
  • Inform families of the impact of adolescent substance abuse on adults
  • Demonstrate the impact of drug addiction on non-abusing family members
  • Promote change in the entire family system, not just the addicted individual
  • Allow family members create goals together that involve everyone
  • Provide a neutral platform for families to talk and solve problems
  • Prevent substance abuse from spreading from one family member to another

Who Is Family Therapy For?

Family therapy is appropriate for all families who have a loved one suffering from substance abuse, whether that be a child or a parent. Many families find it very difficult to deal with a loved one going through addiction recovery. Non-abusing family members may develop unhealthy habits of their own due to the elevated stress in the household. It is especially difficult for children dealing with a substance-abusing parent because they may lack their primary source of love and support.

Children of substance-abusing parents can especially benefit from family therapy because, according to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, highly stressful home environments lead to higher risks of children developing substance abuse problems themselves. And strong family involvement is one of the most effective ways to prevent youth drug abuse.

The Benefits Of Family Therapy For Drug Abuse

  • Increase in awareness: Family therapy has been shown to be more effective in the treatment of substance abuse by improving engagement and aftercare participation.
  • Improving mental and physical health: Family therapy can improve the health of the entire family when there is strong involvement with all members.
  • Better communication: Whether the parent or the child is abusing drugs, family therapy improves communication and understanding among family members.
  • Avoid enabling: Family therapy teaches the dangers of enabling bad behavior and prevents it from damaging a family member’s attempts at addiction recovery.
  • Address codependent behavior: Family members who are not suffering from substance abuse may develop unhealthy lifestyle habits; addicted members may develop mental disorders as a result of drug use.
  • Learning about risky situations and triggers: For a person to successfully recover from addiction and not relapse, they need to be in an environment that does not trigger substance use or the emotions associated with drug abuse. Family members need to understand this and know what to avoid to help their loved one.
  • Preventing substance abuse from spreading: Family therapy addresses the concerns of every family member and works to make everyone feel like they are seen, heard, and important. This level of support and communication can help prevent substance abuse from moving to more family members.

Is It Time For Family Therapy?

Family therapy might be right for you if:

  • A family member suffers from continuous drug use, despite your objections
  • The mental and physical health of your family has been affected by the addicted loved one
  • You want to understand addiction better and learn how to react properly to a loved one’s addiction
  • Your addicted loved one has not found lasting success with other addiction treatments
  • There are wounds from past family issues that you feel are contributing or causing the addiction

Family Therapy Is Right For You And Your Loved Ones

Are you concerned about your substance abuse or the use of a family member? Do you want to get help and benefit from the involvement of your family in a non-judgmental, supportive, and compassionate environment? Then family therapy is right for you. Contact us today at and learn more about family therapy, what centers provide family therapy in your desired area, and how you can get your loved ones involved and on the right path to lasting addiction recovery.

UW Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute and the Washington State Health Care Authority Behavioral Health & Recovery - Family Involvement

U.S. National Library of Medicine - What Is Family Therapy?

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment

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