Family Therapy & Addiction

One of the most common disclaimers used by alcoholics and addicts to justify their continued use is a familiar one: “I’m not hurting anybody but myself!”

Not true. Addiction and alcoholism are family diseases for a number of reasons — first and foremost because addicts and alcoholics make everyone around them sick. While the use of drugs and alcohol and the behaviors that accompany those actions are the symptoms of the addict’s illness, the family members who love them suffer as well and may not even realize it.

stress, anger, worry, frustration, resentment, depression, guilt and anxiety are all common to the family dynamic when a loved one’s drug and alcohol problem has grown out of control. And while drug and alcohol treatment can address the needs of the addict and alcoholic, special attention must be paid to the healing of the family dynamic and the members of that family who have been directly impacted by the disease of addiction.

At Cornerstone of Recovery, family therapy is a critical component of the journey of each patient for several reasons. One, a supportive home environment to which a recovering addict and alcoholic can return is crucial. Family therapy provides loved ones with an understanding of the disease concept — how your loved one has developed this problem and why it’s almost impossible for them to simply “quit” on their own — so that family members understand what they’re up against. It also gives family members a glimpse of what recovery is like, both inside our facility and what we recommend as a path to success once they leave Cornerstone.

More importantly, family therapy is designed to give loved ones the help they need to deal with the issues and emotions that have been precipitated by the addiction or alcoholism of a loved one. The guilt you may feel as a parent, the anger you may feel as a child, the frustration you may feel as a sibling? Those are emotions that can be detrimental to your loved one’s recovery process, but more importantly, they have a negative impact on you.

Your health, happiness and well-being are just as important as those of your loved ones who are on a journey of recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Family therapy can provide you with the tools you need to support your loved one, but it also gives you the necessary perspective to address the issues that have a negative impact on your own life.

You are not responsible for your loved one’s addiction. By the same token, neither are you responsible for their recovery. You owe it to yourself, however, to address the emotional and spiritual wounds that addiction causes, so that you can better understand and support your addicted loved one, and so that you can  let go of the pain that individual may have caused you through their words and actions.

Addiction is indeed a family disease, and to guarantee a better recovery outcome, the healing process must address the family’s needs as well. At Cornerstone of Recovery, our mission is to help addicts and alcoholics stop using and drinking, lose the desire to do so and find a new way to live — as a member of a family that’s also working on repairing the damage caused by a disease that’s cunning, baffling and powerful in nature.

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