Addiction Affects the Whole Family

The impact of addiction is felt well beyond the person struggling with the disease. Family, friends, co-workers, and even neighbors can be impacted by the many problems addiction brings.

Lies, violence, legal troubles and more bring hardships to those around you — and many times those with loved ones abusing drugs or alcohol suffer a wide range of emotions. Feelings of guilt, anger and everything in between can be especially difficult for those closest to you — such as parents, siblings, spouse or partner, and most of all, children. One family member addicted to alcohol and drugs means the whole family suffers.

Former first daughter Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former first lady and well-known addiction recovery advocate Betty Ford, knows all too well the impact addiction can have on the family.

“I was the one who got the family together to do an intervention [for my mother],” she explained in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We had to change our relationship. I had gotten very angry with her. All of us children had. We all had to mend our relationships and change our relationships. Now, when I look at it, it was the best thing that happened to our family. Everyone got honest.”

Because addiction so deeply affects every member of a family, recovery from addiction is a also family affair. However, no family is born with the knowledge of how to deal effectively with addiction — and unfortunately, many families do not seek the help and knowledge they need to help in the recovery process.

“If the alcoholic or addict does not get help, the family members can get help for themselves,” Bales, the former chairman of the California-based Betty Ford Center, explained. “There is hope and help if people want it.”

Many recovery centers, like 12 Keys in Jensen Beach, understand that family engagement in the recovery process is essential if the family is to heal from the destructive impact of addiction. Counselors are available to help not only the addict — but the family members as well.

If you are a family member of someone abusing alcohol or drugs, call today for help the difficult challenges of addiction and to begin the recovery process for you and your family.

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