There are 300 million people who suffer from addiction, but there are even more than that who suffer from having an addict in their family. Watching as someone slowly tries to kill themselves or seeing them descend into the darkness that is addiction can be an isolating and damaging time in a person’s life. The addict is often unaware or uncaring for the damage they are causing to themselves, and they can be even more oblivious to the harm they are causing to their family. Even the family can assist an individual’s descent into addiction, which leaves a lasting scar. This is why it is crucial for the family of an individual addicted to alcohol and drugs to attend addiction family programs.
An addiction family program will educate a family about the disease that addiction is and the numerous ways that it can affect them. The programs generally focus on building beneficial coping skills and replacing negative learned behaviors with positive and more helpful ones. They also let the family learn the patterns addicts portray and behavior to look out for. Another positive change that a family program can make is to eliminate enabling behavior that could be preventing the individual addicted to alcohol and drugs from getting better.
There are many ways addiction can damage a family. Individuals who abuse alcohol and drugs are responsible for more than half of all spousal and child abuse, and they are more than seven times more likely to be divorced. Another unfortunate feature of an addict’s family is that there is a great deal of lying and pretending. Often individuals who suffer from addiction do not want to be put on display or addressed about their addiction. This causes their family to pretend and deny things that are actually happening in their family, and a pattern will soon begin to develop, especially in young children.
Children from addict’s homes are more likely to suffer from depression, have a higher risk suicide, and to have impaired judgment and decision making skills. Child of addicts are also more likely to become addicts themselves. Children of alcoholic homes develop 12 distinct behaviors, lying is one of them. Children of alcoholic homes will lie for no reason, but do so simply because it is what they have been taught. A sad truth is that the problem is often ignored and will continue to grow worse.
An estimated 6.6 million children live in a home with at least one alcoholic parent, and that number does not include the other homes that house an individual living with an addiction to other drugs. A person growing up in such a home runs a great risk of repeating these behaviors themselves. These along with numerous other reasons are positive causes to seek out and find the benefits of an addiction family program. Addiction family programs are vital to becoming more aware of the problems facing the addict and also to gaining a better hold on their own health.