There can be very few things that are as frightening and harmful to a child’s future and well-being than having parents with addiction to drugs or other harmful substances and habits. Since it is normal that a child is dependent on their parents for love, support and guidance, having one or more parents with addiction issues is a difficult situation for any child of any age. When someone begins using drugs, alcohol or other substances, as certain physical and psychological changes occur within the addict, their need to obtain and abuse the substance soon becomes the focal point of their lives to the exclusion of all other interests, activities and people. Many times addicts lose the ability to hold down a job which can make surviving a life with an addict even more difficult. Research has shown that addicts are much more likely to be involved with instances of domestic violence, child abuse and crime, which can lead to dangerous situations for the child. Also, being the child of a parent with an addiction does increase the likelihood that the child will grow up and eventually develop their own harmful habits and addictions. It really is important then for the life of everyone around the addict that the addict receives treatment for their addiction and learns how to reclaim their life from addiction so that they can begin to heal from the effects of addiction and repair the relationships and bonds that have been damaged by addiction.
There are many different types of treatment programs available for addiction with various therapies that are aimed at helping the addict become free of their addiction and to learn how to cope with the stresses of life without resuming their addiction. Once an addict has successfully completed the medical detox portion of their treatment and has begun the process of learning how to deal with the psychological dependence on the substance, one of the many therapies that have proven to be beneficial in helping addicts is family therapy.
Family therapy helps addicts and their loved ones, including their children, in many ways. Family therapy can be the beginning point for addicts to begin to heal the damage that their addiction has caused with their children and other loved ones. Many times in family therapy the family receives treatment with the addict to teach the family how to stop enabling the addict in pursuing their harmful habit. This type of therapy also gives the addict a chance to discover just how harmful their addiction was to their family members. While it might seem hard to believe, many addicts are truly unaware of how hurtful their behavior and actions are when they are in the midst of their addiction. Family therapy is often the first time that addicts are sober enough to begin to realize and accept the devastating causes of their addiction and begin to take the steps that are necessary to heal the damage that they have caused to their relationships with children, spouses and others.