When it comes to dealing with an addiction of any kind, knowledge truly does become power. It is important to understand the many facets of substance abuse, whether you are dealing with the addiction yourself or helping a loved one through the treatment and recovery process. In fact, education should be one of the first steps you take on the road to living with and overcoming addiction.
Impact of Drugs and Alcohol
Addiction education begins with the knowledge of how drugs and alcohol affect the mind and body of the person who is using. For families, this knowledge can be essential to identify an addiction and the potential consequences to the individual’s health. A person who is using also benefits by learning how the substance is affecting him from a physiological standpoint.
Reasons behind Substance Abuse
When people don’t understand the reasons behind substance abuse, family members may blame themselves or their loved one for the addiction. However, the causes behind substance abuse are usually complex. Until the reasons are accurately identified, it is difficult for an addict to get on a healthy road to recovery. Underlying issues involving work, personal relationships or mental illness must be addressed before successful recovery can take place.
How Addiction Affects the Family
Addiction does not just affect the person who is using – if affects all the friends and family members in that person’s life. By educating the entire family on the facts about addiction, the individual in the midst of addiction struggles will have a more viable support system to survive the treatment and recovery process. At the same time, family members who have been impacted by the addiction will learn healthy ways to cope with their own feelings about the person using.
Stronger relationships are an important factor in a successful recovery process. Addiction impacts every family member and residual feelings about the addiction can prevent family members from supporting the addict on the road to recovery. Education about how to form healthy relationships in the midst of addiction and recovery is essential for everyone in the process. That is why family therapy and family education programs are usually included with most addiction treatment programs.
Addiction has been called a family affair, because it impacts every family member. By educating the family, as well as the individual struggling with addiction, the necessary support system can be put into place to help the addict make it through the treatment and recovery process.