The Nuances of Drug Rehabilitation and Family Support Groups
The true sadness of addiction is its insidious power over the individual; a power that is usually acquired through promising short-term highs for long-term travail.
The Implicit Assumptions of Drug Rehabilitation
Drug rehabilitation is a process of weaning an individual off of drugs usually through a combination of psychotherapeutic and medical interventions. Addictive behaviors such as sex addiction or gambling addiction clearly have a physiological component, but research has shown that these types of addictive behaviors are best mediated with counseling and psychotherapy.
There are other forms of addiction, such as alcohol or heroin dependency, that are comprehensively solved via addressing the physiological components of addiction, which might involve the administration of pharmaceutical medications, alongside solving the underlying psychodynamic roots of the addictive behavior.
The Variegated Doors to Treatment
Drug rehabilitation can take the following forms: sober houses, extended care facilities, in-patient residential rehabilitation, medical care, and local support groups. The importance of family in both addiction and rehabilitation can’t be overstated. Families are frequently enablers and facilitators to the addiction; family members oftentimes show their love through giving in to the addict’s disease.
Family Support Groups
Online support groups for families, such as Al-Anon, help treat one of the most intractable causes of addiction: the ostensible love of other family members. Al-Anon teaches healthy ways for families to deal with a drug-dependent parent, sibling or spouse. (1) The end goal of family therapy is to help the addict recover, which means doing whatever possible to break the chain of addiction. Families who have successfully completed Al-Anon support group sessions work through issues, such as self-blame and maladaptive interpersonal interactions, to find more sustainable ways to cope with a family member in the throngs of addiction.
The sister program to Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, deals with narcotics addiction but both share the same underlying themes of tough love and responsible long-term responses to addiction.
Family support groups are advantageous in so far as families floundering for support may find guidance from qualified mental health professionals and families going through similar struggles. The concept behind Al-Anon, for example, is that each family member is affected by addiction in the family and, also, their responses to that addiction might either be exacerbating or ameliorating the addiction of one family member. Al-Anon helps to provide clarity and perspective through hearing the advice of mental health professionals and receiving input from other families in similar situations.
Drug Rehabilitation: Closing Points
Addiction inevitably affects one’s social and familial contacts. Bearing this in mind, families of addicted individuals would be wise to consider the counsel and perspective of groups like Al-Anon to break the nefarious tide of addiction!
Author Pam Johnson is a therapist who specializes in researching new and exciting ways to provide therapy for rehabilitating drug users. She obtained her degree from one of the Top 10 Best Online Therapy Degree Programs in the country.