Addiction: A Family Affair

Edited by Living Sober

Last updated September 6, 2012

Addiction is truly a family disease.  When there is addiction in a family it inevitably becomes impossible to maintain functional, healthy relationships.  Addiction is often generational, and findings in the medical community suggest that there may also be a genetic component.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cites a report indicating that “study after study shows that if one person in a family abuses alcohol or drugs, the remaining family members are at increased risk of developing substance abuse problems. The single most potent risk factor of future maladaptation, predisposition to substance use, and psychological difficulties is a parent’s substance‐abusing behavior.”


Addressing co-dependent, aggressive, or abusive familial relationships is a core part of treating the whole family. Another crucially important aspect of family treatment is helping family members understand that they can’t control their loved one’s addiction but rather their own behavior.


NTS offers a Family Treatment Program that incorporates group counseling, informative lectures and Al-Anon meetings wherein families participate in three-day sessions every month while their loved one is in rehab treatment.


Family treatment can help break the isolation and dysfunction of addiction. For more information about our Family Program, click here.


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