How Family Therapy Works in Alcoholism Rehab?

The abuse of alcohol is a very serious and prevalent problem in America. Signs of alcohol abuse include underage drinking, binge drinking, and alcoholism. In a 2012 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 24.6% of adults reported that they participated in binge drinking in a given month. Additionally, 24% of underage participants in the study (ages 15-20 years-old) admitted to drinking within the last month. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism carry many consequences, such as economic burden, various health risks, family and work disruption, and death.

According to the Mayo Clinic, alcoholism is defined as “a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to consume more alcohol to get the same effect (physical dependence), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease consumption or stop drinking.” People suffering from alcoholism lose control of what they drink, the amount they drink, how often they drink, and any consequences that result from their drinking. More than 10% of children in America are being raised by at least one parent with an alcohol related problem. Because of the far reaching nature of the consequences of alcoholism, alcoholism rehab is often most successful when the immediate family is actively involved in treatment programs referred to as family therapy.

Encouraging family therapy in alcoholism rehab is beneficial to both the patient and the patient’s family. Having family present grants a certain level of understanding and creates a sense of accountability. It is easier to keep motivated when striving for a goal with loved ones constantly encouraging you and supporting your endeavors. Often in the case of alcoholism, things are done, words are said, and promises are broken; tempers can often run high and people are often very hurt. Getting professional help in an alcoholism rehab facility to treat alcohol addiction will often resolve relationship problems, especially if a whole family unit wants to combat the addiction together. Having a therapist present in family therapy can help participants share and sort out their pent-up emotions. In alcoholism rehab, completely open communication leading to understanding and healing is an essential part of the recovery process for the entire family.

Alcoholism has been scientifically proven to have genetic predisposition in families. Alcoholism can easily destroy a marriage and severely harm children living in the household. Children of alcoholics are significantly more likely to suffer from emotional problems, and according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, they are four times more likely to suffer from alcoholism in their own lives. They often suffer many of the same emotions as the alcoholics themselves, including shame, confusion, anger, depression, irritability, anxiety, and guilt. Often they lack the ability to form healthy relationships and are found to struggle at school. Truancy and aggression are common problems reported by school teachers and administrators. When taken into consideration, all of the consequences of alcohol abuse at home, it becomes apparent why full involvement in family therapy in the recovery process is beneficial.

For a person suffering from alcoholism, seeking therapy can be scary and embarrassing. By having their family present it provides accountability, support and understanding while building compassion. In truth, though very challenging, seeking and participating in the appropriate therapy in alcoholism rehab is one of most loving things you can do. Alcohol abuse accounts for the third leading cause of preventable death in America. While the recovery process is often extremely difficult, your loved ones want you to survive this difficult disease and rebuild happy and healthy relationships.

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