How Can Structural Family Therapy Benefit Individuals With SUD?

Substance use disorder (SUD) not only affects the individual with addiction but their surroundings as well. Parents, spouses, and children may all be negatively impacted by an individual’s addictive behaviors. This can be especially so if one has been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health condition. Structural family therapy can help everyone involved better understand the root cause of their loved one’s disorder and learn new coping strategies to manage the stages of addiction.

Participating in structural family therapy with 12 South Recovery can effectively help everyone involved. Therapy can help everyone adapt by developing different skills. New skills can help family members provide the support needed to ultimately move forward in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 40.3 million American citizens were diagnosed with SUD in the year 2020. SUD continues to be a worldwide problem. It is classified as a serious chronic brain disease characterized by continued substance use despite adverse consequences. An individual facing challenges with SUD may experience physical health complications, impaired social relationships, and a lack of control. Cognitive, psychological, and behavioral changes may also occur.

SUD can range in severity and may affect anyone of any race, gender, income, or social class. When an individual reports these concerning symptoms, this can help a professional provide a proper diagnosis. With an accurate diagnosis, a treatment center can then create an effective individualized treatment plan of action.

How Can Substance Use Disorder Affect Family and Friends?

According to the journal Social Work in Public Health, an individual’s family is typically the primary source of nurturing, attachment, and socialization in today’s society. When someone in the family has SUD, every member is affected. Depending on the family, members may present problems with communication, parenting, external conflicts, and attitudes toward substance abuse. Therefore, the effects of SUD can negatively impact the entire family. Each family member can be uniquely affected, especially children. 

These effects may include:

  • Unmet developmental needs
  • Economic hardship
  • Impaired attachment
  • Emotional distress
  • Legal problems
  • Violence
  • Negative exposure
  • Risk of developing SUD themselves

How Families Can Affect Substance Use Disorder

The aforementioned journal article in Social Work and Public Health stated that environmental and genetic factors may also contribute to the development of SUD. Therefore, it is imperative to assess the impact a family had or is having on the development of SUD. Many factors can play a role. For example, children may be more prone to developing a drug addiction when they’ve been persistently exposed to drugs and alcohol in their homes.

What’s more, if a family member is using substances around their loved one who is in recovery, this can make it especially difficult for the recovering person to maintain long-term sobriety. Re-entering a negative unhealthy environment may evoke several triggers, making it harder for a person to stay abstinent from drugs and or alcohol. 

How Individuals With Substance Use Disorder Also Affect the Family

If an individual completes treatment and reenters a family home that has extreme conflict, abuse, and or emotional neglect, this can also negatively interfere with one’s success in achieving a healthy recovery. Due to these environmental factors, family therapy is an important step for families of recovering people.

Sometimes it’s the recovering person who has caused negative feelings within the family. Individuals with SUD may have stolen prescription drugs or alcohol, lied to their loved ones, exhibited violence, or caused a huge financial burden. These behaviors can make forgiveness nearly impossible. However, if the recovering individual uses the skills they’ve learned in psychotherapy, they may be able to rectify the impaired relationships with their family members. Because of the consequences of addictive behaviors, family therapy can also be an effective choice to help everyone involved successfully move forward from the negatives. This may also help everyone develop a healthier family dynamic.

The Value of Structural Family Therapy

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), structural family therapy can help families facing SUD in many different ways. Structural family therapy primarily focuses on family structure and mending relationships between family members. The main goal of this therapy is to create a healthier family system. Through attending these sessions, family members can better understand what to expect while their loved one is in treatment or recovery.

Therapy can help family members understand how their behaviors may be contributing to their loved one’s problem. By gaining a new perspective, they may be able to better support their loved ones through the stages of addiction. 

Structural family therapy works to help families effectively interact with each other to promote a more positive home environment. Family members can become more responsible for their emotional and physical behaviors and create a more respectful atmosphere. The techniques used in family therapy can help family members prepare for a healthier future generation. 

The Benefits of Structural Family Therapy With 12 South Recovery

Different types of interventions at 12 South Recovery may include cognitive-behavioral family therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, and structural family therapy. Participating in structural family therapy with 12 South Recovery can help individuals learn the warning signs of a relapse. This awareness will help them to work as a group to prevent them. 

Structural family therapy can help strengthen family relationships and create a better outcome for all family members. The tools learned in therapy at 12 South Recovery can help families support their loved ones while in recovery. Through sustained effort, peace and harmony can be achieved for all.

Substance use disorder (SUD) can be negatively felt by the whole family. Structural family therapy can provide improved treatment retention and increased support and understanding of SUD. As a licensed and Joint Commission Accredited Mental Health Treatment Center, 12 South Recovery is a leader in Orange County mental health treatment. We understand that Millions of Americans struggle with a substance use disorder, only a small percentage ever seek help. At 12 South Recovery, family therapy is an important part of our substance abuse program that can help individuals and your loved ones heal and move forward. If your family is facing challenges coping with the effects of SUD call 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374 to learn more.

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