Fathers and Addiction
It hurts so bad to think I cannot save him, protect him, keep him out of harm’s way, shield him from pain. What good are fathers if not for these things?”
-Thomas Lynch regarding his son’s drug addiction
Addiction is a multifaceted disease, effecting each person it comes across uniquely. However, one aspect of addiction remains constant, the fact that addiction is a family disease; one which affects not just the addict themselves but everyone surrounding the addict as well. As such, family involvement in addiction recovery is extremely essential in helping an individual maintain long-term recovery and with Father’s Day fast approaching it’s a perfect time to celebrate the special bond between a father and his family.
Beyond the family togetherness, this Father’s Day can also be an opportune time for families struggling with alcohol and drug addiction to take that vital first step towards long-term addiction recovery. Regardless if it is the father struggling, or the child struggling, addiction can wreak havoc on any type of family dynamic. For example, children of parents struggling with substance abuse:
- Are at a much greater risk of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol themselves
- Experience more physical and mental health problems than children from non-addicted homes
- Are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders
- Show elevated rates of psychiatric and psychosocial dysfunction
- Develop more behavioral problems, which often directly correlate to future problems at school, work, and run-ins with the law
While it’s no secret that the road to long-term addiction recovery may not always be a walk in the park,there are a few steps an individual can take to help prevent the return of self-destructive behavior and prevent relapse; such as:
- Take the time to reward yourself: Breaking old habits can be difficult, but giving yourself short term rewards can help combat this. For example, for every week you go without substance abuse reward yourself with a non-destructive reward such as dinner at your favorite restaurant.
- Continuing to attend support groups: Leaning on friends and family during difficult times can be a great asset in maintaining long-term addiction recovery. Additionally, making the effort to join a support group and continually attend meetings can be a great help as well.
- Remaining aware of possible relapse triggers: In addiction recovery, staying clear of people, places, or things, which have the potential to trigger a relapse is extremely important. For instance, if you are in recovery from alcoholism, it would be key to keep your distance from bars and friends who drink heavily.
When addiction takes hold over an individual, the situation can oftentimes seem daunting and overwhelming. It can be a cruel and all-encompassing disease, and as such it is a disease which recovery from should not be taken on alone. In terms of achieving long-term addiction recovery the support from one’s family and loved ones can truly make the all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, give our addiction specialists a call. They are here to help!
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