What is addiction? What is the addiction treatment process like?
Addiction is not a disease of an individual, but of the whole family system, it consists in a disturbed understanding of reality and one’s own person through the use of the so-called mechanisms of addiction, which is why he works with addicts in the behavioral-cognitive concept with elements of systemic therapy. In a family affected by addiction, a number of other coexisting disorders are usually diagnosed, such as: co-dependence in the case of parents and partners of addicts, and ACoA syndrome in the case of children growing up in families affected by addiction.
Addiction is a mental disease, it affects the cognitive sphere, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, medicines, gambling, excessive use of electronic devices, etc. are only symptoms of the disease. Stopping drinking, taking or gambling does not solve the problem. The goal of their therapy is therefore to maintain abstinence and develop mechanisms that will allow the addict to enjoy life away from the substance. To fight addiction you should consider treatment in a rehab center.
Although addictions are eternal problems accompanying people for generations, and the level of awareness on this subject is constantly rising, stereotypes distorting the idea of addiction therapy are still common. Many people believe that addicts are given “miracle” drugs that effortlessly subdue their craving for the substance. Some people believe that addiction is a choice and that the way out depends solely on the will of the person who suffers from it. Still others claim that it is enough to isolate the addict from alcohol or drugs or to “scare” them with the consequences of their behavior so that they forget about their problem once and for all and learn to live normally.
All such claims result from ignorance and misunderstanding of the mechanisms of addiction. They are the reason why an alcoholic or drug addict for a very long time does not realize that he has lost control over his life, and even when he is made aware of it and wants to break the vicious circle – he cannot do it.
Support in the addiction process is an indispensable element of recovery. Systemic treatment of an addicted person together with his immediate family is the most effective. To understand this, you need to learn the truth – treating addiction is not about stopping the substance. Yes, a sick person will stop taking drugs after undergoing therapy, but this will be a side effect of their work on themselves, on their problems, on acceptance, understanding, forgiveness, and reconciliation. This will not happen, or to be more precise, it will not happen to a sufficient extent, without working on the entire system from which the addicted person emerged. Another painful truth: “A child’s addiction is the result of a family disease, not the cause.
Children in families affected by the problem of addiction
Alcohol abuse can lead to many painful wounds in the child’s psyche. They are usually the less visible victims of this disease. Children of addicts live in enormous stress, which they usually cannot cope with on their own. At home, they most often lack security and support. They often experience psychological and physical violence. These children grow up unsure of what is good and what is bad in life, how to deal with problems.
Co-dependence, or what happens to the family of a person addicted to alcohol?
The family tries to adapt to the different situations created by the addicted person. The wife, husband, relatives of the addicted person most often try to stop them from taking the substance. When the addicted person loses control, other family members try to be more responsible. They wonder what they can do to prevent him from drinking or taking drugs, how to behave when he arrives drunk or under the influence of psychoactive substances, etc. Their lives begin to focus on an addict.
Read more: How to deal with an alcoholic spouse
At first, the family of an alcoholic or drug addict doesn’t realize what’s going on. It is not easy to face a developing disease. Spouses, parents, adolescent children, and others closest to the alcoholic are called codependents because of the way in which the person responds to the addict’s destructive behavior.
Undertaking the process of addiction therapy, therapy for co-dependent people and therapy for people affected by ACoA is a long and difficult process, but it is the only way to start a new, happy and fully free life as a new, better person.