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Family Therapy in Alaska
talking about residential treatment centers in alaska

Family Therapy in Alaska

The effects of drug and/or alcohol addiction on the addict are well known, but the devastating consequences experienced by their loved ones are often just as difficult to cope with. Therefore,

family therapy in Alaska is often necessary for family members and close friends to understand the addiction, and learn how to cope with the many challenges that are associated with substance abuse and recovery. It can be heartbreaking to watch the illness worsen, but help for families of addicts is available all across the United States, including Alaska. It is possible to take part in family therapy before, during, or after an addict has participated in a treatment program. With this in mind, this form of therapy has the ability to benefit everyone involved, at all stages of the addiction.

Options for Family Therapy in Alaska

Support is available in addiction treatment centers across Alaska for couples, other family members, and close friends. 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), run support groups specifically for families of addicts. SMART Recovery also holds online meetings and chats for the families of addicts, and there is a face-to-face meeting at Delta Junction. The number of SMART Recovery meetings across the country is increasing, and will be more readily available in Alaska in the future.

Many drug treatment centers offer family addiction counseling sessions in which family members affected by the addict’s behavior are counseled by a specialized addiction therapist. During these sessions, family members are helped to understand the processes involved in forming a drug or alcohol dependency, the steps to recovery, and the ways in which the addict can be helped to avoid a relapse after their recovery. Family therapy in Alaska also educates the family on the roles members may play in unknowingly enabling the addiction to continue.

Family Roles in Addiction

A family in which one member suffers from an addiction, quickly becomes dysfunctional, and other family members tend to take on well-defined roles to help them cope with the problems created by the addiction. These roles are adopted unconsciously, and while playing a role eases the pain for the family member, it often sets up a co-dependency that serves to enable the addiction to continue.

One member of the family often adopts the role of “caretaker,” who accepts the responsibilities the addict is failing to honor, and makes excuses for their failures. Similar to all the other roles, the caretaker’s actions are usually governed by love for the addicted person, but their attempts to help simply enable the addict to avoid accepting responsibilities and remain addicted.

Another family member may adopt the role of the scapegoat. This person reacts to the addiction by becoming extremely hostile and angry, and may turn to drugs or alcohol themselves to escape their powerful emotions. In accepting the role of the “hero,” another family member deals with the emotional turmoil by becoming obsessed with work or school, and pretends the problems surrounding the addict simply do not exist.

The “mascot” of the family tries to deal with the tension and conflict in the home by becoming a clown or comedian, while the “lost child” responds to the situation by withdrawing completely from family interactions. This person tends to spend a great deal of time alone, where they escape from the realities of addiction by becoming lost in their own world.

Continuing Family Therapy in Alaska

Addiction affects everyone in the family, and while recovery is possible, it can be a long and difficult process, as relapses are always possible. Family addiction support such as addiction counseling provided by drug rehab or membership in groups like AA or NA, may be needed for many months or years, even if the addict has accepted help and began their road to recovery. If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, pick up the phone and speak with an addiction specialist about the benefits of family therapy.