Part 1: Cause
Family members, spouses or parents who are watching their loved one struggle may wonder what they did wrong. The fact is they did nothing to bring about this crisis that is hurting their family. To help ease the stressful and heartbreaking process that is addiction recovery, family members should remember the three C’s of addiction recovery:
- I didn’t cause it
- I can’t cure it
- I can’t control it
“I Didn’t Cause It”
The first C of addiction recovery – cause – is a reminder that you are not the reason your loved one fell victim to addiction. Once you accept that their disease is not your fault, you can start overcoming your own guilt.
Family is not at Fault
Family members look for answers and ask questions such as:
– “Why did this happen to us?”
– “Where did we go wrong?”
– “What could we have done differently?”
There is nothing you did or said that caused this to happen to your family. Just like cancer or diabetes, addiction is a disease.
The Blame Game
It is also easy for a family to get caught up in blaming themselves or anyone else around them, including:
– The doctor who prescribed pain killers after a procedure
– The teacher who said their child needed medication for ADD
– The other parent for being too soft or, possibly, too rigid
Often the one who is addicted blames those around him or her in order to justify their behavior. The realization that it’s no one else’s fault might finally help them take responsibility for their actions.
The Real Guilty Party
Addiction is caused by a combination of elements and not because of someone else’s words or behavior. These elements include some that are biological, some that are psychological and some that are even social. The combination of these can be a little bit different for everyone. The actual addiction then comes from changes in the structure and function of the brain. While it’s true that the first time someone uses drugs or alcohol is likely a voluntary choice, over time the changes in the brain from repeated drug use can impair a person’s self-control and ability to make decisions.
Family Therapy is Key to Recovery
Because addiction affects the entire family, everyone plays a major role in a successful treatment program. Family therapy sessions are an important part of the treatment process. Footprints offers counseling sessions and therapy for family members, so healing can begin for everyone involved. Look out for our next post on Cure, the second C of addiction recovery, and contact us today if your loved one is ready to start their recovery process.