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How Can You Break the Familial Cycle of Addiction?

father putting his shoulder around his son

In every question about our experience and behavior, we question nature versus nurture. In the cycle of addiction, both nature and nurture play a role. However, the cycle does not have to keep going. You can break the family cycle of addiction and create a new legacy. There is hope for a better and more sustainable future. You might wonder, what does it take to create a new legacy? Let’s find out. 

Six Ways to Break the Cycle of Addiction in Your Family

There are many methods to break the cycle of addiction, but all methods require a combination of honesty, coping skills, treatment for underlying conditions, support, education, and abstinence. These are just six elements of effective treatment and hope for change.

#1. Honesty

The beginning stages of treatment require an intervention both with your family and with yourself. Absolute honesty is necessary for healing. The effects of alcohol or other substances are intergenerational and affect everyone in the family. So, healing is necessary for everyone in the family, and that requires honesty. 

You need to face addiction and admit its existence and how this affects you and your family. When you avoid the subject and do not face addiction openly, you give the problem room to grow. Therefore, honesty is required for the family to begin to heal successfully.

#2. Learning Coping Skills

As you begin the process of healing and being honest about your family’s problems with alcohol or other substances, you need to begin learning different ways to cope with your problems. While relapse might happen, relapse is less likely to occur if you stick with the program, practice effective and healthy coping skills, and lean on your Higher Power. 

Learning and using effective coping skills will equip you to face the underlying problems of your addiction to alcohol or other substances. You might learn these coping skills from the research you do on your own, trying new coping methods, or asking for help from a professional.

#3. Treatment for Comorbid Conditions

Underlying mental health conditions often accompany addictive behaviors. There might be depression, anxiety, anger, or other mental health and behavioral health conditions that form the root of the addiction to substances. While mental health conditions can be genetic, learning how to cope with mental health conditions requires support from your family and professionals. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You are not alone.

#4. Family Support

The cycle of family addiction does not end with one person. Ending the cycle requires the support and focus of the whole family system. Again, there is a nature and nurture aspect to addiction. Given the overlapping nature of addiction, there needs to be an overlapping of support from every family member as you attempt to break the cycle. Addiction is experienced by all who are affected by the one struggling. Therefore, working together is the key. If you have trouble establishing good communication skills and support among family members, you should consider family therapy. Family therapy is an environment that will offer each family member the opportunity to express their needs and concerns in a healthier way.  

#5. Education About Substance Use

To begin the process of being honest about your addiction to alcohol or other substances, you need to understand the disease. Whether you research on your own or ask for information from professionals, you need to understand how this disease affects your mind, spirit, and body. Effective intervention requires information. Having this information helps build the foundation for an effective intervention, which will lead to effective treatment and outcomes for abstinence and avoiding relapse.

#6. Complete Abstinence

Abstinence is difficult in the beginning stages of recovery, but not impossible. Be patient with yourself and your family as you navigate this time. To ensure the success of everyone in the family, each person needs to abstain from alcohol and other substances. As stated earlier, addiction does not affect just one family member but the entire family unit. Given this truth, supporting your family through abstinence helps ensure the health and well-being of everyone in the family. 

Breaking the cycle of addiction in your family takes time and effort. Effective intervention happens early and with the whole family being a part of the process. Another element of effectively breaking the family addiction cycle is strong community involvement. Your involvement may take the form of sports, church, or creative endeavors. However your family can plug into the community, you should make a strong attempt. Having a strong supportive community helps ensure your success in overcoming addiction. Remember, you are not alone. There are options for help and support in your family, your community, and through professional assistance. 

Addiction shares a relationship with both genetic components and family-based nurture components. Addiction is not a failure, but a result of flawed attempts to cope with underlying problems. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use or mental health disorders, Clearfork Academy can help. At Clearfork Academy, we offer assistance to teens and their families who are struggling with the effects of addiction. We offer hope and help for every step of the journey into freedom. We offer Christ-centered healing with a focus on the individual and the family. We believe in the family’s ability to successfully heal. We also believe that you can create a new legacy for yourself and your family. You do not have to struggle alone. Therefore, if you need help, don’t wait. Get help for you and your family today. Learn more and reach out to us at Clearfork Academy today by calling (888) 966-8604