Family Role in the Treatment of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Essay Examples & Outline

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Family Role in the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse


The family often has a central role to play in the treatment of any health problem, and this includes substance abuse. Family work has often become strong and a continuing theme of many treatment approaches, however, it is of the essence that family has not been used to its greatest capacity when it comes to abuse treatment (Schuckit, 2008). However, it is necessary to understand that a primary challenge often lies in the broadening of the substance abuse treatment from a focus of the individual to the family.

It is of the essence to understand that the idea of a family implies an enduring involvement on an emotional level. In fact, family members might at times disperse around the world, however, they are still connected emotionally, and they can effectively contribute to the dynamics of the family functioning (Randy M. Page, 2014). This paper is going to explore whether a family plays an important when it comes the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse.

Family members have a great effect on the emotional health of their Family members and each other. In particular, the teenage years are usually challenging even with Family members raised in stable, communicative families that encourage honesty together with a healthy self-esteem. Teenagers normally struggle with problems of changing brain function, self-identity, and rebellion, fluctuating hormones, and burgeoning sexuality (O'Connor, 2007). The more the Family members are informed on what is happening to their members, it will be simpler to deal with any issues that may come up, especially the abuse of drug and alcohol (Anderson, 2011, p. 18). Further, even when it is the parents, there is a need for the family to better understand each and every one of them. This will go along away in one understanding how to react when certain things occur such as drug addiction or the use of alcohol.

Hypothesis

This paper is going to investigate whether the family has a role to play in the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse.
Null Hypothesis: There is no relation that exists between the family and the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse.

Research constructs

There are several important constructs that should be looked at in relation to alcohol and substance abuse and the role of the family in these issues. Some of these constructs include motivation, caregiver stress, abuse, and life satisfaction. The relationship of these constructs will also be looked at and how they affect the family when it comes to accommodating alcohol and substance abuse users. These constructs will also be looked at individually and their general impact when it comes to the role of the family in alcohol abuse and substance abuse. The research will also describe the different theoretical constructs that the paper is attempting to measure.

Statement of the Problem

The family is extremely important when it comes to the treatment of various diseases amongst persons. The family is at the root of the society and is the smallest unit by which a person can be able to associate with and feel an attachment. Many persons that are addicted to alcohol and substance abuse have wasted away because of lack of proper family support. For this reason, this paper will look at these situations and how the family can play a pivotal role in ensuring that this situation changes. This paper is whether indeed the family has a role to play in the treatment of alcohol abuse and substance abuse.

Research Questions

1.What role does a family play when it comes to treatment of alcohol and substance abuse?
2.What are some of the things that a family can do in order to ensure that they help the person that is suffering from alcohol and substance abuse?
3.What is alcohol and substance abuse?

Significance of the study

This study will be important, as it will illuminate on several issues regarding alcohol and substance abuse addicts and how the family can help them to get back on their feet. It will be of the essence to the community as persons will understand the role that the family plays and how optimal output can be gotten from the family in order to treat the persons that have the addiction.

Limitations

There are several limitations. The first limitation is that different families are diverse and consequently, it usually becomes difficult to understand what exactly constitutes the best family to handle a drug addict. Another limitation is that persons that are affected by drug abuse often keep to themselves and therefore, data regarding this subject can be said to be hard to come by.

Delimitations

The study does not cover what constitutes best families as the researchers in this research found that the data related to this field was limited and could not generate relevant data. Further, the study was limited to alcohol and substance abuse only and did not look at other types of addictions.

Literature Review

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism (alcohol dependence) are two very different types of drinking problems. Alcoholism is when a person has many or all the signs of being physically addicted to alcohol and still continues to drink, in spite of developing problems with physical and mental health, and family, social, or other job responsibilities. In the case of alcoholism, alcohol may control the life and relationships of the affected person. Alcohol impairment on the other hand refers to a situation where excessive drinking leads to problems but does not lead to the physical addiction (Ziglar, 2002).

Gottman, (2011) argues that alcohol abuse is caused by many factors that are interconnected, including how one was raised, their social environment, genetics, and their emotional health. Certain racial groups, for instance, Native Alaskans and American Indians, are at a much greater risk than other people of developing an addiction to alcohol (Books Llc, 2011). People with a household history of alcohol abuse or alcoholism or people who associate very closely with people who are heavy drinkers are also very likely to develop some drinking problems. People who suffer from certain mental health problems such as agitation, bipolar disorder or dysthymia, are also highly at risk because they may use alcohol to self-medicate (Newmark, 1999).

Gottman, (2011) states that substance abuse on the other hand often involves the use of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and even marijuana. These drugs pose a big problem to the family in terms of finances and the fact that those that engage in these drugs often become ‘cabbages’ and they are not able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.

There are several myths that relate to alcohol and substance abuse and it is only through family that some of these myths can be shattered. This is because the family is often there to offer support and give encouragement. Further, there are times, which the family does come in and gives a realist view of the situation to the drug addict. This is something that is notably important and should be encouraged in any scenario. Lankford, (2007), states five myths of alcoholism, there is a need to look at them critically.

Myth 1: “I can stop myself from drinking whenever I want to”.

Although there are many people who can, a majority of people who abuse alcohol cannot. This statement is merely an excuse to ensure that they keep drinking (Lankford, 2007). The truth is that most personages who drink excessively do not have the will power to stop, or they simply do not wish to stop. This myth is meant to make them feel like they are in charge of their drinking habit, in spite of all the evidence against it and regardless of the damage being done by it. The family at times comes to stop this myth as they inject the addict with what can be described as realism and the addict understands the situation and that he or she is in need of professional help (Lankford, 2007).

Myth 2: “My drinking is only my problem. I am the only one it hurts, and for this reason nobody has the right to make me stop”.

It is correct to say that the decision to stop drinking lies with the drinker. It is, however, not true that they are only people who get hurt when the drink. Alcohol abuse affects every person they will be in interaction with, especially his or her closest friends and family members. This is because they care about them, and this makes the drinking problem their problem (Lankford, 2007).

Myth 3: “I do not on a daily basis, so I cannot be an alcoholic or alcohol abuser” OR “I only drink beer or wine, so I cannot be an alcohol abuser or alcoholic”.

Alcoholism or alcohol abuse is not defined by when one drinks or what type of alcoholic beverage they drink. The effects of the drinking are what make it problematic or not. If drinking causes problems at one’s home, school or work, then they have a drinking problem (Lankford, 2007). This is regardless of the number of bottles they take or the frequency of their drinking. Again, the family members can come in here and ensure that the person understands that indeed they are an alcoholic or use substance drugs. This will ensure that they change and reform their ways.
Myth 4: “I am not an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser because I have studies or a job, and I am doing fine”.

One does not need to be poor or drinking out of brown paper bags to qualify to be an alcohol abuser. There are many people who abuse alcohol and are still able to get through school, maintain their jobs and even provide for the people who are dependent on them. In some cases, they even manage to excel in what they do (Lankford, 2007). But being a high- functioning alcohol abuser or alcoholic does not change the fact that they could be putting other people in danger. The effects of this alcohol abuse may eventually catch up with them.

Myth 5: “Drinking is not an “actual” addiction like abusing drugs”.

Alcohol is indeed a drug, and alcoholism and alcohol abuse is in every way as damaging as hard drug addiction. Addiction to alcohol causes certain changes in the body and the brain, and abuse alcohol on the long- term can have many devastating effects on one’s health, career, and even relationships (Lankford, 2007). Alcoholics often go through physical symptoms of withdrawal when they decide to stop drinking like drug users do.

Currently, the actual cause, of abusing alcohol, is not known. Some scientists believe that there could be the gene that increases the risk of people abusing alcohol. This research has, has however not been proved as they have not been able to precisely identify the gene (Laurence Steinberg, 2010).

There is a risk of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The amount of alcohol ingested can to a great degree determine whether or not a person will become an alcoholic or dependent. Some of the people who are at the highest risk of developing alcoholism include men who take fifteen or more alcoholic drinks per week; women who take twelve or more alcoholic drinks per week; and anyone who takes 5 or more bottles in one instant, at least once per week.

A drink is one twelve-ounce beer bottles, one five-ounce wine glass, or a 1 and 1/2-ounce liquor shot. People whose parents suffered from alcoholism are at a much higher risk of misusing alcohol or even becoming dependent on alcohol (Holland, 2012).

Other people who are also very likely to either abuse alcohol or become independent are young adults who are under a lot of peer pressure, people suffering from anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. People who have fast and easy access to alcoholic beverages, people with low self- esteem, people living or working under stressful conditions, and people living in a lifestyle where alcohol use is accepted and abuse is not frowned on. Alcohol abuse is on the rise. Around one out of six people living in the United States of America have drinking problems (MD, 2013).

People who suffer from alcohol abuse may often present the following symptoms: they continue to drink even when there is evidence that their drinking habit is harming their health, work or relationships; they often drink alone; they could become violent whenever they are drinking; they could become hostile whenever they are asked to talk about their drinking problem; they often make excuses for their drinking; they could miss work or school, and their performance could deteriorate as a result of this drinking problem; they could stop their participation in group activities; they also tend to be poor eaters; they often feel ashamed or guilty about their drinking habits; feel the need to have a drink in order to feel better or relax (Coombs, 2002); often drink more than they intended to; they soon stop caring about their appearance and personal hygiene; and they also try as much as possible to prevent people they respect or care about to discover their alcohol problem (Lankford, 2007).

For this reason, it is important that the family understands these problems. They are also the same when it comes to substance abuse and consequently, there is a need for them to be better understand by the family if they are going to be stopped in the best and most efficient way possible.

It is important to understand that most at times the biggest problem regarding alcohol addicted individuals and those with substance abuse is addressing addiction. Family members at times do not understand how to bring up the issue of dependence therapy and they often opt to ignore the problem for the fear of pushing their loved one away during either an intervention or a confrontation. These are often legitimate concerns and while in many cases families should understand that approaching their loved one should be a supportive and gentle process, there is also a need for them to understand that most patients often seek substance abuse treatment as a result of positive family involvement and intervention.

Each family is essentially different, and the best way to, therefore, approach a family member with a drug or alcohol problem is often different with each person (Hanson, 1995). Whichever path is taken, there is a need to understand that family dynamic in drug and alcohol addiction is often incredibly powerful and that addressing this unhealthy imbalance that exists in communication can be described as the first step in moving a loved on towards addiction therapy.

Family members are a sensitive point and especially teenagers, for this reason, must their needs to be taken differently as compared to those of the grown-ups. After an intervention, the best case scenario is that the addicted individual will often be compelled to enter an inpatient or an outpatient substance abuse treatment program (Holland, 2012). When it comes to an outpatient addiction therapy program, this often means that patients are not in any way separated from their families and they are able to be supported by their families on a day to day basis. However, even when it is an inpatient addiction therapy program, there is a need for visiting the family as this will increase the chances of success for several different recovery programs.

There are manifold ways in which a family should behave in order to ensure that indeed they help a person that is ailing from the addiction of alcohol and substance abuse. These methods are also important when it comes to ensuring the quality life of the drug addict. As vital as it is to pass the point to therapists dealing with alcohol and drug abuse problems, it is equally crucial to assist parents, who may have problems recognizing that their other family members are hurting. Family members in the current culture find themselves encouraged to focus their daily lives on work and routine activities (Laurence Steinberg, 2010). As the focus their attention on play dates, carpools and homework, there is a risk of being seriously distracted from their feelings.

(Newmark, 1999) states that when Family members set plans to make their members a practical priority it is an act of real caring, nothing is as priceless or possesses a positive impact as being in sync with a another person’s feelings, inquiring how they are and permitting them to open up to their thoughts, fears and impressions. Generally, many of the Family members’ emotions are ignored, as the family members tend to focus mostly on their behaviors than their feelings. By family members maintaining attentiveness to their psychological condition and remembering the following parenting values, family members can be more familiar to the needs of others and learn methods of understanding when a problem occurs with one of them (Califano, 2009, p. 33).

Family members should not overlook signs that other persons in the family are struggling. Be it conscious of behavioral changes that might show that a person in the family is stressed. For example, in the case of a child, if a tutor informs a parent that the child has difficulties in relating well to other children in class, the Family members should not ignore it as being out of personality and expect the best, similar to how one should not giggle at how ridiculous a child appears when throwing a temper outburst. What may begin as a minute behavioral pattern can become a later behavior that is concerning.

For example, an exaggerated attention on food or even video games could be signs that a child is employing these things to stop the pain. If ignored, these patterns could cause obesity or dependence to drugs as well as alcohol. In addition, the fits that appear as attractive from a child who is 4-years will appear far less attractive from a child who is 14-years (Clark Night, 2011, p. 50).

Family members should also not trivialize the manner in which the other family members are feeling. It is quite easy for Family members to fuzz off their tempers, racking them up to developmental phases such as the teenage rebellion or even terrible twos. Even though the phases do play a part in emotional behaviors, it is vital for Family members to learn to delicately relate to other persons in the family while they are still in these conditions and educate them how to deal with their emotions. When Family members detect an emotional alteration in their other members, it is crucial for them to attempt to understand what exactly is affecting them and to react accordingly. Probably something has frightened them that they have not sensed, or they are not at ease to talk about.

Family members should be attuned and receptive but not reactive or even parental. There is a need to encourage talk in the family as this ensures that even during the point of addiction, a person can be able to confide into their families about their drug problems (Clark Night, 2011). When it comes to controlling the Family members, only using rules never helps, on the other hand, upholding an open and similar sense of communications helps. On the contrary, for it to work, Family members should be accountable: they should live up to their words so as to gain trust in the family. If Family members invite each other to have an honest talk with them, then they become erratic and defensive in their reactions (Coombs, 2002).

There is, for this reason, a need to take a keen approach when it comes to dealing with issues of drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Family members should do their best, not to respond defensively to their Family members or attempt to speak to them out of their realism. Alternatively, Family members should apologize that the Family members’ feelings were wounded and assist them to make logic of their unique perception along with experience (Hanson, 1995). Then Family members can share their feelings in the manner they acted and benefit from a similar, honest rank interaction.

If Family members lip up and respond in a manner that is insensible or inappropriate, it is essential to revert and undo the dent that the Family members have done to each other that might limit communication

Family members should invite others to spend time with them. Quality time is far more crucial compared to a quantity once it comes to having time with Family members. It is worthwhile to set aside a particular time where the Family members engage in activities headed by their parents; a sensible momentous period in which the Family members give the members constant attention and let them be aware that they are a main concern (Ziglar, 2002). Letting the Family members, decide what the Family members should do does not mean permitting them to set impractical expectations on the activities are expensive or cost much time. On the other hand, it is a chance for Family members to share activities with themselves and make a situation where the Family members can talk with each other freely.

The family should encourage the patient to go either for individual or group therapy. The family can also take part in group therapy in order to show solidarity to their member. There are a number of reasons which cause patients to undergo group therapy. Some of them include the following: Learning from Others.

This is a very important aspect of this therapy. Through listening to other people’s experiences, patients can pick out certain points and modes of dealing with the problem that have worked and those which have not. Validation (Clark Night, 2011). This is one of the greatest benefits of group therapy. This is realized when a people sit and shares their experiences with others suffering the same kind of problem. This enables them to recover faster when they realize that they are not the only ones suffering such problems and that others may even be having a harder time coping with the situation than they are.

In addition, people can assist each other. As people share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, people can help each other consequently increasing their esteem. Another very important thing about group therapy is that it provides members with social support. People who are going through a similar situation can understand another one in such a situation much better than those who have never experienced that. Groups give the members a better environment for having healthy relationships with people who are supportive and trusting (Ann Intern Med, 2009).
Further, the family can also have a choice of taking the patient to individual counseling.

However, they should not abandon the individual upon taking him but should be, therefore, for him or her. Individual counseling also has its advantages. First of all, there is much more privacy in such a setting. Another advantage of this is that the counselor is able to offer his or her undivided attention to only to one client (Anderson, 2011). Moreover, since the attention is given to only one client at a time, the therapist can easily acquire information and figure out the cause and suitable treatment for the problem. It is also vital to note that in group therapy, honesty and transparency may be significantly lower and people may tend to hold back certain information. It also becomes more difficult for the counselor to keep track of all the information said by all the clients, to analyze their issues and make conclusions.

The family members when a person is in drug abuse should avoid being angry, distant and resentful as this only serves to make the situation worse. At times, family members often become angry because they cannot be able to address the issue without angering the patient or even exacerbating their loved one’s results (Holland, 2012). For this reason, there is a need for the family members to identify behaviors as well as traits that they can adjust in order to break the cycle. The family has been described by some people as a group of people that have common ties of affection and responsibility.

Therefore, in a drug addiction case whether it be alcohol or substance abuse, there is a need to understand that families often possess what is referred to as nonsummativity, this means that the family as a whole is often greater and different as compared to the sum of it individual members. For this reason, there is a need to attack the matter as family as compared to approaching the problem as being the sum of individual members.

The goal of any treatment is to ensure that the patient completely abstains from the use of alcohol and substance abuse. For this to be achieved, it is important for the patient to have a very strong family support system and social network (Gottman, 2011). For some people abusing alcohol it may be very difficult to stop. For such, treatment is aimed at reducing the amounts of alcohol they take so that they drink in moderation. In the event that this method fails, it is important to try a different approach and try to ensure that the person quits completely.

Research Methodology

There was the use of 200 participants from 80 families. These were families that had been plagued with one of their members having drug and alcohol abuse issues.
For the research on drug addiction and alcohol substance abuse and the role of families in it I intended to use a questionnaire. Close-ended questionnaire and an open-ended questionnaire were the main instruments used for data collection. Sections B and C of the questionnaire contained questions and statements that sought after to address questions regarding to the family and drug addiction. The pieces on the questionnaire had choices from which respondents had selections that is best suited to the degree to which they approved with the statements (Yes = agree, No = disagree,).

For the purpose of this research, both primary and secondary data gathering techniques were employed. By using primary data, survey of the study area were conducted to collect and collate information on the effects of alcohol and substance abuse and the role of the families. A primary source of data involved first hand information from the field or the study population through the use of structured questionnaires. Secondary sources are chiefly the works of other researcher and authors which are in the form of articles, books, journals and newspapers, in addition to the use of automated information particularly from the internet, where related articles to the topic is being retrieved for the devotions of the study. This research envisioned to use secondary data in order to go hand in hand with primary data.

Data Analysis

The research will use canonical correlation in order to see whether indeed there exists relation between the ‘the role of the family alcohol and substance abuse. This is because after being introduced to the concept and based on their perceptions, it can be seen indeed whether the family has an effect on these persons. SAS, Stata and SPSS will be used in order to get this canonical correlation that exists between these variables.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the family is extremely important when it comes to helping a person with alcohol or substance abuse addiction. They are especially pivotal when it comes to giving the person emotional support and enough strength to endure the treatment. They should spend time together with the person that has the addiction problem, listen to their problems, monitor their behaviors and ensure that at times they become bold and tell their members the situation exactly at the ground and the way it looks. This will help the persons to sober up and sometimes seek professional help for their addiction. Further, in terms of treatment, they can engage in group therapy and ensure that they are therefore, for their loved ones. This will ultimately help in the recovery process and sooner or later their family member will be clean of drugs or alcohol.

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