therapist treats addiction as a family disease

Addiction As A Family Disease: Know More

Addiction is a family disease. Family members of addicts and alcoholics also struggle due to the dysfunction present in the home. For this reason, our sober living programs engage the entire family in recovery.

Creekside Recovery Residences supports those transitioning from long-term treatment to everyday life. Our sober living homes give you the accountability and safety you need to succeed in the early stages of addiction recovery. Visit our admissions page today to get started.

Why Is Addiction a Family Disease?

Addiction is a family disease because each family member is impacted in some way.

A person struggling with addiction often engages in other problematic behaviors that affect the entire family. For instance, lying about substance abuse or denial about its effects are common in homes with addiction.

Family members can also unintentionally enable the addiction to continue. As a result, they unknowingly contribute to the problem when they think they are helping.

Essentially, addictive behaviors don’t occur in a vacuum. These behaviors affect everyone around you—whether you realize it or not. Furthermore, depending on your relationship, the effects can differ for each family member.

[Recommended: “Help for Families of Addicts“]

How Does Addiction Affect the Family?

Addiction affects the family differently based on the role each person plays in the addict’s life. For example, children are affected differently than a spouse. But, even if they don’t express these effects, they are often burdened with excessive worry about their loved one struggling with addiction.


Spouses and romantic partners are most often the ones left to “clean up” after an addict’s behavior. They might make excuses for their loved one when they are too drunk, high, or hungover to fulfill their responsibilities to the family.

Oftentimes, spouses and partners do their best to maintain the relationship and keep the family together. However, this can get exhausting. As a result, their lives become consumed with managing their household with little to no help from an addicted partner or spouse.

[Recommended: “Navigating Life With an Alcoholic Spouse: What to Do (And What NOT to Do)“]

Children (And Adult-Children)

Children look to their parents to set an example for how to behave and deal with life’s challenges. They also need consistency from their caregivers to feel safe and secure as they grow up.

So, when a parent struggles with an addiction, this complicates the role that parents play in a child’s life. For one thing, if a child sees a parent engage in addictive behaviors to manage stress or underlying mental health issues, the child may believe that this is how they should deal with their problems too.

And, since substance abuse can alter your mood and personality, children don’t know what to expect from you. For instance, one day, you could be overly energetic and in an unusually good mood. Then, the next day, you are irritable and moody.

Children can also feel neglected—and even become numb to this neglect. When you’re too drunk or high to help, encourage, or support them, your children stop expecting you to be there for them.

Addiction in the Home Continues to Affect Children as Adults

Furthermore, the issues surrounding addictive behaviors continue to affect your child as they grow into adults. Because they were neglected or confused during childhood, they often struggle to manage stress and build meaningful relationships as adults.

Oftentimes, adult children of addicts and alcoholics become addicts themselves or marry people with significant problems. Or they become “para-alcoholics,” where they take on the problematic behaviors of their parent without abusing substances.

[Recommended: “How to Help an Alcoholic Parent“]

Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

Parents of addicts and alcoholics could take on a similar role as a spouse or partner. In other words, they could try to help their addicted child but unknowingly enable the behavior instead.

For example, parents might get the addict out of legal trouble or give them money to shield them from the consequences of their behavior. While this seems helpful on the surface, it ultimately allows the behavior to continue.

In addition, parents of addicts and alcoholics might feel guilt over their loved one’s addiction. They could blame themselves, and, thus, feel obligated to help—even when it enables their behavior.

[Recommended: “7 Ways to Help Your Adult Alcoholic Son“]


Siblings of addicts and alcoholics—especially younger children—worry about their sibling’s behaviors. They might feel helpless to do anything. They become a bystander to the problem as a result.

In addition, siblings often feel neglected when their parents are dealing with a child who struggles with addiction. It might seem like all the attention goes to their addicted sibling. This can make children feel invisible or even resentful.

As adults, siblings might take on a similar role as parents—especially if the parents are older or deceased.

[Recommened: “Navigating a Sibling With Addiction: A Guide“]

How Can Families Recover Together?

Families can recover together by actively engaging in the treatment process of their loved one in recovery.

Family members can seek support from the treatment program their loved one attends. Oftentimes, addiction treatment centers offer resources and help for family members. This is because healthy families are vital to the recovery process.

In addition, family members can find support groups in their community, such as:

Furthermore, families can participate in family therapy while their loved one is in treatment.

How Does Family Therapy Work?

Family therapy works by addressing the disease of addiction as a family disease.

A therapist will meet with the entire family as a group to process issues surrounding addiction and other problematic behaviors. In addition, a therapist might work with individual family members for one-on-one therapy. This gives each family member the focused attention they need to manage issues affecting everyone.

Couples therapy is also common during family therapy programs. During couples therapy, spouses and romantic partners work out problems with a therapist mediating. The goal is not for the therapist to solve the problems, but to facilitate healthy communication skills for couples to find solutions.

Get Help for You and Your Family Today

It’s no secret that addiction is a family disease. Each family member deals with—or denies—the problem addiction causes among the family as a whole. At Creekside Recovery Residences, we know that family members must also face the disease of addiction for everyone to achieve the best outcomes in recovery.

Contact us today to learn more about how our sober living programs support the entire family in recovery.

woman talks to an alcoholic sibling about getting help

Navigating a Sibling With Addiction: A Guide

Helping a family member with an addiction is never easy. But when you do nothing to help them, you’ll regret it later as their addiction spirals out of control. If you have an addicted or alcoholic sibling, our guide can teach you how to help.

Creekside Recovery Residences provides sober living programs for those in recovery from substance use disorders. Visit our admissions page today to get started.

Enabling vs. Helping Your Sibling

If you’re concerned about an addicted or alcoholic sibling, you’ve probably heard the term “enabling” before. While you know enabling isn’t helpful, you might not be aware of when it’s happening. Furthermore, you’ll need tips on how to help your sibling without enabling them.

Examples of enabling a sibling’s addiction include:

  • Denying the problem altogether
  • Blaming or criticizing your sibling for their addiction
  • Justifying your sibling’s addiction and the problematic behaviors that go along with it
  • Making excuses for your sibling’s addiction
  • Minimizing their drinking or drug use (ie, “It’s a holiday—of course, he got carried away!” or “She’s going through a breakup and needs to cut loose for a bit.”
  • Taking on their responsibilities when they are too high, drunk, or hungover
  • Hoping for a change (without doing or saying anything)
  • Avoiding or ignoring the addiction and the impact on your family

Oftentimes, family members have their loved one’s best interest in mind. For example, picking up the slack for your alcoholic sibling could shield them from detrimental consequences.

Unfortunately, your sibling won’t understand the weight of their addiction if they are protected from consequences. And, eventually, you’ll burn out and won’t be able to cover for them or clean up their messes.

The following are tips to help your sibling without enabling them:

  • Avoid blaming, lecturing, or talking down to your sibling
  • Don’t use drugs or drink when they are around
  • Don’t confront them about the issue—talk from a place of concern
  • Ask for help from other family members or friends (and don’t keep their addiction a secret from the rest of your family)
  • Reach out for help from community resources and support groups
  • Don’t talk to them about getting help when they are under the influence
  • Talk to friends, family, or professional counselors about any struggles you have as a result of your sibling’s addiction

Talking to Your Addicted or Alcoholic Sibling About Treatment

When you have an addiction in your family, you will feel a range of emotions—disappointment, anger, sadness—which influence how you respond to the issue. However, your knee-jerk reactions to lecture or scold a sibling won’t be helpful. Instead, you’ll need to talk to them about getting help from a place of caring—and hope for the best.

Talking to your addicted or alcoholic sibling about seeking treatment isn’t easy. And, all you can do is share your perspective on their behavior while presenting treatment options. The rest is up to them.

One of the best things you can do to help your sibling is learn more about addiction and treatment.

The more you learn about addiction, the more you’ll understand what your sibling is going through. Furthermore, by learning about treatment programs, you’ll know what they will need to get better. This will help you when you talk to your sibling about getting help.

Additional Tips for Family Members of Alcoholics and Addicts

You won’t have any control over what your sibling does about their addiction. However, if they are in danger or putting someone else at risk, there are laws regarding involuntary treatment under specific circumstances.

For example, in Florida, the Marchman Act and the Baker Act outline how to get someone into mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Additionally, here are some more ways to help you and your family:

  • Offer to take your sibling to a support group meeting. Support groups like Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous (NA and AA, respectively) have helped millions of people recover from substance abuse. SMART Recovery, a non-12-step program, offers an alternative to traditional support groups.
  • Attend an “open” support group meeting yourself. You can also attend support group meetings for recovering alcoholics and addicts to learn more about what your sibling is going through. Some support groups host “open meetings“—meaning they welcome outsiders to sit in.
  • Go to a support group specifically for family members of alcoholics and addicts. Al-Anon Family Groups offer support and 12-step programming for family members.

Helpful Resources for Family Members

The following resources can help you learn more about addiction, treatment, and how to talk to your addicted or alcoholic sibling:

[Recommended: “Addiction As a Family Disease: Know More“]

Get Help For Your Sibling Today

Addiction in the family is always difficult to deal with. You might feel ashamed, embarrassed, worried, sad, or helpless. But, you aren’t alone.

If you have an addicted or alcoholic sibling, we’re here to help. Contact Creekside Recovery Residences today.

talking to alcoholic spouse

Navigating Life With an Alcoholic Spouse: What To Do (And What NOT to Do)

When your spouse is addicted to alcohol, your marriage—and your life—can feel out of control. So, what can you do to help your alcoholic spouse? And, what actions are unhelpful?

At Creekside Recovery Center, we offer sober living programs to help those struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Visit our admissions page today to find a supportive home environment for your spouse.

5 Ways to Help Your Alcoholic Spouse (And Yourself)

Untreated alcoholism will have a negative impact on your spouse, yourself, and your entire family. You can’t just ignore the problem and hope it goes away on its own. On the other hand, you can’t control your spouse’s behavior—and this might make you feel helpless.

However, you can empower yourself—and your family—by taking the following steps:

1. Learn More About Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a disease affecting millions of Americans each year. According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 28.8 million people aged 18 and older had a past year alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Learning more about alcoholism puts things into perspective. As you learn to understand alcohol addiction as a disease, you can separate your spouse from their problematic behaviors. This will help you focus on dealing with the problem for what it is: a mental disorder that can be treated.

The following resources can help you learn more:

In addition, you can attend open Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings to learn more and hear stories from other alcoholics.

2. Set Healthy Boundaries

Healthy boundaries are critical for living with an alcoholic spouse. This means you have clear rules and expectations about alcohol use in your home. It also means there are consequences to crossing certain boundaries.

You have to be reasonable and temper your expectations when setting boundaries. Otherwise, you could set yourself and your spouse up for failure. For example, if the boundary is simply, “you need to stop drinking right now,” you aren’t giving your spouse any chance to recover.

Instead, you can set boundaries around seeking treatment or about unacceptable times for drinking. You might not allow drinking around children or during holidays, for instance.

3. Get Support for Yourself

You can’t control your alcoholic spouse and how they will deal with underlying issues regarding their drinking. However, you can get help and support for yourself.

Support groups, like Al-Anon Family Groups, are a great place to start. In family groups, you can learn from and share experiences with others who have been in your place before.

4. Take Care of Yourself (Self-Care)

It is crucial that you take care of yourself and don’t neglect your own needs. Oftentimes, you are so preoccupied with your spouse’s behaviors, that you don’t take any time for yourself. Learn to let go a little and do things for yourself, like taking a break, relaxing, talking to a friend, or engaging in your own interests.

Engaging in self-care will help to keep tensions at a minimum at home. This will also help you from burning out and ultimately will enable you to be there for your loved one when they are ready to get help.

In addition, you can seek therapy or counseling to learn how to deal with the stress of living with an alcoholic spouse.

5. Helping Your Kids

If you have children, you need to ensure that their needs are met as well. You might not think that your children understand the situation. However, you’d be surprised at how much kids know about the problems at home.

It’s best to speak openly about the problem. Let your kids know that their other parent has a disease, and this disease causes them to seem different. Also, encourage them to share their feelings and attend support groups or therapy as well.

However, if your spouse is abusive to you or your children, you need to understand your legal rights if you need to remove an alcoholic from your home.

5 Things NOT to Do When Dealing With an Alcoholic Spouse

It’s also important to know what not to do when living with an alcoholic spouse. Sometimes, people with alcoholism in the home either ignore the issue or aggravate it. Knowing what not to do can help you from unintentionally worsening the problem.

1. Don’t Enable Their Addiction

“Enable” is a word that is used often when discussing family members of alcoholics and addicts. Essentially, enabling means that a person thinks they are helping their loved one, however, they are actually creating conditions that allow the problematic behaviors to occur.

Examples of enabling include making excuses when an alcoholic spouse is drunk or hungover and misses work or social events. Another is protecting them from dealing with any legal consequences, like a public drinking charge or DUI.

2. Don’t Ignore the Problem

Many families of alcoholics hope that the problem will go away on its own. They ignore the issue or tip-toe around it. Unfortunately, this won’t help anyone.

Ignoring the problem can lead to increased tension, passive-aggression, enabling, and “para-alcoholism” (taking on the problematic behaviors of an alcoholic without drinking).

3. Don’t Blame Yourself

Spouses of alcoholics also have a tendency to blame themselves for the problem. Remember: this isn’t your fault. Your spouse has a disease—and neither you nor they can control that.

Blame often leads to guilt, shame, doubt, and low self-esteem. Over time, you could develop a mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety as these thoughts become overwhelming.

Instead, talk to a support group, friend, or counselor about your feelings to develop healthy ways of coping with the problem.

4. Don’t Try to Control Their Drinking

Any attempt at controlling your spouse’s behaviors could lead to conflicts and escalate their drinking. For example, you might lecture them about it, complain about their behavior, create ultimatums, or shame them. Not only is this not helpful, but it wastes time and energy that could be spent doing something more productive.

Instead, talk to them about your concerns, express empathy, and encourage treatment. Of course, you don’t want to hold back either—let them know how this behavior affects you and the family.

5. Don’t Talk About Drinking When They’re Drunk

It’s tempting to give in to knee-jerk reactions when your loved one is drunk. After all, this is when conflicts, tensions, and issues arise. However, talking to your spouse about changing their behaviors when they are under the influence won’t help.

For one thing, they probably won’t remember anything you’ve said. Even if you seem to get somewhere with them, it’s unlikely that they will follow through after they sober up. And, even if they agree with you that they need help, they might just be trying to get you off their back.

Make sure to have the important conversations about drinking and treatment programs when your spouse is sober. Even if they don’t change their behavior, at least they’ll be in a state of mind to hear your concerns and consider their next steps.

Get Help for Your Alcoholic Spouse Today

Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living homes and other treatment options for those struggling with alcoholism. If your spouse needs help and a stable place to live while they get treatment, we can help. Contact us today for more.

woman talks to her alcoholic parent

How To Help An Alcoholic Parent

Knowing how to deal with an alcoholic parent is vital to the health of your family. You can’t control their behaviors, but establishing healthy boundaries can keep you from burning out or overreacting. In addition, you can help them find treatment—when they are ready to accept help.

Creekside Recovery Residences can help your alcoholic parent when they accept that they need treatment. But, if they are not ready yet, the following tips can help you deal with your parent’s problematic drinking:

8 Tips to Deal With an Alcoholic Parent

It can be tough to deal with an alcoholic parent—even when you are an adult. Oftentimes, unresolved feelings about past behaviors during childhood can get in the way of seeing your parent as a person who struggles.

However, there are ways that you can help your alcoholic parent—or at the very least, accept the situation for what it is without burning yourself out in the process.

#1. Help Yourself

The first and most important step in dealing with any loved one who struggles with problematic behaviors is to help yourself. You’re going to have strong feelings come up when dealing with your parent. These feelings can start to drive your reactions and behaviors when they are unresolved.

Helping yourself can include a lot of things. Sometimes, it’s as simple as walking away for a few minutes to calm down if you’re arguing with your parent. Other times, it’s engaging in self-care activities, like exercise, listening to music, or journaling.

But you might need to go deeper and work with a therapist to resolve any lingering issues with your parent. If your parent has been drinking all of your life, they can help you cope with the long-term effects of growing up with an alcoholic parent. After all, addiction is a family disease that affects everyone—not just the alcoholic.

In addition, support groups like Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) can help you feel less alone and provide additional tips.

#2. Learn More About Alcoholism

One of the other benefits of the support groups mentioned above is that you will learn more about the disease of alcoholism. This can help you put things into perspective so you see your parent as a person struggling.

You can also attend open meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Open meetings allow nonalcoholics to observe. Sometimes, hearing about other people’s experiences can provide insight into your parent’s behaviors.

There are also resources online that provide valuable information about alcoholism, including:

#3. Build a Support System

Dealing with an alcoholic parent isn’t easy, but it’s easier when other people support you. Adult children of alcoholics often feel shame about their parent’s behaviors. This can get in the way of talking to other people about what is going on.

However, it is critical that you develop a good support system to prevent yourself from getting burnt out. If you have siblings or a non-drinking parent, reach out to share the responsibility. Also, if your alcoholic parent has siblings, they can offer support for you as well.

Your support system can help you host interventions and encourage your parent to get help. They can also pitch in if you need to take your alcoholic parent to an AA meeting or a rehab program. Some examples could be someone to babysit your children or watch your pets if you need to be with your alcoholic parent.

Other times, you just need someone to talk to. You can talk to a trusted friend about the issues or a sponsor in a support group for families of alcoholics.

#4. Let Go of Guilt and Responsibility

Besides shame, guilt and responsibility over your parent’s drinking can get in the way of helping them. Their drinking is not—and never was—your fault. Taking on guilt and too much responsibility for other people’s behaviors can lead to burnout.

#5. Set Healthy and Respectful Boundaries (Without Enabling)

Healthy and respectful boundaries are important when dealing with an alcoholic parent. On one hand, you want to be firm so you aren’t enabling their behaviors. On the other hand, they are still your parent, and you want them to be a part of your life.

Boundaries are going to look different for everyone. Essentially, you are setting your own expectations and limits while not trying to control another’s behaviors.

Examples of healthy and respectful boundaries with alcoholic parents include:

  • Not allowing any drinking at your home. What they do in their home is their business, but you won’t let it happen under your roof.
  • Avoid them when you know they are most likely to be drinking. For example, if certain dates or holidays trigger your parent’s drinking, then you might not want to contact them at that time. Also, if your parent drinks at a certain time of the day, avoid calling or visiting at that time.
  • No longer paying for fines and legal fees. If you’ve paid for any legal consequences—like DUI or disorderly conduct charges—for your parent’s problematic drinking, you can refuse to do so from now on.
  • Don’t allow your parent to babysit their grandchildren when drunk. This can be tough—you probably don’t want to cut your parent out of your grandchildren’s lives. However, you can set a limit—perhaps they can visit, but can’t be relied on as a sitter.

#6. Don’t Talk to Your Parent When They Are Drunk

As mentioned above, not talking to your parent when they are drunk is an important boundary. However, this point needs to be emphasized. When you find your parent drunk, this is not the time to talk to them about their drinking.

Oftentimes, you want to succumb to knee-jerk reactions when your parent is drinking. You might want to lecture them or confront them about what they are doing in the moment. You might even believe they need to hear it out when the problem behavior occurs or the consequences won’t stick.

Unfortunately, talking to your parent about their behaviors while they are drunk doesn’t help anyone. Maybe it feels good for a fleeting moment to let it out, but it never helps in the long term.

For instance, they will likely say something you don’t want to hear. Conversely, they might agree with you to get help just to get you off their back for now. But, in the end, they probably won’t remember anything you’ve discussed.

#7. Helping Vs. Enabling (What’s the Difference?)

There’s a difference between helping someone with their problematic drinking and enabling their behaviors. Sometimes, what you think is helpful could enable them to continue drinking. In other words, you unintentionally send the message that problem drinking is okay.

It can be difficult to define enabling exactly, but some examples can illustrate the point. For instance, if you bail them out of jail when they get a DUI, you could be enabling. Or, if you make excuses for them when they are unable to fulfill their responsibilities to work or the family due to being drunk or hungover.

Essentially, enabling shields your parent from the consequences of their actions. Helping, however, requires maintaining your boundaries, offering support to help them treat their addiction, or taking care of things for them at home if they go to treatment.

#8. Be Realistic: You Can’t Control Their Drinking

Lastly, remember to be realistic about your expectations when dealing with an alcoholic parent. You can’t control their drinking and related problematic behaviors. You can only control your responses to their drinking.

By letting go of control, you will be more effective and present if your parent is finally ready to get treatment.

Treatment Options for Your Alcoholic Parent

Depending on where your parent is in their addiction or their recovery, there are several treatment options available, including:

  • Alcohol Detox: This is the first step to treating addiction. During detox, your alcoholic parent will get the professional support they need to manage withdrawal symptoms safely.
  • Residential Treatment: After detox, many people go into a residential treatment center, also called inpatient rehab. Many clients stay in residential treatment for 30 to 90 days to build a foundation for long-term recovery.
  • Outpatient Rehab: After residential treatment, it’s best to continue with outpatient treatment. Many treatment centers offer step-down programs so that your parent can transition gradually from higher to lower levels of care.
  • Sober Living Homes: During outpatient treatment, your parent might want to consider a sober living home. That way, they still get support and accountability for their sobriety in the early stages of recovery.
  • Recovery Coaching/Sober Companions: Recovery coaches and sober companions can accompany your parent during the early stages of recovery. They can offer additional support, check-ins, and companionship.
  • Case Management: The role of a case manager is to help their clients obtain additional resources to support their recovery. For example, your parent might need a doctor, legal services, safe housing, or co-occurring mental health treatment.

Get Help for Your Alcoholic Parent Today

If you have to deal with an alcoholic parent, remember that you are not alone. Support groups can help you deal with your own emotions and offer valuable tips about what to do—and what not to do. In addition, it helps to contact addiction treatment centers for more information about their services.

Creekside Recovery Residences is here to help your alcoholic parent when they are ready. Contact us today to learn more.

father isn't sure how to deal with alcoholic adult son

7 Ways To Help Your Alcoholic Adult Son

Knowing how to deal with an alcoholic son is a challenge for parents of adult children with an addiction. However, there are ways to help your son to put them on the path to recovery.

Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living programs for men in recovery from alcohol addiction. When your son is ready for treatment, we’ll be here to guide you through the process.

In the meantime, here are seven ways you can help your alcoholic son:

#1. Get Help for Yourself

When your adult son struggles with alcoholism, this can take a toll on your mental health. It’s understandable to be upset or stressed out dealing with an alcoholic adult son. But it’s important to acknowledge how it affects you and to learn healthy coping skills.

Oftentimes, addiction treatment centers offer support for family members of alcoholics or addicts. This gives you a place to vent, process, and manage your emotions about your son’s behavior.

#2. Attend Family Support Groups

Support groups for families of alcoholics and addicts are great places to get additional help for your own feelings on the issue. One of the most common groups is Al-Anon, which is geared specifically toward family members of alcoholics. However, you can also find other support groups in your community to help you.

#3. Build a Support System

It’s also important to build a support system of family and friends. When you deal with an alcoholic son, other members of your family are affected by the issue. You can all lean on one another for support so that no one gets burnt out by taking on too much.

Your support system can include people you can talk to about the situation, like friends and co-workers. In addition, the people in your support system can help when you need to take your adult son to appointments or treatment programs. For example, you might need a friend to watch a pet while you drive your son to a rehab center out of town.

#4. Set Boundaries and Limits

Setting boundaries and limits are important skills when learning how to deal with an alcoholic son. Without boundaries and limits, you could be unintentionally enabling their addiction or other problematic behaviors.

Some examples of healthy boundaries and limits for an alcoholic son include:

  • Not making excuses for their behavior
  • Not allowing alcohol in your home
  • Not shielding them from the consequences of their actions
  • No longer giving them money or financial support

Remember: the key to setting healthy boundaries and limits isn’t to control your son’s behavior. Rather, it is about controlling your responses to their alcoholism and problematic behaviors.

#5. Learn More About Alcoholism and Treatment

One of the best ways to deal with an alcoholic son is to learn more about alcoholism as well as treatment. Learning more about alcoholism can provide the following benefits:

  • Alleviates feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame
  • Sympathize with what your son is dealing with
  • Understand the underlying causes of addiction

By learning more about how alcohol addiction is treated, you can help your alcoholic son explore options when they are ready for treatment.

#6. Know What NOT to Say or Do

Of course, there are some things that you want to avoid doing or saying when helping your alcoholic son. The following are things to avoid:

  • Don’t give ultimatums or make threats. Although you might feel like this is in their best interest, ultimatums and threats can ruin your relationship with your son. They can also be difficult for you to uphold—making you seem inconsistent.
  • Don’t confront them—especially if they are currently under the influence. Confrontations about alcoholism aren’t helpful. Instead, discuss the issue from a place of concern and be non-judgmental. Also, never confront an alcoholic about their drinking when they are under the influence. This won’t help anyone and could ignite intense emotions.
  • Don’t blame them. Alcoholism, and any issues related to it, are your son’s responsibility to manage and face the consequences of. However, acknowledging responsibility and facing consequences isn’t the same as taking blame. Blaming them for the issue doesn’t help them come around to dealing with it—it usually makes things worse.
  • Don’t lecture or criticize. Sometimes, parents revert to how they dealt with their son as a child or adolescent. But, now you must talk to your alcoholic son as an adult. Lecturing or criticizing them for their actions could create distance from you and your son.
  • Don’t give mixed messages. If you keep your drinking under control, you might struggle to understand what alcoholism is like for your son. Sometimes, you might pressure them to have a drink or two on holidays or special occasions—rationalizing that they can handle just one. Alternatively, you might drink heavily in front of them. This sends mixed messages to your alcoholic son.

#7. Be Patient and Acknowledge the Wins

It takes time to see significant changes when you deal with an alcoholic son. Oftentimes, you might overlook the small steps they take because you want them to overcome their disorder entirely. But, it’s important to be patient and to acknowledge the wins—even the daily victories.

And, remember that alcoholism is a chronic condition. This means that a relapse is more likely than not. However, a relapse doesn’t mean that your son cannot recover from addiction. They shouldn’t give up because of any setbacks—and neither should you.

Help Your Alcoholic Son Find Treatment Today

Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living programs for those who need a safe and secure place to continue their recovery after inpatient treatment. We also connect our residents to outpatient programs and other helpful resources that put your son on the path to long-lasting recovery from alcohol addiction.

Contact us today to learn more.

man experiences post acute withdrawal syndrome

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Timeline

Entering into recovery from substance abuse is a courageous journey, yet it’s often not without its challenges. While many individuals focus on the initial withdrawal symptoms, there’s another phase that can follow, known as the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome timeline. At Creekside Recovery Residences, we recognize the importance of understanding PAWS and providing support throughout this phase of recovery. In this article, we delve into what PAWS entails, its common symptoms, a detailed timeline, and effective treatment options.

For more information or to be connected with a treatment program near you, visit our admissions page today. 

What is PAWS?

The Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) timeline refers to a set of symptoms that can occur after the acute withdrawal phase from substance abuse has passed. Unlike acute withdrawal, which typically lasts for a week or two, PAWS can persist for weeks, months, or even years after the cessation of substance use.

PAWS can manifest differently for each individual and may vary depending on factors such as the type of substance abused, duration of use, and individual physiology.

Common Symptoms of PAWS

There are several symptoms that are common among those suffering from post-acute withdrawal. The symptoms you experience will vary depending on the type of substance you used, the duration of use, and the presence of any pre-existing conditions. Fortunately, most related symptoms can be successfully managed with long-term treatment

1. Mood Swings

During PAWS, individuals may experience significant fluctuations in mood, ranging from periods of depression, characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to episodes of anxiety, marked by excessive worry and tension.

Additionally, irritability and agitation may surface, leading to heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli. Emotional numbness, where individuals feel disconnected from their emotions, can also occur, making it challenging to experience pleasure or engage with others.

2. Fatigue

Persistent feelings of exhaustion and low energy levels are common symptoms of PAWS. Despite adequate rest, individuals may struggle to regain their energy and may find even simple tasks to be overwhelming. This fatigue can impact daily functioning and diminish motivation, hindering progress in recovery efforts.

3. Insomnia or Hypersomnia

Sleep disturbances are prevalent during PAWS, with individuals experiencing either difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia). Disrupted sleep patterns can exacerbate other symptoms such as fatigue and mood disturbances, further complicating the recovery process.

4. Cognitive Impairment

PAWS can impair cognitive function, leading to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and impaired decision-making abilities. Individuals may find it challenging to focus on tasks, retain information, or make sound judgments, which can interfere with work, school, or interpersonal relationships.

5. Cravings

Intense urges or cravings for the substance of abuse are a hallmark symptom of PAWS. These cravings can be triggered by various cues, such as stress, social situations, or environmental cues associated with substance use. Managing cravings requires coping strategies and support to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.

6. Physical Symptoms

PAWS can manifest with various physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle aches, tremors, and gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms may arise as the body adjusts to the absence of the substance and can contribute to discomfort and distress during the recovery process.

7. Emotional Dysregulation

Heightened sensitivity to stress, emotional instability, and mood disturbances are common features of PAWS. Individuals may struggle to regulate their emotions effectively, leading to exaggerated responses to minor stressors or difficulty managing intense emotions. Emotional dysregulation can strain relationships and impede progress in recovery.

PAWS Timeline

Understanding the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome timeline provides individuals in recovery with valuable insights into what to expect throughout the various phases of the post-withdrawal period. By recognizing the evolving nature of PAWS symptoms and implementing effective coping strategies, individuals can navigate through this challenging phase of recovery with resilience and determination toward long-term sobriety and improved quality of life.

Weeks 1-2: Mild PAWS Symptoms Emerge

As individuals progress through the initial phase of acute withdrawal, characterized by intense physical symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and tremors, they may start to experience relief as these symptoms gradually diminish. However, during this time, mild PAWS symptoms may begin to surface.

These early symptoms can include subtle mood swings, lingering fatigue, and occasional cravings for the substance of abuse. While not as intense as acute withdrawal, these symptoms serve as a reminder of the challenges that lie ahead in the recovery journey.

Weeks 3-8: PAWS Symptoms Peak in Severity

During this phase, which typically spans from the third week to the eighth-week post-withdrawal, individuals may encounter the most challenging aspect of PAWS. Symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, and cravings may peak in severity, causing significant distress and disrupting daily functioning.

Mood swings may become more pronounced, with individuals experiencing periods of intense sadness, anxiety, or irritability. Fatigue can be particularly debilitating, making it difficult to engage in activities and maintain motivation. Cravings for the substance of abuse may intensify, posing a heightened risk of relapse if not managed effectively.

Support and coping strategies are crucial during this time to help individuals navigate through these challenging symptoms.

Months 2-6: Gradual Decrease in Intensity, Intermittent Symptoms Persist

As individuals progress further into recovery, typically spanning from the second month to the sixth-month post-withdrawal, PAWS symptoms gradually decrease in intensity. While individuals may experience relief from the peak severity of symptoms, some symptoms may persist intermittently. Mood swings may become less frequent but can still occur during periods of stress or emotional upheaval.

Fatigue may improve, but individuals may still experience fluctuations in energy levels. Cravings may diminish in intensity but can resurface unexpectedly, requiring ongoing vigilance and coping strategies to prevent relapse.

Months 6-24: Significant Improvement with Residual Symptoms

Many individuals experience significant improvement in PAWS symptoms beyond the sixth-month post-withdrawal, typically extending up to two years or more. During this phase, individuals may notice a substantial reduction in the frequency and intensity of symptoms, allowing for greater stability and functionality in daily life.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that some residual symptoms may linger, albeit to a lesser extent. While individuals may have made considerable progress in their recovery journey, occasional mood swings, mild fatigue, or fleeting cravings may still arise. Continued support, sober living, and adherence to healthy coping strategies remain crucial during this phase to maintain long-term sobriety and well-being.

Treatment Options for PAWS

  • Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-based therapies can help individuals cope with PAWS symptoms and develop healthy coping strategies.
  • Medication: Certain medications, such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers, may be prescribed to alleviate mood swings, depression, or anxiety associated with PAWS.
  • Support Groups: Participating in support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provides peer support and encouragement during the recovery journey.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Incorporating regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress-reduction techniques can support overall well-being and aid in PAWS recovery.
  • Holistic Therapies: Practices like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and massage therapy may help alleviate PAWS symptoms and promote relaxation.

Contact Us to Learn More About PAWS Management

Navigating the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome timeline can be a challenging aspect of the recovery process, but it is a temporary phase that can be managed with the right support and strategies. At Creekside, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive support to individuals overcoming substance abuse, including guidance through the PAWS phase. By understanding the symptoms, timeline, and treatment options for PAWS, individuals can embark on a journey toward long-term sobriety and improved quality of life.

If you or a loved one are experiencing PAWS symptoms and need support on your recovery journey, reach out to Creekside Recovery Residences today. Our experienced team is here to provide compassionate care and personalized treatment to help you achieve lasting sobriety. Take the first step towards a brighter future by contacting us now.

sober living residents socialize and have fun

Does Insurance Cover Sober Living?

Navigating the road to recovery from addiction is a journey that demands resilience, support, and adequate resources. Sober living homes play a pivotal role in providing a supportive environment for individuals looking to maintain their sobriety after or during their primary treatment. As you consider transitioning into a sober living arrangement, understanding the financial aspect, including insurance coverage, becomes paramount.

Creekside Recovery Residences is here to guide you through this crucial part of your recovery process. If you or a loved one are looking for sober living, call us now at 470-460-6688

What is Sober Living?

Sober living homes are structured living environments for individuals recovering from addiction. These residences operate as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the real world. They offer a drug-free, stable environment where residents can solidify the coping strategies they learned during rehabilitation. By emphasizing community and accountability, sober living homes help individuals transition smoothly into society while maintaining sobriety.

How Do I Know If Sober Living is Right For Me?

Determining whether sober living is the right choice for you involves reflecting on your journey and current needs in recovery. Sober living might be a beneficial next step if you’re seeking a supportive community that values sobriety, accountability, and personal growth. It’s ideal for individuals transitioning from a rehabilitation center who aren’t yet ready to face the full pressures of returning home or to their usual environment. 

If you find yourself needing a structured environment that bridges the gap between intensive treatment and complete independence, or if maintaining sobriety in your current living situation poses significant challenges, sober living can offer the stability and support necessary for your continued recovery. Ultimately, your readiness to embrace a community-focused, substance-free lifestyle while working towards your personal and professional goals can indicate that sober living is a suitable choice for you.

Our Sober Living Locations

What to Expect from Sober Living

Sober living environments vary in structure, rules, and support services, but they share common expectations, including:

  • Abstinence: Residents must commit to sobriety. Regular drug and alcohol testing are standard.
  • Responsibility: Individuals are expected to take responsibility for their actions, contribute to the household, and maintain employment or education.
  • Community Support: Participation in group meetings and support sessions is encouraged, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual support.
  • Independence: While offering support, sober living encourages independence, allowing residents to gradually reintegrate into society.

Insurance Coverage for Sober Living

Insurance coverage for sober living homes can be complex and varies significantly by policy and provider. Generally, traditional health insurance plans may not cover the cost of residing in a sober living home directly, as these facilities provide a supportive living environment rather than medical treatment. However, some aspects of your stay, like outpatient therapy and medical appointments, could be covered under your health insurance plan. It’s crucial to review your insurance policy or consult with your provider to understand what aspects of sober living your insurance might cover.

Alternative Payment Options

Understanding the limitations of insurance coverage for sober living homes, it’s essential to explore alternative payment options:

  • Private Pay: Many residents cover the cost of sober living through personal savings or financial help from family and friends.
  • Scholarships and Grants: Some sober living homes offer scholarships or have grant programs available to help cover costs for those who qualify.
  • State and Local Government Programs: Research programs in your area that offer financial assistance for sober living or recovery housing.
  • Sliding Scale Fees: Some facilities adjust costs based on an individual’s ability to pay, ensuring that sober living is accessible to those in need.

How Much Does Sober Living Cost?

The cost of sober living varies widely depending on location, amenities, and the level of support provided. Monthly fees can range from $500 to $2,000 or more, with higher-end facilities offering additional services like counseling, job placement assistance, outpatient rehab and more luxurious living conditions. Some sober living homes include the cost of utilities, food, and transportation in their fees, while others may charge separately for these expenses. 

It’s important for individuals considering sober living to closely examine what each facility offers and determine whether the cost aligns with their needs and budget. Researching and asking questions about all potential fees and services can help ensure a clear understanding of the financial commitment involved in choosing a sober living environment.

Is Sober Living Ever Free?

While most sober living homes charge a fee to cover expenses and maintain the facility, there are some circumstances where sober living can be accessed for free or at a significantly reduced cost. Non-profit organizations, charitable foundations, and some government-funded programs occasionally offer sober living scholarships or grants to individuals in need. These opportunities are designed to support those who are committed to their recovery but lack the financial resources to afford sober living. 

Availability can be limited and often requires applicants to meet specific criteria or demonstrate financial hardship. For those seeking a free sober living environment, it’s essential to research local resources, recovery support organizations, and state or county health services for potential assistance options.

Contact Us to Find Sober Living Near You

Sober living homes offer a crucial support system for individuals in recovery, providing a structured environment that nurtures sobriety and personal growth. While navigating insurance coverage for sober living can be challenging, understanding your policy and exploring alternative payment options can help make this pivotal step in your recovery journey more accessible.

At Creekside Recovery Residences, we’re committed to supporting you through every stage of your recovery process. Whether you’re exploring sober living options or seeking guidance on financing your stay, our team is here to provide the resources and support you need. Contact us today to learn how we can support your path to sobriety. Your journey to a healthier, sober life is a call away.

outpatient group therapy during rehab

How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last?

Outpatient rehab can last several months depending on what type of program you attend. Most people transition from inpatient rehab into an outpatient rehab program. This helps them maintain their recovery skills as they continue their treatment program.

In addition, sober living programs provide an additional level of accountability for those in outpatient rehab. Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living programs for those in outpatient rehab.

What Are the Different Types of Outpatient Rehab Programs?

Different types of outpatient rehab programs vary in levels of care. Simply put, this means that some programs are more intensive than others. It is best to step down from each higher level of care to the next as you gradually build the skills needed for long-term recovery.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Most people go from residential treatment to a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Furthermore, the programming in PHP is similar to residential treatment. As a result, you get a mix of individual and group sessions along with experiential therapy and psychoeducational classes on mental health, life skills, and addiction.

However, unlike residential treatment, you don’t live in a facility during your PHP program. But, you still get about six to eight hours of programming per day, five days per week. After that, you can move on to an intensive outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) continue your treatment with a less restrictive schedule compared to PHP. You still get a significant amount of treatment and support, however, you can attend an IOP program while resuming everyday responsibilities. For instance, many IOP programs occur during the evening, allowing you to work full-time during the day.

Most IOP programs last three to four hours per session, four to five days per week. Some rehab programs offer IOP during both the daytime hours and evening so that you can choose which time is best for you. After IOP, you can continue with regular outpatient programs.

Outpatient Program (OP)

Following PHP and IOP programs, you can continue with a regular outpatient program. This is the most flexible type of rehab program because you get to choose what is right for you. This could be meeting with a therapist weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. You can also participate in group or family therapy sessions on a similar schedule.

Most sessions during regular OP will last about an hour. In addition, there are now several virtual options for outpatient rehab. Virtual outpatient rehab provides greater accessibility and flexibility to those in recovery from addiction.

How Long Do Outpatient Rehab Programs Last?

Different types of outpatient rehab programs last different amounts of time. Furthermore, you need to consider the total length of time as you progress from one type of program to the next. Therefore, outpatient rehab programs typically last at least 60 to 90 days from PHP to regular outpatient programs.

Lastly, you might be in regular outpatient therapy for several months or even years. That is because outpatient therapy is a tool to help you navigate everyday life as you build your recovery skills.

In addition, outpatient therapy helps to treat common underlying causes of addiction which is often a co-occurring mental health disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), “More than one in four adults living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem.”

What’s the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab?

The primary difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab is where you live during treatment. Throughout inpatient rehab, also called residential treatment, you live within the treatment facility. That way, you can stay safe from any relapse triggers during early recovery.

On the other hand, during outpatient rehab, you can live at home, with family, or in a sober living program. This allows you to resume some of your everyday responsibilities while in treatment. For additional support, you can consider a sober living program throughout outpatient rehab.

How Do Sober Living Programs Differ From Residential Treatment?

The key difference between sober living programs and residential treatment is that during sober living, you have more freedom to leave the home. But, during residential treatment programs, you won’t be able to leave the facility throughout your program. Of course, some exceptions may apply, like medical or psychiatric appointments, for instance.

However, this doesn’t mean that during sober living, you can come and go as you please. For example, while you can go to an outpatient program, work, or school, you might need to return to the sober living home right away. In addition, you will likely have a curfew and randomized drug testing as well as required programming within the home.

Which Type of Rehab Program is Right for Me?

Overall, you need to consider where you are in your recovery to determine which type of rehab program is right for you. The whole process, from inpatient to outpatient rehab, can last a long time, and it’s best to go in succession from higher to lower levels of care.

Additionally, many treatment programs require that you step down from one level of care to the next. Depending on the severity of your addiction and your treatment history, you might be able to start at a lower level of care. However, most treatment providers like to know that you have made progress before you advance.

Regardless of which type of outpatient rehab program you are in, you can choose a sober living program for additional support and structure.

Begin Outpatient Rehab and Sober Living Today

Creekside Recovery Residences provides sober living programs for those in outpatient rehab. You can remain in sober living no matter how long your outpatient rehab will last. In addition, some people continue sober living after active treatment as they get back on their feet in recovery from addiction.

Contact us to begin sober living and outpatient rehab today.

cannabis plant, where marijuana and delta-8 THC are derived

Does Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta-8 could show up on a drug test if the test detects marijuana and other cannabis products. This is because many drug tests can’t distinguish between different cannabis compounds. However, this depends on how sensitive the test is and how recently you used delta-8.

Regardless of legal status, delta-8 could be hazardous to your health and lead to an addiction. If you are getting your life back together after attending long-term addiction treatment, sober living programs can help. Creekside Recovery Residences provides sober living homes for those in recovery from addiction.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis that act on your brain. In fact, there are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis.

However, delta-8 is not one of the main cannabinoids. Though there are over 100 total, a vast majority of them occur only in trace amounts. Regardless of the product, most cannabinoids are present and trace amounts of delta-8 can be extracted from other cannabis products.

Delta-8 products are made by extracting delta-8 from legal cannabis products, like hemp. Then, the doses are concentrated in order to affect the user.

What Are the Effects of Delta-8?

Delta-8 only affects you when it is extracted and concentrated because it is not one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The two main cannabinoids responsible for the effects of cannabis are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Delta-9 THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana and cannabis.

But, delta-8 is also a type of THC. Therefore, the effects of delta-8 THC are similar to that of delta-9 THC. The following are some of the effects of delta-8:

  • Mild euphoria
  • Sedation and relaxing effects
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of coordination
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Increased heart rate
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Potential for addiction

While these effects are similar to delta-9 THC, delta-8 is generally less potent. However, because it is derived from legal cannabis products, delta-8 is often sold alongside legal cannabis products that have no psychoactive effects.

Is Delta-8 Safe?

The safety of delta-8 is not researched as much as the main cannabinoids, delta-9 THC and CBD. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about delta-8 THC. The FDA states the following concerns about delta-8:

  • The FDA has not approved or evaluated delta-8 for safety, and products with delta-8 could pose a risk to people’s health.
  • The FDA received 104 reports of adverse effects from people using delta-8 between December 1, 2020, and February 28, 2022.
  • Delta-8 products have similar intoxicating and psychoactive effects as delta-9 THC.
  • Potentially harmful chemicals are often involved in the process of extracting delta-8 and making delta-8 products.

Therefore, the safety of delta-8 is not well known at this time. But, due to a lack of knowledge on the safety of delta-8 products, it could pose a health risk to your health.

Is Delta-8 Illegal?

Laws vary from state to state regarding cannabis products. However, because delta-8 is extracted from legal cannabis, products with delta-8 generally float under the radar. In other words, delta-8 THC is technically legal in most states because it is made from other legal products.

But because a product is legal doesn’t mean that it is safe. People could unintentionally purchase delta-8 assuming that it won’t get them high like illegal marijuana. And, despite being legal, it could also show up on a drug test due to its similarities to delta-9.

Will Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta-8 could show up on a drug test that looks for marijuana use. Drug tests that look for marijuana use detect delta-9 THC because this is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for getting a person high. Since delta-8 and delta-9 are similar chemical compounds, delta-8 could also be detected.

So, if you are being tested for marijuana use, delta-8 will very likely show up on a drug test.

Sober Living Programs for Drug Addiction

Marijuana and similar products like delta-8 can lead to drug addiction. If you are addicted to delta-8, you might have tried to quit on your own but weren’t successful. Drug addiction can have a negative impact on your daily life as well as your physical and mental well-being.

At Creekside Recovery Residences, we offer the following programs to treat drug and alcohol addiction:

  • Sober living homes can help you get back on your feet after long-term residential treatment. We offer programs for men, women, and people in the LGBTQIA+ community. That way, you can feel safe and secure throughout your time in sober living.
  • Case management services connect you to the resources you need to continue your recovery from addiction. These services also help you find permanent housing, employment, and medical needs.
  • Recovery coaching can support you throughout your treatment program. Coaches offer advice and help you reach your goals in sobriety.
  • Sober companions accompany you during the early days of your sobriety. Sometimes, they live with you for the first few days of sobriety. Other times, they can attend triggering events with you, like holiday parties and weddings. Essentially, they help you stay accountable to sobriety.
  • Outpatient rehab programs offer you continuing treatment after you leave an inpatient facility. During outpatient rehab, you don’t need to live within the treatment facility. Many people attending outpatient programs choose to reside in a sober living program to fully focus on recovery.

Get Help for Addiction Today

Creekside Recovery Residences can help you overcome addiction to delta-8 or other cannabis products. We also can connect to other valuable resources that will help you remain drug- and alcohol-free.

Contact us today to get help for addiction.

family therapy during outpatient addiction treatment

Help for Families of Addicts

Finding help for families of addicts is critical to treating the disease of addiction. While many think of addiction as only that person’s problem, addiction affects the entire family unit. Not only that, but family members are most people’s only outlet for support when they begin recovery. Thus, healing the family helps to improve the outcomes for both the addict and their loved ones.

At Creekside Recovery Residences, we understand that addiction is a family disease. We are here to help those struggling with addiction as well as their families.

How Does Addiction Affect the Family?

Addiction most directly affects family members living with the addict. However, other friends and family members outside of the home can still feel the impact in many ways. The way that addiction affects the family depends greatly on the person’s relationship to the addict.

The effects of addiction on different family members can vary based on the following relationships:

Children of Addicts

Children are among the most vulnerable family members affected by addiction. In 2020, parental drug and alcohol use was a condition of removal in 39.0% of cases where a child was removed from their home to out-of-home care in the US, according to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare.

Children depend upon their parents to meet their physical, mental, and emotional health needs. When one or both parents abuse drugs and alcohol, they often neglect their children’s needs—sometimes unknowingly or unintentionally.

Children of addicts adopt maladaptive family roles to cope with the trauma of addiction in the home. Some children become overachievers while others get into trouble themselves. Still, others make themselves invisible and hold their feelings inside—leading to low self-esteem, depression, and difficulty building healthy relationships.


Sometimes, addiction occurs among children in the home—typically teens or young adults. Younger children are often affected by the behaviors of their older siblings. They might be excessively worried about them, even if they don’t show it.

In addition, in homes where one or both parents are addicted, older siblings often take on the parental roles for younger siblings. They might be burdened with the household responsibilities of cleaning, cooking, and tending to the needs of younger children. With these additional responsibilities, they don’t get a chance to have a normal childhood and adolescence.

Parents of Adult Children

Adult children is a term that refers to addicted adults in their relationship with their parents. Even into adulthood, the parents of adult children could be bailing their child out of legal issues, helping with finances, or taking on a parental role with grandchildren.


The spouse or partner of an addict can struggle with the isolation and frustration of being in a relationship with an addict. They might develop a mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety, as a result of the stress. They could be the one who helps to cover up for the other person’s addiction, like calling in for them when the addict is dealing with the aftereffects of substance abuse.

Parenting partners of addicts could also cover up for their addicted partner’s lack of attention to their children. In extreme cases, a spouse or partner might need to legally remove the addict from their home due to safety concerns, especially with children in the home.

Friends and Other Loved Ones

A person’s family could consist of other people outside of blood relatives. Friends and other loved ones could also be affected by an addict. For instance, they might be called to pick them up after a DUI arrest or give them a place to stay if they get kicked out of their homes. Addiction can strain even the closest and longest of friendships.

5 Tips to Help Families of Addicts

Family members and other loved ones of addicts often feel helpless in their situation. They might have tried to intervene in their loved one’s behavior to no avail. Or, they could feel so overwhelmed that they don’t even know where to start.

The following are tips to help families of addicts:

#1. Engage in Self-Care

Self-care is one of the first things that family members of addicts can do to help themselves. Oftentimes, families of addicts put the needs of the addict first. They frequently feel like they have no time to themselves, which leads to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression.

By taking even a few minutes per day to engage in self-care, families can start to change their outlook on the situation at home. Examples of self-care include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Watching a movie
  • Going for a walk

#2. Attend Therapy

Therapy can also help families of addicts. Many treatment centers offer family therapy when addicts are in a treatment program. Family therapy helps to rebuild the family dynamics and address issues that occur due to addiction.

However, each family member can also attend individual therapy. This can help family members manage stress and anxiety resulting from loving an addict. In addition, since family members’ own issues are often sidelined, therapy can help them become the best version of themselves—even if their addicted loved one refuses to seek help.

#3. Join a Support Group

Support groups have helped families of addicts connect with others in similar situations. Many family members of addicts feel isolated in their situation. This can lead to loneliness as well as shame about their loved one’s addiction.

Support groups remind family members that they aren’t alone. They have peers who are also affected by a loved one’s addiction. Some of the most common support groups for families of addicts include:

#4. Learn More About Addiction

Learning more about addiction can also help families of addicts. Sometimes, additional information can shed light on a loved one’s substance abuse. This can also help family members find solutions as well as look for signs of relapse if a loved one has been in treatment.

The following resources can help family members of addicts find information about addiction and treatment:

#5. Reach Out to Treatment Programs

Reaching out directly to treatment programs can also help families of addicts. They can help families understand the nature of addiction and how to treat an addiction. By understanding the steps involved in recovery, family members have a better understanding of what their loved one will need to recover.

In addition, reaching out to treatment centers can help families find options if and when their loved one decides to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

Reach Out to Sober Living Programs Today

Creekside Recovery Residences understands that addiction doesn’t just affect the addict—the entire family struggles. We’re here to help addicts recover as well as provide help for families of addicts when they seek treatment. Our sober living programs provide a safe and secure environment for those engaged in outpatient drug and alcohol rehab.

Contact us today to learn more about the treatment process at our sober living programs.