Family Disease

Addiction is a family disease, so there should be family recovery.

Today, family plays a vital role to assist in the treatment of different diseases based of which addiction is not an exception.

Since addiction has an effective and affected relationship, a family whose member suffers from substance abuse is affected and due to much concern and control harms the others.

It is suggested that family participates in the process of programs (educational, treatment) at the same time with the education and treatment of the patients of substance abuse.

The closest people who have roles in the life of substance abusers including mother, spouse and sometimes children and other relatives who can influence the patient should also be informed of education process.

The educational program for families is recommended with the following objectives using 52-addiction-related topics and the correct ways of behaving with patients based on 52 weeks in a week:

  • Increasing the awareness of family on understanding addiction disease
  • Parallel training of the patient and family in line with the common goal as recovery
  • Assist in increasing of self-confidence
  • Reducing the suffering caused by the ill effects of family addiction
  • Balancing the level of the relationship between family and patient
  • Increasing the level of hope in the family
  • Assist in the process of treatment
Addiction is a family disease, so there should be family recovery

Family education

Controlling this disease requires to consider all physical (detoxification), psychosocial, spiritual, social and behavioral aspects. In addition, family plays a vital role in the recovery process.

Accompanying and comprehensive supporting the individual under recovery are conducted by family, so the catastrophe of the family unawareness can lead into destroying the relationship between the patient and the family.

It is obvious that the family knowledge and skill learning of families can considerably lead into meeting the requirements of the individual under recovery. Since the center concentration is on the family, so we find it necessary to review the viewpoints of families on addiction problem.

Viewpoints of families towards addiction problem

Identifying the viewpoints of families helps with meeting educational and skill-learning of families.

Iranian families’ viewpoints towards addiction usually lie within the following two categories:

  • Addiction is a crime (old belief)
  • Addiction is a disease (new belief)

As for the first opinion, family is really hopeless believing that the addict is never treated unless with obligation and force based of which they behave.

Now, convincing family to accept that addiction is a disease takes more time in comparison with the second view.

The second view, supposing that family accepts that addiction is a disease, will work based on previous methods. Family expects that as patient is taken to doctor receiving prescription and medication, addiction disease should also been seen the same.

Since addiction-related harms are really widespread and due to the pattern change of drug consumption, it seems that stimulant users compared to opiate users take a shorter path since opiate addiction has a longer path than stimulants addiction and also due to the severe harms resulted from stimulants such users reach the end line of life sooner, so they follow ways to get rid of.

Due to a lot of fears, family with stimulant user looks for a quick way and immediate painkillers.

Stimulant user families experience lots of senses whereas they do not know what to do, so such lack of awareness and surprise make them encounter trouble.

Training helps family members have more and better understanding of addiction and learn what techniques to apply in crises by grasping special techniques.

Training family with stimulant user save them from confusion and it is obvious that the effectiveness of such trainings can assist in the recovery process developing the life of family members assisting the addict to have better functions and minimize the relapse rate.

Corresponding training between family members and patient will bring the balance between treatment aspects of addiction.

Objectives of educational programs for family

  • Educating family members to collect data on the reasons and symptoms of addiction disease
  • Informing family on available treatment methods
  • De-stigmatizing
  • Learning and applying intervention culture
  • Treatment techniques
  • Reintegration among family members through educating safe and secure support (team therapy)
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