Share “Your Life: Addiction in families requires...”

Your Life: Addiction in families requires treatment for all members

BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD Published: August 27, 2012

September is National Recovery Month — a national observance that educates Americans on the fact that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Pictures of celebrities entering treatment centers are no longer surprising and they have helped lessen the stigma of getting help for addictions, but what we do not see is how that kind of illness affects the rest of the family and whether or not the family members are getting help.

Dr. Tian Dayton, a clinical psychologist and author of “Emotional Sobriety” said, “Nothing in families with an addiction is the way it's supposed to be. Dates are canceled, lies are told and relationship connections alternate from being close and warm to cold and distant. Children vacillate between having no power at all or way too much as adults fall in and out of normal functioning.”

The same behaviors found in families where there is addiction are also common in families where there is chronic real or imagined mental illness, families with verbal, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, and rigid, religious families.

If these children are not treated, they will have difficulty establishing healthy relationships as they move into adulthood. Following are some common behaviors:

Continue reading this story on the...