The Importance of a Strong Family in Preventing Addiction

No one is immune to the devastating effects of addiction, but strong families have a unique ability to prevent this disease from being passed along from generation to generation. Whether that family is a conventional, biological one, or a group of close friends, people planted into tight-knit communities are more likely to be prevented from becoming addicted and are quicker to get help when it is needed. These advantages are not automatic, though. There are several things a family can do to prevent addiction.

Families And Communication

Addiction thrives on ignorance, shame, isolation, loneliness and trauma. When a family resolves to communicate frequently and openly about sensitive issues such as depression and other mental health challenges, it moves addiction out of the shadows and into the light. The following are just a few examples of communication that can help to prevent substance abuse and addiction:

  • Candidly sharing about past issues related to addiction and other emotions
  • Learning as a group about the causes of addiction
  • Hearing from addicts in recovery in order to understand and prevent triggers
  • Collectively celebrating successfully recovery
  • Parents modeling temperance, discernment, and self-discipline in substance use
  • Holding children accountable for their time and money
  • Serving at a local treatment program or shelter and befriending the people there
  • Maintaining behavioral standards and lovingly challenging each other to live up to them

The most important thing is for families to actually communicate. Young people who feel disconnected to their parents, uncared for, unprotected or unaccountable are much more likely to engage in risky drug and alcohol use. Strong families are talking families. Be a strong family.

Understanding Unconditional Love

The unconditional love that families are known for is a complicated and often very challenging thing to master. While unconditional love certainly includes actively loving each member through his or her challenges, it does not mean that anything goes. In many cases, true love means that certain healthy boundaries must be enforced. It is often the powerful love of a mother that allows her to kick her addicted son or daughter out of the home for a time. True love avoids enabling or codependent behavior even when doing so causes great stress and pain. Young people raised within healthy, well-communicated and lovingly enforced boundaries are far less likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Strong families also acknowledge the addiction and other mental health issues among their members. Any family history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction is talked about openly and honestly. It is important for people to know if they may have a genetic predisposition toward chemical dependence before they choose to drink.

24 Hour Family Addiction Helpline

If you would like more information about how to talk to your children, your siblings or your elders, about addiction, please call our toll-free helpline right now. From family counseling and educational resources, to treatment options and interventions, we are here 24 hours a day specifically to help you and yours. If you are concerned about a certain member of your family and would like some advice about how to effectively share your concerns and offer support, we’re here for you, too.

The call is completely free, totally anonymous, and there are no strings attached. You have nothing to lose. Call now.

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