Do family members of addicts need therapy too?

Couples therapy can be beneficial for addicts

While not common, occasionally having a family member, friend, or partner with you during addiction therapy can be helpful. It is also true that those close to addicts suffer emotional trauma and may require therapy of their own.

Do I need therapy too?

Whether you are a family member, friend, or partner of someone who is suffering from addiction, seeing them go through the pains of substance abuse can be traumatic. Some addictions can lead to devastating effects on relationships and can leave those with addiction having nothing left. 

If someone you care about is suffering from addiction then it may be the right time to seek therapy. Behavioural therapies like CBT can help to develop coping mechanisms and improve fractured relationships. It can also help you to confront your loved ones about their addiction and make them see how they are damaging themselves and you.

Should I go to addiction therapy with an addicted loved one?

Addiction treatment, in most cases, tends to be in an individual or group-based format with other sufferers of addiction. As such, it can often be complicated or unproductive to have loved ones present. A large part of addiction therapy is about recognising how addictive behaviour damages relationships, admitting wrongdoings to others, and developing a structured plan of how to make up to and treat those who the addict harmed better.

This said, there are some stages of inpatient and outpatient treatment that are intended to be performed with loved ones and family. Also, the first stage of getting someone to see they need help is to hold an intervention, an organised confrontation that is intended to show the addict that they are loved and that they have a problem with drugs and alcohol that needs addressing.

How to change bad habits with drugs and alcohol

Saying no to drugs and alcohol is not always easy

How do you start to change your habits toward drugs and alcohol?

If you are worried that you are developing a dependence toward drugs and or alcohol then it is time to make a change. Some people are more predisposed to forming addictions to substances and without dedication, perseverance, and reflection it is easy to form unhealthy relationships with substances.

In order to stop negative habits from turning into dependence or addiction, it is best to address the issue early on. Speaking to a loved one about your worries can help by getting it in the open and making them aware of the issue. It is also often good to seek help from a professional as soon as possible as therapists and mental health experts can provide structured ways for changing bad habits.

What are some tips to help people start to change their habits?

  1. Stop engaging with people who exacerbate bad habits
  2. Change activities where substance use is involved/intended
  3. Take up new interests
  4. Speak to loved ones about concerns relating to substance abuse
  5. Set goals to wind down and eventually stop using drugs and alcohol
  6. Be aware of the risks of continued substance abuse

How many people in the UK have a dual diagnosis?

Diagnosing a co-occurring disorder

The link between mental health and addiction has long been proven, but how many people with mental health disorders also have a problem with drugs and alcohol?

What is a dual diagnosis?

The NHS and other clinical bodies use the term dual diagnosis (used interchangeably with the co-occurring disorder) to describe anyone who suffers from a mental health condition and a substance use disorder, or vice versa.

What mental health conditions are commonly linked with addiction?

Any mental health condition can lead to substance abuse, but some are more commonly recognised than others. Some of the most frequently treated conditions that have a link with addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

How many people suffer from dual diagnoses?

UK studies have reported dual diagnosis rates of 20–37% across all mental health settings and 6–15% in addiction settings. Rates vary by gender, ethnicity, and location, though evidence suggests that the number of people diagnosed with a severe mental health disorder or illness and a substance use disorder has risen in recent years.