Monday, August 3, 2015

Effect of substance abuse & dependence on individual and family functioning

⋄ Chronic substance abusers tend to be isolated from their families after a long period of damaging relationships.
⋄ Substance abuse affects more than the immediate family.
⋄ Extended family members often report feeling abandoned, embarrassed by, ashamed of, and withdrawn from the substance abusing family member, often choosing to break relational ties.
⋄ Different family structures in which abuse affects the family relationship:
⋄ Client who lives alone or with a partner.
⋄ Both partners need treatment.
⋄ Groups are offered both for addicts and for non-addict partners of addicts.
⋄ The treatment of either partner will affect both.
⋄ Often, codependence is an issue.
⋄ Enabling may have to be explored
        o Client who lives with a spouse (or partner) and minor children.
⋄ Parental substance abuse has a detrimental affect on children.
⋄ There may be triangulation or enmeshment issues if children are either placed in the middle or if non-using parent is overly protective and bonded with children due to the substance abuser’s lack of responsibility.
⋄ Issues of neglect or trauma may be present if both parents are abusing drugs.
        o Client who is part of a blended family.
⋄ Substance abuse can intensify already shaky ground of newly blended families and become an impediment to integration and stability.
        o An older client who has grown children.
⋄ As with child abuse and neglect, elder maltreatment can be subject to statutory reporting requirements for local authorities.
        o Client is an adolescent and lives with family of origin.
⋄ Non-using children may find themselves neglected or ignored emotionally due to the focus of parents on the using child.
⋄ Often, at least one of the parents uses as well..
        o Someone not identified as the client is abusing substances.
⋄ Issues of blame, responsibility, and causation will arise.
⋄ Scapegoating may be an issue.
⋄ Therapist must work towards uncovering the underlying motivations for substance abuse and other behavioral issues that bring the family into counseling. offers online prep for NASW. Unlimited access to practice exams, case studies, simulations, video, audio, and flash cards 24/7.