Chemical Dependency and the Family Research Paper

Pages: 5 (2088 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology

Chemical Dependency in Families

Chemical Dependency and the Family

Growing up in a family setting where one or both of the parents over indulge in alcohol or other forms of drug abuse exposes one to some negative coping behaviors. Other addictive circumstances like workaholics, sexual addiction, eating disorders and others have the same influence on the functioning of the family. For instance, in the case of alcoholism, there are relatives, spouses, friends and children who cause the effect, or the co-dependents. Nevertheless, if the subject does not confront the occurrence, one qualifies as a co-dependent. A co-dependent is a person who permits the alcoholic to remain dependent on the vice. The addict is not the only person affected by the problem, but the entire family, as well. This research will investigate the extenuating elements that affect chemical dependency within the family circles. It focuses its recommendations on values that lead to the restoration of these families. Green (2003) defines chemical dependency as a situation where a family member consumes drugs and chemical substances in large amounts. The loved ones are subject to persistent use of the substance in spite of the social, psychological, physical and occupational negative influence.

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Research Paper on Chemical Dependency and the Family Assignment

The subject of appropriate intervention approaches focuses on preventing over-indulgence with the intention of preventing the withdrawal symptoms. Chemical dependency is thus a chronic or compulsive urge for, or an active addiction to drugs and alcohol. Of interest to this research is the relationship between the chemical addict and the enabling factors. The enabling factors are an operational definition. They refer to the behaviors and reactions of loved ones in the face of the over-indulgence (Durand & Hieneman, 2008). This includes family members, friends, or co-workers who shield the chemically dependent individual from the adverse consequences of their drug or alcohol consumption. The research focuses its discussion on the intervention procedures to the problem of chemical dependent families (Durand & Hieneman, 2008). Intervention activities aim at helping the person in denial because of their chemical dependency. The intervention focuses on recognizing their need for assistance and offering a solution.

Most of the intervention techniques offered by counseling institutions maintain that the process is an individual, gradually escalating, and non-secretive process. It empowers the families by reaffirming and reinstating their intrinsic strength, hope, and resilience, which evaporates in the facade of the addiction (Green, 2003). Specialists recommend that families with alcoholic members (patients) should seek addiction intervention assistance to help them cope with the problem. This also includes eliminating the vice that threatens family relationships and undermines self-awareness efforts. Family interventions are techniques of motivating the patients and their families, to seek aid and change. Most of the intervention programs comprise of a sizable group of interventionists, various addiction professionals, and counselors committed to helping companies and families in crisis caused by the addiction. Some of the services offered include family intervention, sober companions, recovery monitoring, addiction intervention, individual post treatment aid and more.

Family and addiction interventions are meetings of family, friends and/or co-workers uniting in a high order to inspire an addicted person. This may also include people struggling to find help. The services aim at increasing the addict's knowledge of how much they matter. The awareness of the extent to which their addiction is influencing those around them features at this point. Family intervention tackles a variety of problems including eating disorders, mental health intervention, behavioral intervention, gambling intervention, as well as other types of addiction. The design of the services is adult based, and adolescents (Marinelli, 2009).

Green (2003) argues that intervention program reflects the uniqueness of the chemically addicted families. The uniqueness of a family governs the design of the method adopted for the intervention. An intervention program does not subscribe to a single model of addiction of family intervention. An intervention process relies on components of the evidence produced by the family. Coming up with a genuinely customized and effective model for each family, business, or individual makes the intervention process complete. Such facilitations have recorded a success rate of 95% and a rise from the approach that centers on complete treatment of the patient.


Some of the barriers that complicate the intervention process include stress, the family's reactions to relapse effect, and the inferior perception of the addict. The anxiety brought about by the intervention process may also feature as an obstacle. Green (2003) states that one important role of the intervention program is to assist the patients to understand their health. Stress management models, dietary restrictions, and exercise programs represent some general interventions that need patient motivation (Green, 2003). A change in the lifestyle of the patient is critical for successful management of the chemical addiction treatment. An explanation of lifestyle modification would help the patient adopt consistent modification efforts to change lifestyle. A great volume of literature exists about the failure and success of intervention programs. This section analyses the barriers to change and offers possible solutions for overcoming the barriers.

The actual stage of the treatment is the focused discussions and receives the most attention. One resides at the rehab learning about recovery and addiction. While the treatment continues, the family often lives in the wake of the consequences of the addiction. This causes worry and anxiety about the future. This research has deduced that patients suffering from addiction have high chances of maintaining long-term sobriety when their families take part in the treatment exercise. The line between a return to active addiction and successful sobriety reflects in the co-ordination. If the co-ordination is effective, the subjects gain victory over the vice (Marinelli, 2009).

This research discovered that few studies have covered the issue of the patient's perceptions or attitudes toward chemical use. Research on the awareness of their over-indulgence and their desire to quit has been minimal. This research found out that the street children have a moderate, if not low, degree of knowledge about the negative outcomes associated with the vice. The level of awareness on the negative effects on their health is minimal. A small fraction of the addicts has a moderate level of awareness; nevertheless, this does not stop them from engaging in the consumption. Gaining an in-depth understanding on the perceptions of their chemical use and its cessation in the resource-constrained environment is fundamental in developing an ample intervention program for the addicts. The more the addicts know about their medications, the higher their compliance with the intervention therapy. This helps in maintaining an effective communication channel between patients and the professionals (Marinelli, 2009). The research found out that those patients who recorded a positive perception toward the intervention program recorded greater success in the end of the intervention program.

Overcoming barriers

The barriers associated with intervention programs for addictive families could be overcome through a critical analysis of the problems. The analysis should involve identifying the type of barrier for a particular situation and applying the suitable intervention model. Each model's design features the type of obstacle at hand. The attitude of the family is critical during the intervention exercise. Professionals should offer pre-counseling for the family members and friends before the actual intervention for the patient begins (Marinelli, 2009). The professionals should provide advice that focuses on promoting their active participation throughout the process. The professional should strive encourage the family members to stick to offering unconditional support for their loved ones. Losing one of the supporting elements in the middle of the exercise would greatly jeopardize the intervention.

Negative Family Behaviors

The family behaviors that harm rather than help the intervention process result to negative psychological reactions. For example, the anxiety resulting from impatience to the process could greatly hinder the process. Usually when friends and family try to help alcoholics, they are making it easier for them to continue with the vice in real sense. This leads to a progression of the crisis and could act as a barrier in the intervention exercise. "Enabling" is the term that describes the baffling phenomenon. It takes many forms and result to the same effect. The enabling behavior permits the alcoholic to avoid the disturbing consequences of his actions (Marinelli, 2009). The addict progresses with his ways, comfortable in the knowledge that no matter the mess, someone will always be present to rescue them from their mistakes. There is a great line between enabling and helping an addict. Enabling refers to the act of carrying out functions for the addict that they can, and should do. On the other hand, helping is the act of carrying out an action for the addict that they cannot do. In simple terms, enabling creates an environment in which the addict can comfortable undertake his unacceptable behavior.

Family member Negative Impact on treatment outcomes

Family members can negatively influence treatment outcomes when they reduce their level of support from the process. Marinelli (2009) maintains that the family has a critical role to play in the intervention programs of their loved ones. Family role has become… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Chemical Dependency and the Family" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Chemical Dependency and the Family.  (2013, June 19).  Retrieved May 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Chemical Dependency and the Family."  19 June 2013.  Web.  29 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Chemical Dependency and the Family."  June 19, 2013.  Accessed May 29, 2020.