Need help with your Discussion

Get a timely done, PLAGIARISM-FREE paper
from our highly-qualified writers!


Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect of chemical dependency on families and society

Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect of chemical dependency on families and society

Sample Answer 

Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect of chemical dependency on families and society

Effect of Chemical Dependency on Families


The family structure in the US has become more complicated with the passing decades; it has evolved from the traditional nuclear family to multi-generational families, foster families, stepfamilies, and single-parent families (Westoff, 2015). Hence, when a family member becomes a substance abuser, the effect of such behavior on the family will differ based on the family structure. Different family structures experience different effects of substance abuse. For example, a family that has young children may have one of the parents attempt to make up for deficiencies that the addicted spouse develops because of the said substance abuse (Brown & Rinelli, 2010). More frequently, children tend to take up the role of surrogate parents for the addict parent. For example, such children may come up with systems that are elaborate at denying reality in order to protect themselves from the parent’s addiction. However, this may not be the case in a single-parent family, and as such, children in such a home will most likely have mannerisms that are not appropriate for their age in an attempt to compensate for the deficiency caused by the parent (Brown & Rinelli, 2010). This paper discusses chemical dependency and the family as regards appropriate intervention approaches for addictive families, barriers associated with educating families, family behavior that harms rather than help the alcoholic/addict, and how family members can negatively impact treatment outcomes.

Intervention Approaches for Addictive Families

Lewis, Dana & Blevins (2014) state that substance abuse treatment and family therapy highlight diverse treatment implementation perspectives. A client who is a substance abuser is described as an identified patient (IP) when it comes to substance abuse treatment. In family therapy, the main treatment objective is for all the family members’ needs to be met. Family therapy focuses on the family relationships’ independent nature and the way the said relationships serve both the family members and the IP for better or for worse. The objective of family therapy is an intervention within complicated relationship patterns and change them in such a way as to result in the entire family’s productive changes. Thus, family therapy treatment rests on the perspective systems.

That said, Rowe (2012) notes that any alterations in system parts can and does result in changes in other system parts, and these can conclude in solutions or more problems. The changes can be a source of assistance to the process of treatment but should manage the IP’s addictive behavior consequences. Although the family members may have concerns for the IP, they also have their individual issues and goals. Thus, the provision of services to the entire family can enhance the effectiveness of the treatment (Sexton, 2017). Family therapy treatment requires working together for flexibility and mutual understanding as well as adjustments among the family, family therapist, and the treatment provider. This shift requires more robust interactions of the systems by the IP family.

Additionally, Adams (2015) proposes that the IP’s friends and family should attend Nar-Anon and Al-Anon free meetings. The meetings are conducted across the nation, and their main goal is to offer group support to the friends and family of an IP. In the meetings, the attendees get information and are educated on how to help an addict to seek help for their problem, address the addict’s addiction, build the family even as it goes through the treatment therapy, and support themselves and the IP throughout the process of recovery. Further, the programs extend their support to friends and family of the IP during and even after the treatment program of substance abuse (Timko, Young, & Moos, 2012).

Barriers Associated with Educating Families

Stigma is described as the mark of infamy or disgrace. Addiction stigma comes from substance abuse disorder behavioral aspects and symptoms (Buchman & Reiner, 2009). For example, drug and alcohol addiction symptoms such as erratic behavior and impaired judgment can result in problems, including relationship problems, occupational problems, and legal consequences. Understandably, embarrassment follows such consequences and shame as well to those affected and afflicted. At the family and individual levels, addiction is viewed as a private matter that should not be openly discussed. Despite the obvious signs of addiction, families and individuals always tend to avoid acknowledging the existence of the problem and even withhold from seeking assistance (Luom et al., 2010). Stigmatization has contributed significantly to only 1 in 10 addicts seeking professional care for their substance abuse disorder (Seelye, 2016).

Additionally, prior to seeking therapy, the friends and family of an IP get trapped into a cycle of co-dependency and enabling behavior (Schäfer & Lecturer, 2011). Friends and family will often tend to pretend that all is well and even go ahead and unintentionally help the IP with the addiction when they ignore the problem. As a consequence, the family members may end up becoming resentful, angry, and distant and believe that they are unable to address the problem without causing the IP to become angry or exacerbate the addiction.

Overcoming the Barriers

Livingston et al. (2015) assert that healthcare facilities should be on the frontline of challenging the pessimism, stereotypes, and stigma associated with alcohol and drug addiction. This can be achieved by highlighting persons that are on their journey to recovery, thus exposing the reality that it is possible to recover; addictions are like a chronic illness but can be managed successfully throughout one’s life, and that addiction affects persons who are just like anyone else.

As regards family misconceptions and skewed perceptions of their loved one, families should consider taking the addict family member to in-patient recovery centers. When at the recovery center, family members can have the opportunity to take a break and make an assessment of their individual environments and behaviors. While the IP is at the recovery center, the family members can identify, in most cases, traits and behaviors that they can change so as to break the cycle of addiction (Carruth, Wright, & White, 2014). In most residential treatment programs for substance abuse, the main focus is on the recovery of the patient from the addiction as well as their mental recovery. Addiction therapy in these centers is supported heavily by frequent and positive involvement by the family. This is necessary for the successful recovery of the IP as the centers offer family members with educational programs such as family involvement sessions and dynamic and supportive workshops (Baharudin et al., 2014).

Family Behaviour that Harms the Alcoholic/Addict

When a family member, parent, child, or partner shields an addict from the addiction consequences, they enable the problem to persist (Miller, 2013). Enabling takes various forms, including paying monthly bills or rent for an addict spouse, offering an addict child housing, or covering for an addicted parent when such a parent fails to report to work. Whichever form enabling actions take, they only go to encourage the addict to continue with the destructive behavior. A common enabling behavior is where family members provide an addict with funds, and this is the most problematic enabler (Orford et al., 2013)

Alexander &Robbins (2011), point out that negativism is another family member’s behavior that harms an addict. Negativism is characterized by negative communication that takes the form of criticism, complaints, and other ways of expressing displeasure. The overall family mood in this scenario tends to be downbeat, with all persons ignoring any positive behavior. In such families, only a crisis enlivens or draws attention to the situation. Such negativism in the family may reinforce the addict’s addiction behavior.

Family members’ denial of an addiction problem in one of their own is another enabling behavior (Walters & Rodgers, 2011). The longer it takes for a family to accept the situation, the longer the addiction behavior is enabled and the higher the likelihood that the addict will not access any help in the form of substance abuse treatment. In some instances, a substance abuser can overdose prior to getting convinced to seek help. Still, in other instances, family relationships can become very toxic, leaving little to no room for productive and healthy conversations with the addict. It is, therefore, critical for families to avoid enabling an addict but rather seek proper treatment for the addict (Reiter, 2014).

How Family Members Can Negatively Impact Treatment Outcomes

When family members do not have the necessary skills and knowledge to identify and modify their individual expectations and reactions toward the addict in the family, it complicates the outcomes of treatment (Santis et al., 2013). Family members are unable to terminate the cycle of enabling and the reactive seeking of connection that is perceived by the addict as exhaustive, punitive, and nagging. Further, when family members cannot set individual limits and are also incapable of understanding their own degree of acceptance of what they cannot alter, they become oblivious to the fact that their interventions are either contributory or useless (Lemieux, 2013).

Additionally, Calix and Fine (2009) note that when family members are not provided or do not seek education regarding substance abuse treatment, then the family is not facilitated in decision-making, including when to use Vivitrol and Suboxone. IPs often need a person with whom they can share ideas with; when family members pick information from the internet, they can prevent IPs from making sound decisions (Ling, Mooney, & Hillhouse, 2011). Most times, family members would prefer that their patient is free from all medication without putting into consideration the severity and length of drug abuse. Hence, family members pursuing a ‘medication-free’ option often do not regard the data on medication-assisted recovery rates versus recovery rates without medication assistance.

Lastly, to some extent, drug use is a result of family relationships, as this exerts a substantial influence (Duncan et al., 2009). Relationships that are open, encouraging, and positive foster open interactions that allow for cohesion and discussion of troublesome behaviors. On the other hand, weak, angry, and strained connections encourage avoidance behaviors, including substance abuse. Most times, treatment plans will include family members as sources of psychological and emotional support for the addict. When the family members have negative relationships with the addict throughout the recovery process, then the treatment is bound to be destabilized, un-progressive, and negative (Connors et al., 2013). It is, therefore, imperative that the family relationships be positive throughout the treatment and afterward.

In conclusion, family members have a critical part to play in assisting their loved ones to recover from substance use addiction. Ignoring the problem or enabling addiction behavior does not make the problem go away. Family members should, at the very first inkling, confront an addict and immediately take action to ensure that their loved one gets proper, fast, and effective treatment. For treatment to be effective, the family members of an addict need to be supportive, open to communication, and ready to gain knowledge and education that they can utilize in helping the addict to live a positive and drug-free life.


Adams, M. (2015). Integrating 12-Steps and Psychotherapy: helping clients find sobriety and recovery. Existential Analysis26(1), 180-183.

Alexander, J. F., & Robbins, M. S. (2011). Functional family therapy. In Clinical handbook of assessing and treating conduct problems in youth (pp. 245-271). Springer, New York, NY.

Baharudin, D. F., Mohd Hussin, A. H., Sumari, M., Mohamed, S., Zakaria, M. Z., & Sawai, R. P. (2014). Family intervention for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addiction: An exploratory study. Journal of Substance Use19(4), 301-306.

Brown, S. L., & Rinelli, L. N. (2010). Family structure, family processes, and adolescent smoking and drinking. Journal of research on adolescence20(2), 259-273.

Calix, S. I., & Fine, M. A. (2009). Evidence-Based Family Treatment of Adolescent Substance Abuse and Dependence. In Adolescent Substance Abuse (pp. 119-133). Springer, Boston, MA.

Carruth, B., Wright, D. G., & White, R. K. (2014). Addiction intervention: Strategies to motivate treatment-seeking behavior. Routledge.

Connors, G. J., DiClemente, C. C., Velasquez, M. M., & Donovan, D. M. (2013). Substance abuse treatment and the stages of change: Selecting and planning interventions. Guilford Press.

Duncan, L. G., Coatsworth, J. D., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). A model of mindful parenting: Implications for parent–child relationships and prevention research. Clinical child and family psychology review12(3), 255-270.

Lemieux, C. M. (2013). Family treatment of individuals with substance use disorders. Clinical Work with Substance-Abusing Clients303.

Lewis, J. A., Dana, R. Q., & Blevins, G. A. (2014). Substance abuse counseling. Cengage Learning.

Ling, W., Mooney, L., & Hillhouse, M. (2011). Prescription opioid abuse, pain and addiction: clinical issues and implications. Drug and alcohol review30(3), 300-305.

Livingston, J. D., Milne, T., Fang, M. L., & Amari, E. (2012). The effectiveness of interventions for reducing stigma related to substance use disorders: a systematic review. Addiction107(1), 39-50.

Luoma, J. B., O’Hair, A. K., Kohlenberg, B. S., Hayes, S. C., & Fletcher, L. (2010). The development and psychometric properties of a new measure of perceived stigma toward substance users. Substance Use & Misuse45(1-2), 47-57.

Miller, P. M. (2013). Principles of addiction: comprehensive addictive behaviors and disorders (Vol. 1). Academic Press.

Orford, J., Natera, G., Copello, A., Atkinson, C., Mora, J., Velleman, R., … & Walley, G. (2013). Coping with alcohol and drug problems: The experiences of family members in three contrasting cultures. Routledge.

Reiter, M. D. (2014). Substance abuse and the family. Routledge.

Rowe, C. L. (2012). Family therapy for drug abuse: Review and updates 2003–2010. Journal of marital and family therapy38(1), 59-81.

Santis, R., Hidalgo, C. G., Jaramillo, A., Hayden, V., Armijo, I., & Lasagna, A. (2013). A family outreach intervention for engaging young out-of-treatment drug users: Pre-versus post-treatment comparison. Journal of substance abuse treatment44(1), 61-70.

Schäfer, G., & Lecturer, S. (2011). Family functioning in families with alcohol and other drug addiction. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand37, 1-17.

Seelye, K.Q. (2016). Fraction of Americans With Drug Addiction Receive Treatment, Surgeon General Says.

Sexton, T. L. (2017). Functional family therapy. The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice, 1-7.

Timko, C., Young, L. B., & Moos, R. H. (2012). Al-Anon family groups: Origins, conceptual basis, outcomes, and research opportunities. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery7(2-4), 279-296.

Walters, S. T., & Rotgers, F. (Eds.). (2011). Treating substance abuse: Theory and technique. Guilford Press.

Westoff, C. F. (2015). Family growth in metropolitan America. Princeton University Press.


We’ll write everything from scratch


Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect of chemical dependency on families and society


Common Assignment/Assessment- Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect of chemical dependency on families and society

Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect ...

Research Paper Outlining current literature reporting the effect …

  1. Research Paper- Chemical dependency and the family
  2. Discuss appropriate intervention approaches for addictive families.
  3. What are some of the barriers associated with educating families?
  4. How might these barriers be overcome?
  5. Identify family behavior that harm rather than help the alcoholic/addict
  6. Discuss how family members can negatively impact treatment outcomes

Other Instructions

Structure your paper with exact headings and sub-heading above which are underlined

No more than 6 complete pages and no less than 5 complete pages of content. Plus cover page, and reference pages as needed, which are not counted as part of your five-six required pages.

Have a similar assignment? "Place an order for your assignment and have exceptional work written by our team of experts, guaranteeing you A results."

Order Solution Now

Our Service Charter

1. Professional & Expert Writers: Eminence Papers only hires the best. Our writers are specially selected and recruited, after which they undergo further training to perfect their skills for specialization purposes. Moreover, our writers are holders of masters and Ph.D. degrees. They have impressive academic records, besides being native English speakers.

2. Top Quality Papers: Our customers are always guaranteed of papers that exceed their expectations. All our writers have +5 years of experience. This implies that all papers are written by individuals who are experts in their fields. In addition, the quality team reviews all the papers before sending them to the customers.

3. Plagiarism-Free Papers: All papers provided by Eminence Papers are written from scratch. Appropriate referencing and citation of key information are followed. Plagiarism checkers are used by the Quality assurance team and our editors just to double-check that there are no instances of plagiarism.

4. Timely Delivery: Time wasted is equivalent to a failed dedication and commitment. Eminence Papers are known for the timely delivery of any pending customer orders. Customers are well informed of the progress of their papers to ensure they keep track of what the writer is providing before the final draft is sent for grading.

5. Affordable Prices: Our prices are fairly structured to fit in all groups. Any customer willing to place their assignments with us can do so at very affordable prices. In addition, our customers enjoy regular discounts and bonuses.

6. 24/7 Customer Support: At Eminence Papers, we have put in place a team of experts who answer all customer inquiries promptly. The best part is the ever-availability of the team. Customers can make inquiries anytime.

We Can Write It for You! Enjoy 20% OFF on This Order. Use Code SAVE20

Stuck with your Assignment?

Enjoy 20% OFF Today
Use code SAVE20