Substance Abuse Counseling Family Roles and Dynamics

Substance Abuse Counseling – Family Roles and Dynamics Ways That Family Roles and Dynamics Interact With Substance Abuse and Addiction In most substance addiction and abuse cases, family roles and dynamics interact and play a crucial role. Substance abuse and addictions do not develop in seclusion, for many of people with addiction, the habit developed due to one reason or another linked to the family. Addiction according to (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 1999) has been found to have a pattern that links the family of origin, as well as the present family of an addict. The family’s involvement in addiction and substance abuse has often been a critical issue (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2005).
For instance, in cases where parents are users of such substances like alcohol, the dependents always tend to follow suite, and especially for those whose parents were very prone to alcohol. A research conducted in the US found that almost half of all children (35.6 million) live in a household where a parent or other adult uses tobacco, drinks heavily or uses illicit drugs. Family wrangles and divorce have been a significant source of substance addiction and abuse. In a research conducted, it was found that children who were subjected to parental divorce can lead to a child’s risk to substance use. It was found that over 50% of teens whose parents had divorced were likely to drink alcohol than those who had both their parents (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2005).
Unique Characteristics Of and/or Complications within Families of Substance Abusers
Members of family of substance abusers regularly live in constant fear that their flimsy surroundings could collapse. Those families affected by substance abuse are usually characterized by marital problems, increased exposure to diseases, child neglect or abuse, inconsistent childcare, exposure to crime, social isolation, children’s academic problems, domestic violence, shifting family roles, and financial difficulties. In financial problems, substance abusers are exposed to long-term unemployment, injuries/accidents at work, and job instability. this puts their families under intense financial pressure (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2005).
For instance, time spent assisting a substance abusing family member can minimize the time available for work and this ultimately minimizes family earnings. In another instance, substance abuse in a family increases the probability of divorce and unhappy marriages. It is suggested that substance abuse in a family can influence its quality. Poorer relations in a marriage are more likely in alcoholic men than in non-alcoholic men. Male alcoholics and their spouses report more sexual dysfunction and less sexual satisfaction particularly in impotence reports (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2005).
Potential Ethical and Legal Concerns Related To Counseling Families of Substance Abusers
Working in the field of substance abuse treatment presents dilemmas related to individual beliefs, values, and judgments. Ethical concerns can be personal or societal in nature. There is a constant struggle between implementing morality for the good of the public and fighting to maintain the person’s right to autonomy. It is such concerns that bring an issue from the personal level to the societal level. For instance, the syringe exchange programs (SEPs) present such ethical dilemmas. In 1998, it was suggested that SEPs could become effective strategy tools to prevent HIV. An issue arose as to whether providing clean syringes may encourage or sanction illegal drug use (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2000).
The principle of justice assumes equality and impartiality. Counselors may find it difficult and challenging to deal with the growing numbers substance abusers affected with HIV/AIDS. In such situations, it is normal to be biased, but it is crucial to know how and when it influences an individual’s capability to practice within the boundaries of principle of justice. In other words, there is no client who is discriminated against or refused access to treatment. At times, it may be hard for the provider to treat each equally and therefore, there are safeguards that providers and agencies can enact to ensure unbiased level of service (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2000).
References
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1999). Brief interventions and brief therapies for substance abuse. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2000). Substance abuse treatment for persons with HIV/AIDS. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2005). Family matters: Substance abuse and the American family. New York, NY: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.