The Family Structure As A Support Network For the Addict

The role of the family in a rehabilitation or recovery process is essential to effectively promote relational dynamics in the family and to produce changes in the patient. According to rehab centers like Ascendant New York, the consumption of psychoactive substances in the country is a critical problem, because its characteristics make it a complex issue with serious repercussions on public health and socially as well. The consumption of illicit drugs is growing in the country, not only because more people consume them, but because the market for substances is increasingly wide and diverse.

The Family Nucleus

Currently, many children, young people, adults, and older adults consume various psychoactive substances, omitting the effect that these can cause in their lives, despite the fact that the consequences can be biological, psychological, and social. In fact, you will learn that one of the main affected groups is the consumer’s family since each member has a role and a development within the family nucleus. This is due to the fact that values, rituals, beliefs, and acquisitions of behaviors are encouraged.

Risk Factors

In this context of addictions, it is essential to take into account that the family environment can increase the risk of consumption or, on the contrary, can contribute to protect, avoid or delay their involvement with drug use. In this vein, it is important to understand that there are risk factors, which are distinguished as being any attribute, unique traits, or exposure of a person that amplifies their likelihood of having a disease or injury. As mentioned above, several of those risk factors include:

  • Dysfunctional families
  • Experiencing or being a victim of psychological, physical, or sexual abuse
  • Consumers
  • Friends or peers
  • Parental absence

What Can The Family Do?

On the other hand, it is essential to estimate the protective factors in the development of each member. A protective factor has detectable characteristics in an individual, family, group or community that favor human development, the maintenance, or recovery of health; and that can counteract the possible effects of risk factors. Some examples are the following:

  • Indulging in a physical activity
  • Maintaining family support
  • Having adequate communication between family and peers
  • Providing confidence to family members without showing overprotection
  • Not enabling the addict

When you conceptualize such information, it is safe to say that the family group can prevent or avoid substance use. In this same framework, it is essential to take into account the family structure, since there are multiple family compositions. Currently, a large number of single-parent families coexist, that is, families that are composed of a single parent. However, this can generate some vulnerability. In addition, if the appropriate protective factors are maintained, drug use or a relapse can be prevented.


To conclude, the family structure can become a great support network for the addict, developing specific resources and strategies both for the therapeutic process as well as for family and social development. In the family support network, you should seek professional help. Do not reinforce destructive behaviors among peers. You should maintain a willingness to listen, without prejudice and maintain an attitude of respect towards the struggling addict.

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