Benefits of Family Therapy in Drug Rehab

Many people think of drug rehab as a place where addicts go to get well, which is true. Drug rehab equips a person with the skills needed to live life without the need for drugs. While addiction does affect the addict most of all, the family dynamics surrounding the addict’s behaviors can have a tremendous influence on his or her success in recovery.

When viewed separately, family therapy works to repair the broken relationships that make-up the family unit. When viewed as part of drug rehab, family therapy accomplishes the same goal but for a different reason.

The benefits of family therapy in drug rehab not only improve the addict’s chances of a successful recovery, but also work to strengthen the family as a whole by improving the quality of life for each individual member.

What is Family Therapy?

rehab for drugs

Family therapy is a very helpful component of rehab.

The family therapy treatment approach views the family as a system made up of interdependent members, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Family members remain involved in one another’s lives for longer than any other type of relationship bond. These involvements also carry a heavy emotional tone as well.

When one member in a family system changes the other members change accordingly, be it for good or for bad. In essence, family therapy treatment attempts to intervene within the relationship bonds that make up a family and bring about positive change for the family as a unit.

The Family Unit in Drug Rehab

Within the context of drug rehab, family therapy views the addict as part of a unit, rather than as an isolated problem. More oftentimes than not, family issues contribute to the addict’s behaviors in one form or another. For example, spouses and parents who enable drug-using behaviors, for the most part, are supporting the addict’s problem whether they intend to or not.

Family therapy addresses each person’s behaviors and role in the addict’s life, as well as addressing the addict’s behaviors and family role. In effect, positive change can only occur when the family changes as a unit, which in turn supports the addicts continued success in recovery.


Shouldering accountability for one’s actions and behaviors remains an ongoing theme within the family therapy drug rehab process. Helping family members understand how their behaviors and interactions affect one another becomes a primary goal within the family therapy.

This theme ties in nicely with the addict’s recovery process in terms of taking responsibility for his or her choices, as in ‘to use drugs or not to use drugs.’ Other family members must also take on the task of expressing their needs as well as owning up to their responsibilities when the addict starts to slip back into old drug-using patterns.

Improved Communications

With the strong emotional ties that usually exist within a family, a dysfunctional family unit will likely have widespread communication problems amongst its members. Faulty family communication patterns naturally breed poor problem-solving skills. These are the same issues addicts work through in drug rehab treatment.

In the same vein, the addict is identified as the source of chaos and turmoil within the family. In actuality, the addict’s behaviors mirror the family’s dysfunction. Family therapy works to improve communications between family members and promotes a productive problem-solving approach.