Addiction Treatment; If We Could Only Fix the Parents
“Like father, Like Son.” “A chip off the old block.” “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Sound familiar? All sayings designed to demonstrate how simple genetics really are. All created to show that in life it is not what your know or who you know, but instead where you came from. Lucky of unlucky. It really is that simple. At the end of the day we can move the dirt around a bit to modify the landscape but there is only so much we can do to change the basic materials we are given.
That being said when it comes to understanding a person with addiction and getting a handle on what tools they possess for change, it is always best to look up one or two branches above them and see what’s there. Unfortunately there is often a great deal of pathology. When that is the case you really get an opportunity to see we at times an addicts hands are tied. Sometimes the family pathology is so severe that you have to wonder how anyone survived in this gene pool.
Addicts are often hand cuffed by their genetics and have to work extra hared to overcome the limitations that their parents have unknowingly place upon them. Family therapy can be very enlightening and no decent treatment program should be without some sort of family program. Not only does it serve to help heal the disrupted family dynamics but it gives everyone involved a chance to understand what we are working with and what our limitations might be. The saddest of situations is when you have an addict who is desperate to heal and they are being held back by a family member who never bothered or cared to see and treat their own pathology. I saw that today during family therapy when a girl who has worked so hard to get better will probably only do so if she completely severs her ties with her incredibly disease father.
So addiction is not always the addicts fault. Sometimes it was just in their stars and mother nature is a powerful force.