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What Is the Role of Family in Addiction Recovery?

Addiction directly involves one person abusing a substance, but addiction touches each family member. Therefore, the role of family is paramount, affecting the success and longevity of the addict’s recovery and long-term sobriety. A solid and dependable support system is critical to successful recovery. The family that actively participates in the treatment program of their loved one can learn how to heal while supporting the addict. But what exactly is the role of family in addiction recovery?

Addiction is A Family Disease

The role of family in addiction recovery is crucial to address the effects of addiction on each family member. Any family dysfunction that transpired before and during the addiction period contributed to the family dynamics. The addict’s behaviors have a wide range of effects on each family member, and each member owns their coping mechanisms. The goal of treatment with family participation is to create positive and healthy coping mechanisms for all while adding a supportive dynamic for the addict.

The Five Dysfunctional Roles Family Members Play in Addiction

The role of family in addiction recovery involves dealing with various degrees of dysfunction and the effects of addiction on each member. Yet, unknowingly, the family members have adopted dysfunctional behaviors when addiction occurs. Identifying the shades of dysfunction and educating the family to recognize negative traits aids in healing for everyone. In addition, family participation in recovery aims toward learning healthy relationship habits and the best supportive measures.

The Hero

Every family has a shining star considered the family Hero, who never lets anyone down. Often in denial of the addiction, the Hero covers up the shame and helplessness within the family dynamic. The strives to maintain a high level of esteem for the family. Putting considerable pressure on themselves, they draw attention away from the negativity of addiction. 

The Mascot

In every family, the family Mascot appears to be happy, animated, and comforting amid challenging situations. The role of the Mascot seems to be offering comedy as relief from the stress of the addiction but unearthed as directed towards the addict. A negative coping mechanism, this form of clowning around is hurtful and sad. Such comic pretense can heighten fears and hide insecurities. Humor is a defense mechanism for the Mascot. 

The Lost Child 

This family member avoids conflict at all costs. Suppressing their emotions and feelings, they are internally distraught. The Lost Child will never rock the boat and speak out about what is churning inside. Characterized within the family as non-being, introverted, shy, and quiet, the Lost Child does not participate in any family activity. They appear lost in the family’s drama while their needs remain neglected. Over the long term, the Lost Child will resent the family for being neglected. As a result, they often grow up feeling isolated.

The Scapegoat

Scapegoats are present in every family. This family member is the source of other problems and difficulties and tries to draw the family’s attention from the addiction. These masters of distraction might also be labeled “the problem child.” The Scapegoat is trying to protect the addict’s family members from intense feelings of guilt and shame. Taking the blame for the addict’s behavior, the Scapegoat seems stable and emotionally healthy. Family members blame the Scapegoat for not alarming the unit about the addiction. The role of the family in addiction recovery is to remove the belief that the scapegoat is guilty by association. 

The Enabler

Most people are familiar with the role of the Enabler. This family member insulates the addict by overlooking or excusing the negative behaviors. The Enabler avoids shame and embarrassment and attempts to smooth over difficulties until they disappear. Unfortunately, the addict is not held accountable for the responsibility of addiction. The role of the family in addiction recovery must resolve the Enabler’s behaviors for successful recovery.

What Role Does Family Play in Addiction Recovery?

Addiction recovery requires a stable support system for the addict to recover successfully. The role of the family in addiction recovery is to strengthen the family unit to be that needed support system. Education on dysfunctional habits and behavior changes will make the family unit positive and healthy. Working together to support the addict in recovery, the family must resolve the previous dysfunctional behaviors for a healthy environment for all

How Beneficial is Family Therapy in Addiction?

Support from the family is vitally important and increases the success percentages for treatment for the addict. Prevention of relapse is the primary goal. The role of the family in addiction recovery is to support the addict in therapy. If family dysfunction remains, support will not be practical and could cause additional problems. Establishing a healthy family dynamic can result from family counseling

Family Support Groups for Addiction

Support groups are available for families to educate and rehabilitate their dysfunctional behaviors and learn to support their loved ones in addiction. After evaluation, family members may participate in individual and group therapy. The role of the family in addiction recovery is vital. The following support groups are available for families. 

  • Al-Anon
  • Nar-Anon
  • Codependents Anonymous
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics

Find Help Today in Atlanta

Families interested in supporting their addicted loved ones have had success with the programs we offer at Retreat of Atlanta. We encourage the family to participate as an active support system for our patients. Feel free to reach out to us now to learn more about your important role in recovery. The role of the family in addiction recovery is vital to success in recovery. Contact us now for more information.

ADHD and Addiction

ADHD & Addiction

FIIND OUR HOW ADHD AND ADDICTION ARE TWO OF THE MOST COMMON DISORDERS. Medication used to treat ADHD is prescribed and controlled by a medical professional and while it may have the potential to lead to addiction this is not usually the case.

Research has shown that medication used to treat ADHD is not a gateway drug and that those who use the prescribed amount of ADHD medication to treat their symptoms are less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol than those who do not take medication for the disorder. The question is, why are people with ADHD more prone to drug and alcohol addiction? In this article, we will talk about ADHD and its symptoms, how ADHD can be linked to substance abuse and how to treat ADHD together with substance abuse to create long-lasting sobriety while managing the symptoms of the disorder.

What is ADHD and What Are The Symptoms?

ADHD otherwise known as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurological disorder that is often diagnosed during childhood.


ADHD may continue to affect a person well into adulthood making it hard for them to stay still, pay attention, focus, control impulsive behavior and cope with mundane daily tasks.


The Characteristics Of A Person Who Has ADHD


Although the symptoms of ADHD may vary from person to person the typical symptoms of ADHD can be the following:

  • The inability to pay attention and focus
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Impulsive behavior

Adults who have ADHD can have problems performing to the best of their ability in the workplace as the symptoms of ADHD can cause them to be extremely disorganized making them overlook some of their work commitments.

Other areas of their lives can also be affected such as social and emotional relationships with others. This is because those who suffer from ADHD often do or say things without thinking especially when they are not paying attention because they become easily distracted.


Behavioral patterns are usually made up of the following:

  • Fidgeting all the time
  • Forgetfulness
  • The inability to organize projects and responsibilities.
  • Difficulty listening to others
  • Losing or misplacing personal items regularly
  • Difficulty finishing tasks and being easily distracted
  • People with ADHD find it hard to control speech or actions

It is essentially these daily frustrations that can cause a person with ADHD to turn to drugs or alcohol to relax, escape and slow down.


Watch this video to give you a more in depth look at what people with ADHD deal with daily. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzGQ4dkyl8U

How Does ADHD Develop?

Various factors can affect a person’s chance of developing Attention Deficit Disorder. These factors can include the following:

Exposure to Toxic Substances During Pregnancy

Various factors can affect a person’s chance of developing Attention Deficit Disorder. These factors can include the following:

The Effects of Trauma

Various factors can affect a person’s chance of developing Attention Deficit Disorder. These factors can include the following:

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors are one of the most common causes of ADHD making it an extremely hereditary disorder. Children born to parents or a parent that has been previously diagnosed with ADHD are more than four times more likely to develop the same disorder.

ADHD and Substance Abuse

People with ADHD tend to be more inclined to use drugs or alcohol as a way in which to cope with their symptoms. This can lead to a cycle of addiction that is almost impossible to treat without the help of professionals.


Research has shown that about 21 percent of males with ADHD and 13 percent of females with ADHD abuse drugs or alcohol. The reason for this is that many people who have ADHD use these substances to try and combat their symptoms.


At the Retreat of Atlanta, we’ve created a sober-living residential addiction treatment program that emphasizes ongoing care, transparency, and all the resources you’ll need for long-term recovery.


But the reality is that not all drug recovery services are created equal. Different facilities cater to different types of clients and have different amenities. There are typically differences in the standards of treatment available as well. Some only provide outpatient care, while some are residential drug recovery facilities.


However, if you believe your addiction is serious enough to necessitate medically induced detox, The Retreat of Atlanta’s drug addiction recovery program might be the best fit for you.

Why do People WIth ADHD Self-Medicate?

People with ADHD tend to have lower levels of dopamine in the brain which is why drugs and alcohol can become so appealing.


Self-medication can be described as the way a person turns to substances such as drugs, alcohol, and smoking to try and deal with their condition. These substances help to boost dopamine levels in the brain and increase feel-good sensations.

Alcohol Abuse

People with ADHD tend to use alcohol to ease the stress and deal with social problems that usually come with the condition. Unfortunately turning to alcohol only makes the problem worse as there is a strong link between compulsive behavior and heavy drinking amongst people who have ADHD.

Drug Abuse

Cocaine, heroin, and other illicit drugs can worsen the effects of ADHD. Some people with ADHD think that cannabis will help them to ease their disorder, but this can in fact worsen their attention span and focus making it even harder for them to contain their impulses.

ADHD and Addiction

There are a few treatment programs that can simultaneously address both a person’s addiction and ADHD disorder. This is called the dual diagnostic approach and it uses various forms of therapy to help the person to develop healthy habits to help them heal and start with their recovery.


It is important to treat both disorders simultaneously to break the cycle of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and other forms of self-medication. A dual diagnosis program is often the most effective way in which to treat the addiction and ADHD at the same time


A dual diagnosis program usually focuses on the following:

  • Helping a person to identify triggers that may lead them to drugs or alcohol
  • Teaching the person how to manage their impulses
  • Encouraging and motivating the person allowing them to build up their self-esteem
  • Educating loved ones about ADHD and addiction
  • Controlling the symptoms of ADHD with medication therapy

Dual diagnosis programs can help the individual to manage the symptoms of their ADHD by modifying their response to triggers while they are in recovery. This way the individual can live a healthy and functional life without being dependant on substances.

What the Retreat of Atlanta Can Do For You

At The Retreat of Atlanta, our goal is to place you in the best facility possible so that you can heal and find long-term healing. If you visit one of our facilities or another, we will assist anyone who approaches us in finding the best place for them to recover.


This is the first step toward complete sobriety. At our drug and alcohol recovery center, patients go through a specific medical detox in which they extract toxic chemicals from their bodies, restoring their bodies to their previous safe state.

Aftercare Program

This is a service that assists patients after they have left the treatment center. This ensures that the patients do not relapse particularly on disorders such as drug abuse. It also assists them in rebuilding their lives into more prosperous ones.

Individual Therapy Program

This form of counseling is more personal and private. A client is assigned a licensed therapist by the clinic. It mostly refers to patients who have difficulty communicating. It is the most efficient approach for treating psychiatric disorders. The psychiatrist assists you in determining the root causes of your symptoms.

Group Therapy Program

Staying sober is significantly harder than stopping drugs or alcohol which is why it is important for those who have ADHD to keep taking their ADHD medication.

A person with ADHD can also maintain sobriety by making some healthy lifestyle changes such as:

# 1 Getting Enough Rest

Sleep is extremely important to those who have ADHD. The times in which a person sleeps are just as important because most relapses happen between the times of 11 pm and 7 am so it is important to go to bed on time and not stay up all night.

# 2 Eating Regularly

It is important to eat three meals a day as well as an array of healthy snacks. A person with ADHD should try to limit the amount of caffeine and sugar that they consume.

# 3 Reaching Out To Avoid Loneliness

A person suffering from ADHD needs a good support structure so that they can reach out to others in times of loneliness. A good support structure will significantly help to reduce the risk of them turning to drugs and alcohol.

# 4 Anger Management

It is very important for a person who suffers from ADHD to learn how to manage their emotions. If a person with ADHD is feeling restless and irritable it can easily lead to alcohol or substance abuse. A great way to overcome this would be to write about their feelings in a journal or talk to a psychotherapist.


There are also programs and therapy that can be used to help the person remain free of drugs and alcohol. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be extremely effective in preventing a relapse.


At The Retreat of Atlanta, our team is here to represent you. Our mission is to assist you in overcoming the challenges or roadblocks that you can encounter during your early recovery.


Although dealing with some problems alone can be overwhelming, our team can work with you on legal, financial, technical, or other issues. We will assist you in thriving during your early recovery.

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What Are Short and Long – Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

What Are The Short- And Long-Term Effects Of Heroin Abuse?

Wondering about the short and long-term effects of Heroin Abuse? Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine and mixed with a substance taken from the seed pod of the opioid poppy plant. You can find Heroin in the form of a white or brown powder of a sticky substance called black tar heroin. Both highly addictive and illicit it is one of the most abused drugs in the world due to its rapid-acting properties. When heroin is used it creates a surge of pleasurable sensations otherwise known as a “rush“. This rush feels so good that a first-time user can easily become addicted even if they have tried it only once. After a while, higher doses are needed to feel the same rush as the user felt when it was first taken resulting in physical dependence to the drug.


When this happens the brain’s psychological state is altered, and a person cannot stop using the drug because of opioid withdrawal syndrome. It is a never-ending cycle, that unfortunately if not treated can quickly become deadly.


In this article, we are going to talk about the short and long-term effects of heroin use as well as other indirect risks associated with an addiction to heroin.

The Short-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

It is important to remember that even short-term use of heroin can create dangerous side effects. The severity of these side effects is all dependant on the user’s stature, weight, other drugs that are being taken simultaneously as well as the amount used and the length of time that it has been used for.


Although the side effects of short-term heroin use tend to subside, they are still dangerous and pose a dangerous risk to a person’s overall health.


After using heroin, a person may experience the following short-term health-related effects:

  • A rush of euphoria lasting anywhere from 3-5 hours
  • Slower breathing together with a slow heart rate
  • A Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Profound Itching
  • Disorientation and muddled thinking
  • Drowsiness
  • Small pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • A feeling of limb heaviness

Unfortunately, as a person continues using heroin physical dependence to the drug can quickly set in as a response to the ongoing use of the substance.


Physical dependence can happen with any drug, not just heroin. Those who become addicted to alcohol and smoking can also experience physical dependence with the only difference being that heroin is an unlawful drug while alcohol and cigarettes are freely available.


The body starts to adapt to the drug to survive and develops a tolerance to the drug. A user will start to require more of it for it to produce the desired effect. Once the volume of the drug is increased the risk to the user will automatically become higher.


At The Retreat of Atlanta, we realize that in the United States, heroin addiction has become a big issue. According to the CDC, heroin use has risen among a diverse group of people, including women and those with higher incomes.


 If you’ve ever suffered from heroin addiction, you know how difficult it can be to break free. We are here to help you find the best treatment and help you on the road to recovery and achieving long-term sobriety.

The Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

Using heroin repeatedly can cause changes to the physiology of the brain as well as the brains’ physical structure. This can create an imbalance of the neuronal and hormonal system which is unfortunately not easy to reverse.


Chronic users of heroin are known to suffer from several health problems, including:

  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Heart and pulmonary infections
  • Lack of stress-control skills
  • Skin infections
  • Collapsed veins
  • Constipation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Miscarriage
  • Kidney disease
  • Destruction of white matter in the brain
  • Women Infertility

Long-Term Side Effects: An In-Depth Look

Research has shown that heroin can deteriorate the brain’s white matter. This can adversely affect a person’s ability to make decisions, regulate behavior and respond to stressful situations.


Once chronic Heroin use has affected the white matter of the brain these changes can also cause a greater likelihood of relapse after sobriety has been achieved and unfortunately a person who has had a long history with heroin abuse is more likely than others to start using it again.


No matter what way Heroin is ingested it can cause a plethora of medical complications. One of the most serious complications can be lung problems such as pneumonia and tuberculosis which is caused by Heroin’s devastating ability to suppress respiration.


Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorder can also be caused or worsened by chronic heroin use.


How heroin is ingested causes a variety of other specific complications. An example would be people who snort Heroin. Snorting Heroin can cause damage to the mucosal tissue in the nose and can also cause the nasal septum to perforate.


Injecting heroin has been known to cause collapsed veins together with the complication of bacterial infections of the blood vessels and the heart valve. Injecting heroin can also cause skin disorders such as abscesses and various other soft tissue infections.


Furthermore, injecting heroin directly into the body by sharing needles can cause a range of complications such as hepatitis and HIV and several other blood-borne viruses that can be passed onto both the drug users’ partners and children.


Heroin is often laced with other additives and heroin sold in the street can contain substances that do not properly dissolve in the body. This can result in blood vessels leading to the brain, liver, lungs, and kidneys becoming clogged. Ultimately this can lead to infection of the parts of the vital organs that have been affected.


A woman who is addicted to heroin is a lot more likely to suffer from infertility, menstrual cycle disruptions, and miscarriage. Those who manage to carry a baby to term may give birth prematurely to an infant with a low birth weight. The baby may also be born addicted to heroin.


Click her to learn about the effects of heroin use on an unborn fetus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohDqyxb3Abc

Long Term Use: Tolerance and Withdrawal

Tolerance and physical addiction are common traits of Heroin use. Tolerance happens when the body requires more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Physical dependence refers to how the body adapts to the drug by causing terrible withdrawal symptoms once a person tries to stop using the drug.


Withdrawal symptoms can start anywhere from a few hours after the drug was last ingested and can cause a person to experience restlessness, muscle aches and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, chills, and involuntary leg movements.


Between 24-48 hours after using the drug the withdrawal symptoms would have reached their peak and may eventually subside after a few days. Unfortunately, for many, withdrawal symptoms can last for months.


Heroin is a highly addictive opioid and is also one of the most likely to result in an overdose. It may be difficult to avoid using due to painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings.


You will, however, find hope for the future and a way out of addiction with the aid of a drug and alcohol recovery center.  At the Retreat of Atlanta, you will be able to detox in a healthy, relaxed atmosphere when working through the causes of addiction.

Heroin Overdose

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse
  • Delirium
  • Shallow breathing as well as difficulty breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Discolored tongue, nails, and lips
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Coma

Luckily only a few individuals who manage to seek and receive treatment in time will die from an overdose.

Heroin Abuse: Other Indirect Risks

To get heroin you need to liaise with drug dealers who are illegally selling the substance. Any exposure to drug dealers whether it be direct or indirect can lead to arrest and other legal troubles and let’s not forget to mention disgruntled drug dealers that can cause trouble for both the user and their family.


People who are caught with heroin or caught using heroin will be apprehended and often face criminal charges that can in most cases lead to prison time.


Drug driving, much the same as drunk driving can cause a heroin user to lose control of their vehicle and not follow road signs. It can also cause a delayed reaction time in the event of a potential accident. Some people who are driving while on Heroin may even fall asleep at the wheel.


It does not matter which way it is administered; heroin is extremely addictive. Injecting or smoking the drug does tend to reach the brain faster which can significantly increase the risk of developing a heroin disorder. Once this disorder has developed a user will dedicate their lives to seeking out and using this drug no matter what it takes for them to get it.


Our goal is to place our patients in the best facility possible so that they can heal and find long-term healing. If you visit one of our facilities, we will assist you in finding the best program to help you achieve long-term sobriety and recovery from Heroin addiction.


Our team is here to represent you. Our mission is to assist you in overcoming the challenges or roadblocks that you can encounter during your early recovery.


Although dealing with some problems alone can be overwhelming, our team can work with you on legal, financial, technical, or other issues. We will assist you in thriving during your early recovery.


Contact us to learn more about The Retreat of Atlanta and how it can assist you or a loved one in breaking free from addiction. Our admissions team will help you find the best fit for you. Call 762-366-0100 today to begin your recovery.

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