Family Counseling For Addiction In Knoxville, TN

Contrary to what many people may see on the surface, addiction affects the entire family. While an individual user’s suffering is easy to see, it is important to remember that the entire family unit is impacted. When a family unit undergoes the stress and agony that addiction brings, it can leave them feeling broken, hopeless, and lost. Fortunately, family counseling for addiction in Knoxville, TN, can help to reverse much of the damage done through addiction. By getting to the root cause of dependency and by involving all of those affected, family counseling for addiction can be a powerful healing tool that gives families a chance to reconnect and reprioritize before it is too late.

Family Counseling in Addiction Recovery

child joins parents during family counseling for addiction in Knoxville, TN

For those who are in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction, family counseling and therapy will play a large role in their treatment. It is an important component of all addiction treatments because, without it, people are not able to dig into the reasons behind their addictions or understand the impact that it has had on them mentally and emotionally. For those seeking help who have families, especially spouses or children, family counseling is often highly recommended. This is because your addiction does not just affect you, it also affects those around you. By utilizing family counseling during drug and alcohol treatment at Tennessee Valley Recovery in Knoxville, TN, you are able to help rebuild the strength of your family unit as a whole.

The Impact of Addiction on Families

While many people who are dealing with an addiction may not be able to see beyond their own issues, the fact is that their addiction also impacts their families. It disrupts routines, creates stress, can have financial impacts, and can cause many other issues. Children are often the worst affected. Seeing their parents deal with addiction can actually lead them to develop substance abuse issues in the future. Family counseling for addiction in Knoxville can create a space for family members to open up about the negative effects.

The negative effects are different for every family, but can include any of the following:

Negative Emotions

Substance abuse can cause all family members to experience a range of negative emotions. This includes anger, depression, anxiety, resentment, guilt, and embarrassment.

Inappropriate Responsibilities

For the children of addicts, the risk of having to take on age-inappropriate responsibilities because the parent is unable is very real. This can mean having to care for younger siblings, work to pay bills, or call for help if a parent experiences an overdose or adverse drug reaction.

Poor Communication

When dealing with a family member who is an addict, communication is often compromised. This often means having frequent conflicts. The needs of the non-addicted members are often ignored in favor of the addict’s needs and wants.

Unsafe Conditions

There are many risks for family members when a member of the household is an addict. This can mean children being exposed to drugs and accidentally ingesting them. In addition, the experience of having to call the police because of a drug-related altercation.

Lack of Structure or Boundaries

Families with an addicted parent often lack the structure that children need to thrive. They may also have a lack of boundaries, exposing children to age-inappropriate behaviors.

Damaged Relationships

The stress caused by an addict’s behaviors can cause significant damage to their relationships with their family. This can also happen when an addict is often absent due to their alcoholism or drug addiction.

Unhealthy Habits Families Develop

As a result of the changes and stress that an addicted family member can inflict on a family, many develop unhealthy habits to cope. They may deny that their family member has a problem, or children may end up mimicking their negative behaviors. The most common issues within a family with an addict are codependency and enabling behaviors, both of which are very detrimental to the family as a whole.


Codependency happens when people have to adapt to the behaviors and habits of the addict. These changes result in them ignoring their own wants and needs in favor of taking care of the addict – often to an obsessive level. This is one of the most common issues addressed during family counseling for addiction in Knoxville.

Codependent behaviors can include:

  • Constantly worrying about the addict’s habits and the consequences of their addiction
  • Being in denial about the problem, including lying to or avoiding others so that they do not find out.
  • Having violent or irrational reactions to issues related to the addiction.
  • Neglecting your own physical and emotional needs to focus solely on the addict.
  • Turning your anger about the situation onto others, such as the children or pets.
  • Using unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating, making compulsive purchases, or being hyper-focused on a hobby.
  • Allowing the addict’s mood to determine your own.

Enabling Addiction

Enabling is another unhealthy coping mechanism that can result from addiction, and can stem from either fear of the addict or love. This is when a family member supports the addict’s substance abuse by protecting them from any negative consequences. Enabling behaviors include:

  • Using drugs or alcohol with the addict.
  • Hiding your feelings to prevent conflict with the addict.
  • Accepting the addict’s justifications or excuses for their substance abuse.
  • Protecting the addict’s image by making excuses for their absence or failure to fulfill responsibilities.
  • Going out of your way to make your family and home seem normal to others.
  • Experiencing feelings of guilt when you are unable to prevent the addict from experiencing the negative consequences of their addiction.

The Benefits of Family Counseling for Addiction in Knoxville, TN

outdoor therapy during family counseling for addiction in Knoxville TN

Years of research have shown that family counseling is a very important part of helping addicts with families find longer-lasting sobriety. Both parties are able to feel heard so that they can effectively work towards healing their relationship. By strengthening this essential family bond, the addict can be supported in a healthy way, while the needs of the rest of the family are also addressed. Additionally, those who have children being affected by their addiction are able to make amends and establish age-appropriate roles moving forward. This way a child does not feel like they are the parent and can fully enjoy their youth. Further benefits of family counseling include the following:  

  • Creates a supportive home environment 
  • Gives everyone the space to talk about their feelings
  • Encourages better communication
  • Eases feelings of anger or fear
  • Allows family members to address any personal mental health concerns 
  • Teaches family members how to avoid triggering their loved one
  • Establishes healthy ways for families to cope with their loved one’s addiction
  • Promotes appropriate familial roles 
  • Identifies and stops enabling behavior

Begin Family Counseling for Addiction in Knoxville, TN

Those who come to our rehab center in Knoxville, TN get help and still live close to their family. We always recommend incorporating family counseling. The negative effects addiction has on a family unit are both very real and very long-lasting if not addressed. By coming to family counseling together, each family member gets a chance to be heard, and relearn how to function as a normal and healthy family. If you are struggling with an addiction, we are here to help. Visit our admissions page today to strengthen your family bond and build years of happiness ahead.

A New Day Begins with Tennessee Valley Recovery

It is time to put your health and wellbeing first. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you put a stop to your active addiction and begin living a life of recovery.

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Start Family Counseling for Addiction in Knoxville, TN

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