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Substance Abuse

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Typically, substance abuse is viewed as an individual problem, and the addicted family member is treated apart from the family system. Using attached files:

-how substance abuse can be viewed as a coping mechanism and as an indication of an underlying family issue.
-how addiction impacts the family as a system.

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses substance abuse from the perspective fo a Family System approach

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(1)How substance abuse can be viewed as a coping mechanism and as an indication of an underlying family issue.

Several factors contribute to the use of Substance abuse as a coping mechanism such as: societal pressures, lack of self-concept, stress, financial problems, marital and family problems, and life stresses and challenges. Research is presented that suggest substance abuse extends beyond the individual to the family, and even to extended members of the family (Impact of Substance abuse on families). Within this study, indicators were highlighted that suggest when a family member abuses substances, the effect on the family may differ according to family structure. As examples, the family member who is a non-substance abuser parent assumes the role of "superhero" in efforts to bond more closely with the children. For their part, based on the study, children may develop systems of denial to protect the nuclear family, and to cope with substance abuse issue. Additionally, the extended family may experience feelings of anxiety, fear embarrassment or guilt. Moreover, based on the study, this pattern of behavior may be passed down through the generations. In attempts to cope with family problems, members of the family may experience ...

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