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Family Systems and Substance Abuse

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Describe two or more ways that family roles and dynamics interact with substance abuse and addiction, using specific examples.
Describe two or more unique characteristics of and/or complications within families of substance abusers, using specific examples.
Identify and explain two or more potential ethical and legal concerns related to counseling families of substance abusers, using specific examples.

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Dear Student,
Here, you are being asked to explore the topic of 'addictive family systems'. In tackling this task, you need to decide on an outline to use. I suggest:

1. On addictive family systems
2. Family roles & dynamics in relation to addiction (2 examples)
3. Complications & Characteristics of families of an addictive family system
4. Ethical & legal concerns in addictive family counseling (2 examples)

The solution above should provide a minimum of 500 words and should get you started. I have listed resources below that will be useful for you. Good luck with your studies.

Xenia Jones

Addictive Family Systems

What is an addictive family system? Simply put, it is a setting or context of family dynamics wherein one or more family members are addicted to or suffer some form of addiction and compulsion and whose lives and issues become central in family dynamics. The difficulties that members of the family face primarily begins with distortions of the concept of normal and right, of healthy and unhealthy in terms of lifestyle, of dealing, of feeling and in the general flow of role, relationships and trust as well as support systems. Essentially, what it is describes a dysfunctional family in comparison to what is seen as a stable family structure where specific roles are performed in terms of parents and parenting, in terms of children and their need for support, care and nurturing. Exactly what can best describe such a system? For some, having an 'addict' in the family is a source of shame so that the dynamics choose to isolate the addict/addicts and this dynamics not flexible being that it must be maintained to keep the 'secret'. To maintain it, there is no sense of empathy and emotions are kept in check. Members of the family in charge ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of addiction in the family. In articular, the solution explores the roles and dynamics in an addictive family system using examples. It also provides information on some legal and ethical issues in relation to counseling families of substance abusers. This solution is 1019 words and resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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Substance Abuse in the Context of the Family System

Usually substance abuse is viewed as an individual problem, and the addicted family member is treated apart from the family system. However, through the readings I have learned to understand substance abuse as a family issue. Discuss your clinical impression of how substance abuse can be viewed as a coping mechanism and as an indication of an underlying family issue; be sure to include your understanding of how addiction impacts the family as a system.

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