Parent & Family Support
It may seem counter-intuitive or even selfish, but finding a way forward from the chaos and pain of addiction for your family starts with getting help for yourself—regardless of whether your loved one seeks treatment for substance abuse. You've already taken the most important step. You are looking for answers and resources. We are here to help.
“We work with the whole family system to begin to shift the focus from problem to solution for each individual and the family as a whole.”
- Kirsten Banks, MA, LPC, CIP, CAI
Addiction is a family disease
While it’s difficult to calculate the number of families today who suffer from addiction, we know that one in seven Americans will face addiction in their lifetime. We also know that addiction is an equal opportunity disease, reaching people across age, race, gender and socioeconomic status. Families of all shapes and sizes are affected.
Addiction has been recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association since 1956. The American Society of Addiction Medicine describes addiction as "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry."
Like other chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. We also know that genetics can play a role in the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. If a parent has alcohol or other drug addiction, his or her child is six times more likely to develop a substance use disorder. So, the disease of addiction can get passed from one generation to the next, which explains why some families may experience addiction and its affects more than others. The good news is that, like other chronic diseases, addiction can be treated.
Parent Recovery Network (PRN)
Kirsten Banks is one of the founders of the Parent Recovery Network (PRN). Through PRN, Kirsten helps facilitate and provide program management support to the organization, a free local support group in Cumming, Georgia. This group is for parents or grandparents of any age child with substance use disorder and/or other addictions.
Parent Recovery Network was founded to help connect parents in communities who have loved ones of any age who struggle with substance abuse or any addictions. These families, because of their shared traumatic experience, offer hope, support and insight to each other as they walk through the often-turbulent waters of parenting someone who is dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues.
Family intensives are one- or two-day long workshops that we provide to the whole family. Often this will also include specialized programs for children in the family as well who have not been able to talk or understand what has been happening in the family. This is a way for the family to finally come together for education and emotional processing together as a family. In these workshops we create a tailored program of educational information and family therapy to assist the family with healing as a whole and individually. We will additionally make any further referrals for the family members after the workshop if necessary. Contact us for more specific details about how a family intensive workshop could meet your family’s needs.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health; November 2016.
- Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment (National Institute on Drug Abuse)