Complexity of Addiction and Family Business

Complexity of Addiction and Family Business

The truth is that the foundation of most family businesses is a healthy, cohesive, and functioning family unit. So, it stands to reason that a troubled family business correlates to trouble within the family. One of the most disruptive potentials for dismantling that family cohesion is active addiction.

Active addiction can tear a family apart. Thus when the business is intertwined with the family, it too will suffer. The harm that addiction can bring into a family business can include financial, legal, and customer-related consequences. The truth is that when addiction interrupts the family dynamic, the primary goal is to get that struggling loved one the help they need. However, when a business is involved, there are added layers of obstacles that can impede that help.

Here at Clere Consulting, we understand that every family’s journey with addiction and recovery is unique. That is why we create an individualized plan for all of our clients, including those that have the added complexities of running a family business.

The Complex Dynamics of a Family Business

Even without the added element of active addiction, a family business often faces many complex family dynamics. This can come from the hierarchy of certain family members and their positions within the company. The dynamic of finance within the family can sometimes create conflict. Also, the inability to inflict meaningful occupational consequences can come up when it comes to dealing with the fear of hurting a family member’s feelings or financial situation.

While these dynamics may exist, there are plenty of tools and resources that can help smooth these situations out. There are techniques that can help mitigate these problems. However, these problems become significantly complicated when a family member is struggling with substance use disorder (SUD).

The Complex Dynamics of Addiction

Active addiction does not need any help in complicating an individual’s life. When struggling with untreated SUD, business consequences are just one of the many that can be incurred. 

Active addiction drives the individual who is struggling to ignore the consequences of their using as long as they don’t interfere with feeding their addiction. This may include strained relationships, physical harm, and financial repercussions. Of course, if part of a family business, all of these consequences can bleed into both the family home and the family workplace.

Addiction as a ‘Family Disease’

It is accepted by many in the recovery and treatment industry that addiction is a “family disease.” That means that an individual struggling with addiction can have emotional, mental, and physical effects on their entire family. This is why the entire family needs to get the help they need. 

The family needs help recovering from the emotional trauma that seeing a loved one struggling with addiction can cause. They need help processing the mental anxiety that often occurs when addiction causes codependence. They also often need help to alleviate the physical stress and strain that dealing with active addiction can create. If addiction is a family disease, it stands to reason that that disease would also infect a family business.

The Compounding Complexities of Addiction on the Family Business

When addiction starts to affect the family business, it can cause panic in both the home and the workplace. Questions of how to handle a struggling loved one now have the added layer of business consequences. This is dangerous because it may cause family members to underreact and enable a loved one to continue their toxic behaviors.

When family business goals are interrupted by a loved one struggling with SUD, it is important first to get the individual of concern the help they need. This may include cutting them off from all or certain aspects of the family business.

Cutting a family member off (perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently) will help you to get back to focusing on your business and potentially repairing any damage that addiction may have wrought. More importantly, it will allow your loved one to focus on what is most important for them: getting the treatment they desperately need.

Healing: The Individual, Family, and Business

Here at Clere Consulting, we understand that addiction treatment does not just apply to the individual that is struggling. Addiction can inflict trauma on the entire family; thus, the entire family deserves to recover. We also understand that a family business can be uniquely affected by addiction. That is why we have the tools, resources, and specialists that work directly with family businesses.

We know that the last thing we as a family want to think about when a loved one is struggling is how it is going to affect our business. However, the truth is that business consequences are a reality of addiction; it is completely understandable to take the family business into account.

Yes, helping a loved one struggling with addiction is the primary purpose. But yes, ensuring your business remains intact is important as well. With Clere Consulting, both are possible.

There are a lot of unique dynamics when it comes to owning a family business. When addiction is brought into the mix, the negative aspects of those family dynamics can be seriously compounded. A family member struggling with substance use disorder can cause extreme damage to a family business. From the financial to customer relations, the effects of addiction can impact a family business’s success in the long term. At Clere Consulting, we have experts that can help mitigate this damage and help get your family and its business on the right track. Addiction is a serious problem, which is why we have serious solutions to help. Contact Clere Consulting today at (866) 384-8847 for more information.