Addiction is life-altering not only for individuals, but also for families. It brings relationships to ruin. The struggle of an addict and the repercussions of their actions go far beyond them. Drug addicts not only endanger their lives, but also all those who fall within their close circle. Your substance abuse seriously affects your loved ones, whether it’s your spouse, child, or parents.
Millions of families are affected by alcohol and drug addiction causing tensions in relationships, financial constraints and the likelihood of abuse. Due to the unique dynamics of each family, not all families experience the same magnitude of destruction. No matter how you look at it, addiction has a profound effect on family relationships.
It may not be obvious at first, but gradually it affects all aspects of the addict’s life. Here’s how drug addiction affects family members:
Risk of addiction
When an adult family member is addicted, they inflict the most harm on children. According to a study by the National Association for the Children of Alcoholics, among children raised by alcoholics, the likelihood of succumbing to addiction was four times that of their peers.
When young children become teenagers, they may choose to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs to cope with stress at home. Adaptability makes children very resistant to trauma, so the repercussions may not become apparent until they grow up.
Addiction takes over life. Drug abuse can have obvious direct costs, but it also has indirect consequences. It is common for drug addicts to have difficulty performing basic tasks.
When the addict’s mind is full of their next fix, they may not be able to focus on tasks like going to work or paying their bills. Substance users are often unable to keep a job, so if they are parents or caregivers, they will contribute less income to their household. It means that there are fewer funds available to purchase household necessities. This can make it difficult to pay for rent, food, and utilities. They often buy drugs / alcohol by stealing money or pawning valuables.
It is not uncommon for a substance addicted person to separate themselves from their friends and family and stop worrying about the things that used to interest them. An abandonment of a best friend, partner or spouse can be painful, as the loss occurs quite suddenly.
Living with a drug addicted partner can be challenging. Sometimes it leads to aggressive arguments, verbal abuse, and even violence. A child raised in such a home can be confused between his drunken parents and the sober and stable version of his parents.
Too much negativity
It is common for people living with an addiction to create a toxic home environment with patronizing comments or complaints. Observing this can lead children to adopt this type of behavior.
They learn that only emotional turmoil can get their attention, and this is not healthy. Families and friends of people struggling with substance abuse or addiction may encounter a number of negative attitudes and emotions.
Your self-esteem can be damaged and your sense of self-worth can be eroded. If a spouse loses hope or is disappointed, it is likely because common efforts or goals fall apart and the addiction becomes more powerful than the relationship or family needs. Teenagers or children in such households often face a lot of fear and anxiety and suffer greatly as a result.
Addicts tend to be reserved. Secrecy increases the likelihood of lying and cheating, leading to real problems. The relatives and closest friends of addicts are unaware of their activities, leaving them in a constant state of anxiety and fear.
People in your close circle may feel disrespected due to perceived disrespect, honesty, and loyalty. Having a sense of trust within any relationship is crucial.
Addicts are often dishonest, evasive, and reserved about their habits, and this often creates mistrust in their loved ones. In the absence of the necessary balance, problems such as jealousy, anger, fear and resentment can arise that can damage the relationship.
Parents may wonder if they provided the best parenting when their children are secretive and engage in substance abuse.
There are no limits when it comes to drug / alcohol addiction. Often leaves a permanent scar. Seek professional help if your loved one is in substance abuse.
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