How One Person's Substance Addiction Affects Their Entire Family

family staging an intervention

Substance abuse, drug addiction, and alcoholism all take heavy tolls on the life of the user who is struggling for sobriety. What is not as clear as the consequences on the user is how addiction negatively impacts the user’s family and loved ones. This can make it extremely difficult to actually begin down the path to recovery, as that cannot effectively happen until every problem is known and addressed. If you want to combat your loved one’s substance addiction problem, then you need to be able to know and say clearly how it is impacting you and the other members of their family.

Common family problems created or worsened by drug addiction include:

  • Communication failures: Any sort of regular communication with someone who is struggling with substance abuse or addiction can be problematic. Unspoken feelings of resentment, jealousy, and suspicion of manipulation can poison every conversation. After a while, it may feel like there is an actual wall between the user and their family, with neither side knowing how to tear it down.
  • Inadequate child raising: One of the first yet most important responsibilities that falls away due to substance addiction is child raising. Parents struggling with addiction will begin to neglect their children, who may actually be fearful of them. Inversely, children addicted to drugs or alcohol will rapidly push away their parents.
  • Financial woes: Substance addiction destroys personal finances for a variety of reasons, including the cost of the substance and the high chance of losing occupation due to addiction. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that addiction requires more and more of a substance to find brief gratification, which means the cost to sustain the addiction will just keep increasing.
  • Violent conflicts: Even the most tranquil and loving families can get tangled in heated arguments and fights when a family member becomes addicted to a substance. Please always be careful when interacting with your loved one who is struggling with addiction, and remove yourself from any situation when you think it could get dangerous.
  • Infidelity: Strong drug and alcohol addiction creates rifts between spouses and significant others. In order to partake in the damaging substance of choice, the user often displaces themselves into crowds that also use the substance. After a while, the distance and displacement can result in infidelity with a new face, perhaps driven by stupors caused by substances or alcohol.
  • Negative influence: Lastly, but certainly not the least, making others addicted to alcohol or drugs is a dangerous and frequent consequence of substance addiction. As one family member worsens in addiction, the persistent behavior can start to rub off on others.

Utilizing Family Therapies to Overcome a Family Problem

When your loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to come together as a family and see if as the family problem that it is. You have certainly been negatively impacted by their addiction, and it is only fair for you to express your concerns. It can be difficult and it takes bravery, but you must be willing to stand up for yourself, break any cycle of codependence, and tell your loved one you want them to get help, for themselves and everyone in your family.

At Decision Point Center in Prescott, we use a variety of treatments, therapies, and customized programs to help people fight and defeat addiction. A crucial form of treatment is family therapy, which engages family members directly in the recovery process to both clear the air and to re-strengthen familial bonds. We can also provide you with useful information family members should know when a loved one is struggling with addiction.

Start down the path to recovery together. Call (844) 292-5010 or contact us online.

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