When a person is struggling with addiction, they often feel like it’s solely a personal experience. In fact, because of the devastating facts that addictive substances have on the user, it might not be obvious to them how addiction affects families. When a loved one is struggling with addiction, their parents, children, and spouses often experience negative effects as well.
Understanding How Addiction Affects Families
In many cases, the effects of addiction happen so gradually, that family members might not even realize what is going on until much later. It’s often only during family therapy that a true understanding of how addiction affects families begins to become evident. Below are just a few of the many ways that addiction changes families.
Separation From Relationships
One of the first signs that families often notice about their loved one is that they no longer want to do those activities that previously interested them. Whether this means going on outings with the family or doing things around the house, a person with addiction often begins to separate themselves from those relationships that are closest to them.
Negativity And Emotional Turmoil
Not surprisingly, another way how addiction affects families is the negativity and emotional turmoil that’s often present during this time. Because lying often occurs as the person who is addicted tries to hide their habits from their loved ones, mistrust begins to work its way into these relationships.
The spouse and other close family members of the person who is struggling might also start to blame themselves for a whole host of problems. These could range from issues such as not being a good enough spouse to not seeing the signs of addiction soon, and more.
Among the family members of those who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, anxiety and depression issues tend to occur frequently. The children within those families are often greatly affected by the presence of an addicted adult in their lives.
Pushes Others Into A Caretaker Role
Drugs and alcohol have devastating effects on the brain and body of the person who is addicted. This can lead to a variety of diseases, illnesses, and other medical disorders. When this occurs, family members are often pulled into a caretaking role that they must undertake in addition to their other responsibilities.
A related issue occurs when the spouse of the person who is struggling with addiction must take on the role of both parents. Sometimes this is due to the poor health of the addicted person. In other cases, it’s because obtaining their next high consumes so much of their energy. Regardless of why it happens, it places a burden on their spouse.
Challenges To The Family’s Finances
Inevitably, addiction leads to financial instability for the family. It often starts because the person who is addicted begins to funnel money that’s earmarked for other uses, such as paying rent or for groceries, into paying for drugs or alcohol.
Eventually, the person who is struggling with substance use disorder might not be able to hold a job. These actions can spiral out of control and leave the family in a precarious position. In some cases, theft and other criminal behaviors might also be present.
No Matter How Addiction Affects Families, There’s Hope
Sometimes, addiction can seem hopeless and like there is nowhere to turn. At Santé Center for Healing, the compassionate staff works closely with you and your family to help you recover. We offer:
- Family-focused treatment
- Therapist-lead process group
- Educational session
- Focus on codependency
- Social activities
- Comprehensive care
Contact us today at 866.238.3154 and start turning your life around.