How Does Addiction Affect the Families of Drug Addicts
Addiction affects countless people all over the world. Every year, babies are born with a dependence on a substance their mothers used during pregnancy. Each year, a teenager abuses alcohol or experiments with a drug or two. Then, there are the adults who battle with alcoholism due to their stress levels. People struggle with addiction for various reasons. But, when it comes to addiction, it’s important to realize that the person struggling is not the only one who is impacted by the addiction problem. The families of drug addicts also have a lot to deal with. They are also affected by the issues substance dependence causes. As a result, these families may have some of the same needs as the people who have an addiction.
What Are the Effects of Addiction?
People who struggle with substance abuse and dependence go through a lot of changes. They deal with physical changes. Addiction also impacts their cognitive and behavioral patterns. It can even impact their relationships with friends and family members. For many of the families of drug addicts, substance abuse can present a lot of problems. Here as some of those issues:
It creates an unhealthy distance. A lot of the families of drug addicts go through isolation. They may feel that they are being shut out of the lives of their addicted loved ones. Immediate family members, such as the spouse or children of a person with an addiction, may be isolated from the extended family.
Addiction places family members in an awkward position. Often, families of drug addicts are labeled as “enablers”. This term has quite a negative connotation. But, most people do not intend to enable or condone the addictions of their loved one. Addiction changes the way people act and feel. So, seeing a loved one who seems to “need” a substance makes it hard for families. It sometimes leads them to allow their addicted family members to engage in harmful activity just to keep the peace.
It negatively impacts children. Kids who see their parents or other adult loved ones deal with addiction often grow up in a harmful environment. They may be physically or emotionally abused by the adults. Or, the children may end up leading a life of addiction because of the example their parents set.
The family dynamics are altered. In the families of drug addicts, the children may be removed from their home due to neglection. In other situations, spouses may separate from their addicted loved one. These changes can cause some children to be raised in the homes of other family members, such as grandparents. Other kids might be placed in foster care.
Finances within the home can fail because people may spend money on alcohol or drugs. This can lead to poor living environments or even homelessness.
Helping the Families of Drug Addicts
As we’ve talked about, addiction can have a big impact on the families drug addicts. So, since substance abuse impacts the whole group, it’s important that everyone who is involved gets help. If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, an intervention may be in order. Your family member needs professional help overcoming this issue. But, you and your family are also in need of healing.
Here at Wellness Retreat Recovery Center (WRRC), we believe that the families of drug addicts also need care and treatment. That’s why we offer a family recovery program. We believe that recovery is a family matter. So, we work with both the addicted individual and the family members to make sure that each one finds the healing and peace that they need. To learn more about our family recovery or seek help for a loved one, please contact us today.