How Addiction Affects the Family

shutterstock_243828643.jpg

Addiction to drugs or alcohol can wreak havoc on a person’s family, friends, work, social and other aspects of life. Family dynamics are greatly impacted, causing damage not easily repaired. Addiction not only affects the individual but loved ones as well, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

 

Impact on Family

Abusing drugs is destructive to all areas of a person’s life, including loved ones. When a person does not stop to reflect on actions, choices or consequences, everyone can suffer including the family. Addiction consumes a large portion of a person’s time, energy and focus as it becomes the top priority. Little room is left for anything else but loved ones may experience a variety of emotions about addiction including:

  • Resentment
  • Bitterness
  • Hurt
  • Jealousy

 

Financial Stress

Financial stress is a major component of addiction for individuals and family members. Most money a person makes goes towards drugs or alcohol, funding a habit and causing financial stress on the family which struggles to support the person with addiction. A person with addiction may not be able to function in the workplace, resulting in job loss and a greater burden on the family, spouse or partner to provide the sole income. Families may face the following financial issues as a result of addiction:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Losing life or retirement savings
  • Other financial losses

 

Children

Drug addiction can wreak emotional havoc on children. Abuse of drugs or alcohol may cause a person to become violent, emotionally or sexually abusive to children. Many children of persons with addiction suffer from long term emotional and psychological damage with long term effects on social stability, education and mental health. Drugs may cause a child to feel the person with addiction is no longer reliable or stable and feel insecure. The child may turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.

 

Spouse or Partner Issues

Addiction can lead to spousal or partner abuse including physical and emotional conflict. Many intimate relationships suffer through drug addiction leading to cheating or seeking other forms of satisfaction outside the relationship by the person with addiction. An estimated 75% of domestic violence incidents occur as a result of one or more individuals being involved with drugs or alcohol.

 

Health Risks

Judgement is greatly impaired by drug or alcohol use which may cause a person to participate in risky sexual behavior putting a person at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. When a person uses intravenous drugs, the needle being shared puts that person and others at risk of contracting blood borne diseases that can be transmitted to the other partner.

 

Overall Effects of Addiction

The effects of drugs on a family may lead to separation or divorce, cause instability for children and wreak emotional or physical havoc. Financial difficulties and health issues may arise causing long lasting damage. Seeking help for recovery is the only option to getting past the trauma towards healing and hope for a better future.

If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, the chaos it creates can feel overwhelming but there is hope. Hired Power offers resources and tools to support the journey to recovery for individuals with addiction.