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What Are the Effects of Drug Addiction on Family Members?

Although addiction affects the individual who uses it, they are not alone in their struggle. When someone struggles with addiction, it is not uncommon for them to do or say things that inflict emotional pain and discomfort on those they care about most. This happens due to what a struggling individual may say or because of how their behaviors and moods change in harmful and often self-destructive ways. These are among the many reasons why addiction is often referred to as a “family disease.” 

What Are the Effects of Drug Addiction on Family Members? 

Addiction does not offer immunity to any member of an addict’s family or social circles. Their family members, friends, spouse, children, and even coworkers all serve as a witness to their loved one’s mind and body experiencing drastic changes. As addiction takes hold, the home or work environment becomes toxic as moods and behaviors change. Trust and communication are often the first things that are compromised as arguments and misunderstandings become a day-to-day occurrence.  

Addiction affects family members in many ways; however, two of the most common are loss of relationships and financial struggles. Drug addiction is costly. Depending on the severity of one’s addiction and their substance of choice, addiction can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars every month. These financial impacts extend throughout the entire family as untreated addiction forces addicts to turn to family and loved ones for financial support. Sometimes this money is used to pay bills or buy food; however, in other cases, it is used to buy drugs. Also, family members who may be desperate to see their loved one get the addiction treatment they so desperately need may drain personal financial resources such as savings accounts, retirement accounts, or even take out a mortgage on their home to help pay their required funds for rehab.

Addiction also has a significant impact on the relationships an addict has with their family. Unfortunately, families are a vital resource for those who struggle with addiction, and it is essential to maintain these relationships whenever possible. It is not uncommon for family and friends to focus their support so intensely on the person with the addiction that they forget to support one another throughout the recovery process. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, supportive relationships, including family support, are one of the four pillars of essential recovery, making repairing and maintaining these relationships a vital part of addiction treatment and recovery. 

What to Do if You Are Struggling With Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, seeking therapy is vital to recovery for everyone. As a family member of a loved one with an addiction, encouraging your loved one to seek treatment is only the first step. The next step is to find an appropriate program that suits their needs and can provide adequate therapy for your loved one and their family members. Without family therapy, it can be challenging to heal damaged relationships and open the lines of honest, trusting communication, which are so vital to ongoing sobriety and recovery. Family plays a critical role in ensuring their loved one’s lasting recovery. Through our family therapy programs at Relevance Recovery, we will work with you to ensure everyone receives the support and guidance they need as your loved one works towards sobriety and family members learn more about the role family plays in that process. If left unaddressed, addiction can have detrimental and irreversible impacts on family relationships. Make today the day that your family vows to confront addiction by contacting Relevance Recovery. 

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