Women health

The 6 Most Dangerous Consequences of Drug Addiction on Family Members

More than 21 million Americans aged 12 and up have suffered a substance misuse problem, such as alcohol or drug addiction, at some point in their lives. Addiction is a condition that affects not only a person's physical health but also their psychological and emotional well-being. The detrimental effects of addiction on the user have been well-documented.

Addiction affects the user, but it has a greater emotional impact on the user's family. Addiction and family have a special link that the substance abuser is rarely aware of. The impact of substance misuse on the family will be discussed in this article.

Addiction and Family Members' Relationships

When a family is coping with a loved one who is suffering from an addiction, they are likely to experience tremendous and conflicting emotions, which can strain even the strongest of bonds. The addict's family realizes that their loved one isn't purposely causing issues or harming them. They feel compelled to offer him or her support, love, and encouragement as a result of their empathy.

On the other hand, the addict's daily manipulation, deception, and other forms of emotional abuse are a source of anguish and frustration for the family. As a result, these negative feelings appear in harmful ways, potentially straining family relationships.

The following are some of the most devastating effects of substance abuse on families.

1 . The Impact on Children

According to studies, one out of every five children has a parent who misuses drugs or alcohol. If a parent struggles with addiction or substance misuse, the ramifications of that condition will almost certainly affect the child's development. This is especially problematic in single-parent families because the children have no one else to turn to for help.

When a parent develops an addiction, they are too preoccupied with finding and consuming their substance of choice to pay attention to their obligations. As a result, they will be unable to meet their child's needs. This irresponsibility extends from basic needs such as feeding and cleaning the child to secondary demands such as ensuring their child receives an education and has a social life.

In addition, there is a link between addiction and a higher likelihood of child maltreatment. According to studies, abused children have a higher risk of developing a substance misuse problem later in life. Even if the child does not develop a substance abuse problem, living up in such a setting will harm their emotional and mental health. This will have a negative impact on their self-esteem, health, and social development.

2 .Trust Deficits

Addicts are unlikely to follow through on their commitments or promises, putting their relationships under even more hardship. It's worth mentioning, though, that most addicts intend to keep their promises, but the effects of the drugs prevent them from doing so. As a result, if they're in a relationship, their significant other will be upset by the addict's failure to fulfill their responsibilities.

They're also prone to forgetting their pledges to their children. If this becomes a pattern, the youngster will struggle to build ties with other people because he or she does not know how to trust. Broken marriages and dysfunctional children are common outcomes of a lack of trust.

3. The Increased Stress

The addict would most likely delegate all obligations to their spouse while in the grips of their addiction. As a result, the partner takes on the role of enabler.

Taking care of money, making decisions, parenting the children, and cleaning up after the addict will soon wear the other parent down. This puts them at a higher risk of developing stress-related illnesses including high blood pressure and anxiety.

Furthermore, those who keep their tension bottled up are more prone to explode and release all of their emotions at once. This might add to family members' stress and dissatisfaction.

4. Problems with money

Addiction isn't inexpensive to fund. Furthermore, the individual's substance misuse problem will almost certainly result in the individual losing their work due to poor performance or attendance. After that, they'll have to rely on their savings to feed their addiction.

As a result, the family will have difficulty paying for basic necessities including food, clothing, utilities, and rent or mortgage.

There could also be legal issues, such as being caught driving under the influence or using drugs. The associated costs exacerbate the financial situation.

To placate the addict, enablers may even donate money for booze or drugs. This not only depletes their income, but it also makes the addict believe that their family will always be there to help them pay for their fix.

5. Abuse, both physical and emotional

The addict's substance misuse is likely to make everyone around them nervous, in addition to making them unreasonable. As a result, small conflicts can escalate into major brawls because everyone feels misunderstood.

Physical violence may begin to arise as a result of everyone acting out of character, on top of the pre-existing emotional abuse. Addicts might be the perpetrators of abuse, but their weakness makes them vulnerable to becoming victims.

Children of addicts are at risk of becoming abusers themselves. Some children may misbehave and act out in an attempt to shift blame away from the addicted parent. These activities may scare children and lead them to drink or take drugs like their relatives did. Abuse and addiction can spiral out of control, and treatment is the only way to break the cycle.

6. Existential anguish and Fear

Drug abuse usually makes an individual’s behavior unpredictable. You never know how they’ll react to a situation. Family members may begin walking on eggshells to placate their addicted loved one in order to escape physical or mental abuse.

To avoid upsetting the individual, children will become more reserved. The ultimate effect is a culture of fear and ambiguity, which assures that there is rarely any joy in the home.

Addiction and the Roles of Families

Several relatives come to the aid of a family member who is battling with substance misuse. When addiction enters the picture, the dynamics of the family shift, and each family member plays one of six dysfunctional roles in order to maintain balance and normalcy. Each function can help you gain a better understanding of how substance misuse affects families.

The real Addict

The family's key part is played by the addict. Substances take precedence in the Addict's life, and as a result, he or she hurts, manipulates, and lies to his or her loved ones and family members. They are prone to blaming others for their troubles, separating themselves from those who love them the most. Many addicts refuse to give up their addiction, which can lead to resentment and hostility among family members.

The main Enabler

The Enabler is frequently a spouse, partner, or, in the case of a single-family household, the oldest child. In some circumstances, the youngster closest to the user is the culprit. The Enabler tends to pick up where the Addict leaves off, paying bills, keeping the house clean, and making sure the kids get to school. To placate the addict, they may even give him or her money to buy drugs and alcohol.

This behavior hides the Enabler's feelings of betrayal, anger, and hurt produced by the Addict.

The Hero look

The Hero (generally the oldest child) is a dedicated overachiever who always receives straight A's in school. The Hero acts in this way to hide their feelings of guilt, inadequacy, anxiety, and tension. They also want to maintain a feeling of normalcy in the family and feel compelled to assume increasing levels of responsibility. Performing at this level might cause a lot of stress for the Hero, which can lead to a lot of anxiety.

The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat, the family's rebellious member, is a child that acts out and misbehaves frequently to divert themselves from the chaos in their home. Scapegoats are generally blamed for the family's troubles, and they frequently resent the Addict for placing them in this situation. As scapegoats grow older, they are more prone to run afoul of the law. Women are more likely to participate in dangerous sexual behavior, whereas men are more likely to physically abuse their own families.

The Mascot source

The Mascot, sometimes known as the "class clown," provides comic relief to the family. The Mascot may be counted on to deliver a chuckle when the Addict is creating misery and suffering in the home. He or she will frequently put their own needs aside in order to provide the necessary humor for everyone to cope. Mascots will most likely self-medicate with drink or drugs as they reach older to cope with their childhood trauma.

The Lost Child difficulty

Finally, the Lost Child has difficulties interacting with people and has social skills that are underdeveloped. The Lost Child, who is usually the middle or youngest child, is withdrawn and prefers to spend time alone. They indulge in fantasy play to escape their difficult family life, and as they grow older, they struggle to develop relationships and put off making key decisions.

It's easy to see how substance misuse may have a negative impact on a family. Every person in the household is affected differently by this disease, and the majority of the time it is bad. When a user understands the link between addiction and family, they are more likely to make positive changes in their lives.

Addiction in the Family: How to Handle It

When you realize your loved one has a substance abuse issue, the first thing you should do is encourage them to get treatment. Approach them while they're calm and sober, and speak lovingly to them. Explain to them, using facts, how their addiction affects not just them but also the rest of the family.

If they refuse to listen, consider staging an intervention with other family members and a therapist.

It is critical that the entire family receives counseling or treatment. This is advantageous in terms of assisting everyone in recovering and moving on from the effects of the addiction. A therapist will establish an atmosphere in which everyone may express their feelings and thoughts. They can also assist you in overcoming current obstacles while applying trust-building tactics.

Drug addiction can have devastating consequences for family members. Affected families will have a greater chance of restoring their lives and relationships if they seek treatment for the addict and therapy for the entire family.

How Can Family Therapy Aid Addiction Recovery?

One of the various aftercare treatments available at Discovery Institute is family therapy. When the entire family comes to visit the addict in treatment, they can get a better sense of how he or she is doing and offer support and encouragement. You can better understand what your addicted loved one is going through as a family member by observing the patterns and circumstances that may have contributed to substance misuse.

The types of family therapy available at Discovery is listed below.

Family counseling on an individual basis:

Individual family counseling allows family members to attend treatment without the addict present, allowing them to process their own feelings and emotions regarding their loved one's situation.

Family counseling in a group setting:

Attending counseling with your addicted family member is also crucial. You'll be able to progress in your recovery together and discover more about each other this way.

We recognize the need of providing services and assistance to family members of addicts during their recovery, which is why we do so. We offer a number of online addiction resources that will give you a behind-the-scenes look into addiction and how it impacts all parties involved. Addicts can learn how substance addiction impacts their families through this type of counseling.










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