How Alcohol and Drug Addiction Affects Family

May 30th, 2017 in Family Counselling

Those who have had loved ones become addicted to drugs or alcohol know all too well that addiction is not a one-way street. The behaviours of those who are addicted affect all of their close friends and family in a negative way. Unfortunately, when someone is suffering from an addiction they cannot realize how their behaviours are affecting others.

One of the biggest negative effects of addiction is the potential of losing the relationship completely. The person suffering from addiction may isolate themselves from family, and lose interest in activities that previously interested them – isolating themselves from friends and acquaintances even further. Family members may find that the addiction may cause a huge amount of negative mindsets and emotions, and may end up blaming themselves and fostering mistrust between the parties.

As an addiction takes precedence over relationships, spouses and family members will likely find themselves feeling a sense of loss as shared hopes and dreams seem to go out the window. It is not uncommon for those close to a person suffering from addiction to become depressed or anxious. The spouse or family may feel they need to take over a caretaker role, a great burden for someone to take on.  The addiction may also completely change the family dynamic – especially where one family member falls into a habit of enabling the addicted person. When someone enables an addicted person, they end up contributing to the person’s drug or alcohol use as a result of their actions. This can cause friction between the entire family.

Addiction takes a huge toll on finances – when a person’s addiction becomes more frequent, and they run out of financial resources, they may start to rely on family to financially support their addiction. This can also lead to theft, and further friction among family members.

Addiction does not just affect the person who is addicted, it affects all close friends and family members as well. Whether through enabling, family dynamics, or escalating issues such as stealing – and resolving the issue is important for everyone involved.