addiction aftermath

Emotional Aftermath of a Loved One’s Addiction

Drug addiction takes away the ability to stop using drugs or alcohol without support. A person with addiction will continue using in spite of harm it brings to the self or others. Some substances are more addictive than others. Other drugs have more potent effects. Over time, dependence can lead to addiction. Learn how to cope with the emotional aftermath of a loved one’s addiction and how to support a person through recovery.

Factors Influencing Addiction

Many factors have an influence on whether a loved one could struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Some factors may include:

  • Genetics
  • Abusing drugs at an early age
  • Emotional and physical trauma
  • Family history

Addiction is challenging to overcome as it affects the body and brain. Quitting is not just a matter of willpower or morality but a struggle against forces out of one’s own control in the moment.

Challenges to Overcoming Addiction

Some substances fool the brain into releasing neurochemicals which produce a euphoric high. Drugs like cocaine or meth may cause the brain to release too much of a happiness-inducing chemical, dopamine. Both drug types alter the brain’s makeup in ways which make a person addicted chemically. People who develop a tolerance to drugs need more to achieve the same effect until addiction occurs.

Coming to Terms with Addiction

A loved one’s addiction is never anyone’s fault but the person who is struggling, Addiction impacts family and loved ones who often want to help but end up in the cycle of physical and emotional pain wrought by addiction. Alcohol and drug abuse may impact directly a person’s life but nobody else is to blame. Once a person accepts responsibility for his or her actions, it is time for the healing to begin. It is natural to feel hurt by a person’s addiction but it is important to recognize emotions which can build up over time. Support groups are a great place to connect with others who understand the experience of having a loved one with addiction.

How to Get Help

Numerous ways exist to help a loved one with addiction. The following are just a few to get started:

  • Stage an intervention with a professional
  • Detox which is medically-assisted support for withdrawal (inpatient or outpatient)
  • Inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities with proper care for individuals undergoing treatment
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy provides therapeutic support for addiction including ways to cope with negative emotions without abusing substances
  • Support groups are like-minded individuals who can help loved ones struggling with addiction

It is important to remain supportive yet firm regarding treatment. It helps to speak with people who understand the situation and can provide the proper support for the journey.


The Villa provides resources and tools to help you cope with a loved one’s addiction. If you are struggling or know someone who is struggling to quit using drugs or alcohol, call us. We can help you decide the next best steps to take towards recovery.