How Addiction Affects the Family

Individuals who are battling substance addiction are not always aware of how their families are being impacted. People with an addiction are usually too caught up in their cycle of destruction to recognize the harm caused to the people around them. However, it is important to remember that the family members and loved ones of such individuals are battling their own pain, as very often they feel unable to help. This can lead to family dynamics being disrupted, causing sometimes irreparable damage.

Focusing on the Wrong Things

The time, energy and focus of an individual with addiction is always on the drugs. How to obtain them, how to pay for them, when and how to use them. These individuals are not thinking about their families, or their jobs. They don’t care to spend time with their family or friends. This can cause family and friends to feel resentful, bitter and hurt, leading to arguments and recriminations.

Monetary Stress

Individuals with an addiction are always looking for money to pay for more drugs or alcohol. Of course this impacts their family, as such an individual will spend any money they have to support their addiction habit. The individual may also lose their job due to their destructive behavior, further thus creating a bigger burden on their spouse and family. They may be faced with bankruptcy, foreclosure, losing life savings and retirement funds, all because the individual with the addiction constantly needs more money for their habit, at the expense of all other things.

Impact on Children

Children can be very severely affected when a parent struggles with addiction. The parent may act in a violent manner, emotionally abuse their children, or even sexually abuse them, causing lifelong damage. Children of individuals with addiction can suffer emotional and psychological damage, seriously affecting their social ability and mental health. Studies have shown that an estimated 50 to 80 percent of child abuse or child neglect incidents are due to either one or both parents being involved with drugs or alcohol.

Impact on Spouses or Partners

It is estimated that 75 percent of domestic violence incidents take place due to one or both partners being involved with drugs or alcohol. Even without such incidents of abuse, many intimate relationships can suffer badly due to one of the spouses or partners struggling with addiction. The individual who is addicted may seek satisfaction outside the relationship, and attempt to justify their actions.

It is clear that addiction can have serious effects on an individual’s family. It may lead to divorce or separation, create an unstable environment on their children, and cause financial difficulties.

Do you have a loved one who needs support? Does your family need counselling? If so, call us on 1-818-639-7160. We are here to help.