It is a well known fact that a drug addiction can impact or destroy all areas of the individual’s life, as well as the lives of their families. Family dynamics may be affected and the damage difficult to repair.
How are Families Affected by Substance Abuse?
The individual who is abusing drugs doesn’t stop to reflect of their actions or the consequences thereof. This causes conflict within their personal relationships. Some of the factors that affect the impact on families could be:
Focusing Time and Energy on Drugs
The individual with an addiction will usually spend most of their time, energy and focus on obtaining drugs and using them. This leaves them with little to no time to spend with their families. Conflict arises within the family because the individual continuously puts drugs ahead of their relationships.
One of the biggest impacts that a drug addiction has on an individual is on their finances. Generally, the individual spends whatever money they can get their hands on to get more drug. Often the individual will not have money to pay for rent or groceries, causing their families to go broke. It is easy to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in a very short period of time, all to sustain a drug habit. The individual with an addiction may also not be able to function in their job, and be let go, thus creating a bigger financial burden on their spouse or partner. The individual and their families may have to face bankruptcy, foreclosure, losing their savings and so on
Damage Caused to Children
Children are often a casualty of their parent’s drug addiction, being inflicted with serious emotional, sometimes physical, damage. The individual with the addiction may behave violently towards their children, or even sexually abuse them. Many children of addicted individual suffer long term emotional and psychological damage. Government studies show that an estimate of 50-80% of child abuse and neglect incidents are a result of the parent (or parents) being involved with drugs or alcohol.
Neglecting Spouse or Partner
The individual with an addiction may be abusing their spouse or partner, physically or emotionally. The individual may cheat, or seek other forms of satisfaction outside the relationship, and then justify their actions. An estimated 75% of domestic violence incidents occur as a result of one or more of the individuals involved having used drugs or alcohol.
The Effects of Addiction
As explained above, the individual’s drug addiction can easily cause havoc within the family. It may lead to a separation or divorce with their spouse or partner. It may create an unstable environment for their children. The individual is almost certain to suffer financial difficulties. The impact of drug addiction only causes damage in the individual’s life and the lives of their loved ones.
Sustain Recovery’s gender separate programs provide a safe, structured environment for adolescents to learn about living substance free. Call us to find out how we can help you.