How Addiction Affects Family
One of the lies addicts tell themselves is that their drug use only affects them. Unfortunately, that is not true. It intimately affects everyone in an addict’s life. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing the effects that addiction has on friends, family, coworkers, etc. Read on to learn how addiction affects the family.
Addiction can drastically change a person — it can lead otherwise trustworthy people to lie, manipulate, steal, and do other things that they wouldn’t do without the influence of drugs and alcohol. What they say and what they do no longer match up, and they make and break more promises than can be counted. Children are especially vulnerable, as their sense of “normal” will be dysfunction. This can lead to emotional damage and trauma.
Addiction is expensive. On average, addiction costs about ½ a person’s income at the poverty level, and and that’s not taking into account medical costs, legal bills, loss of income (due to missed work or other factors), and more. As a person continues to struggle with addiction, they will find ways to cut expenses so that they can continue to pay for their addiction. Often, that money is taken from necessities such as clothing, food, rent, etc. to feed their addiction, causing other family members, including innocent children, to go without.
Drug and alcohol addiction can and will consume much of the addict’s time and attention, leaving family members wanting. Family members will feel abandoned, hurt, jealous, bitter, etc. Nearly 50% of all child neglect cases are linked to drug addiction. These children will suffer physical, emotional, and mental damages as a result of the neglect, and often will turn to drugs and other substances later in life to cope with the trauma. If adults don’t explain the situation to children, they can feel their lives are falling apart without understanding what is wrong. Often, family members fall into depression, anxiety, learned helplessness, and high risk behaviors.
Recovery is Possible
It is important that family members recover from the effects of drug addiction as well as the recovering addict. Here at Pomarri, we have family education and addiction education courses to help families recover and understand the plight of their loved ones. We understand that it takes time to heal the wounds caused by drug and alcohol addiction, and we help recovering addicts and family members move forward after addiction.