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The Impact Addiction Can Have on Families

When an individual finds themself struggling with addiction, it often affects their family and life at home. Our homes are supposed to be our safe-havens. However, the impact addiction has can significantly alter the dynamics. Eventually, the addiction becomes an unwanted house guest that holds everyone hostage.

Though addiction has a significant impact on the whole family, it affects each member differently. Here are a few examples.

The Impact on Spouses

When your partner becomes addicted to substances, it can throw a loop in your relationship. Though addictions have a notable impact on the person suffering, the physical, psychological, and behavioral side effects such as mood swings, erratic behavior, poor hygiene, and lying will likely impact both of you. In addition, negative consequences to the user’s work and social life, financial difficulties, and even trouble with the law may be experienced.

Discovering that your partner has an alcohol or drug addiction will take an emotional toll. It could leave you feeling worried, upset, betrayed, or even angry. Your mental health might suffer, and you may find yourself wondering how you can both heal from the effects of addiction together.

Essentially, your partner will need professional medical help to recover from their addiction. This will include medical detox and therapy. However, it is vital to remember that you also need support on this journey. Across the country, there are support groups for partners of those with addiction. You may also find couples therapy beneficial.

The Impact on Parents

Finding out your child has an addiction is devastating, especially as all you want is the best for them. It may also come as a shock, particularly as you may not have noticed the signs of addiction. However, don’t blame yourself – people with substance abuse disorders can be very good at hiding their struggles.

As you come to terms with your child’s addiction, you might worry about what the right thing to say to your child is. You may even fear making things worse as your child’s addiction may have caused them to become irritable. It is also normal for you to feel angry and question why they can just snap out of it. 

Caring for someone suffering from addiction can be overwhelming. It can cause cracks in personal relationships to appear. Though you might want to point the finger, you must realize that neither you nor your partner is to blame.

Helping your child can seem challenging, and you may feel helpless. As addictions require medical treatment, you cannot cure your child of their addiction. However, you can aid their recovery. 

Remember that although help and support are available for those suffering from addiction, there are many support groups for parents of people with addiction. Attending a support group aimed at parents and family members will enable you to seek advice and guidance from others who know what you are going through.

The Impact on Children

Children of one or two parents with addiction can find life unpredictable and confusing. They might feel guilt, shame, or blame. In addition, the addiction will affect their home life, no matter how well it is hidden from them. Unfortunately, this may disrupt routines, roles, communication, and finances. 

Studies have found that children of parents who abuse often suffer adverse outcomes in their development. These include emotional and behavioral problems, social problems, and reduced academic functioning.  

It should also be noted that children of addicted parents are at risk of role reversal. This is where they take on the role of caregiver for their parents and any younger siblings. This can include paying bills, buying groceries, and offering emotional support.

The effects of having an addicted parent can be long-lasting. Children of substance abusing parents have an increased risk of developing a substance abuse disorder.

You Are Not Alone

It can be hard to accept that this is happening to your family. But know that addiction affects all types of families. Addiction is a disease and no one’s fault. What’s important is how you move forward.

With appropriate support, you can get through this together. The first step is securing appropriate treatment for your addicted family member. From here, families affected by drug abuse can turn to support groups, family therapy, and counseling.

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    Marietta, GA 30066

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