How addiction affects the family
When someone is dealing with a drug or alcohol dependancy issue he/she is not just hurting themselves. The people closest to them are also influenced by the behaviours that come along with an addiction. Family members are affected greatly by the unhealthy lifestyle that accompanies addiction. Parents, children, spouses and also friends of the family can be negatively impacted by the decisions made by and for the addict.
The addiction is not just about the substance being abused. It can have a tremendous affect on their behaviour and thinking patterns which directly and indirectly impacts the family. Family members become preoccupied with the addict and conversely develop there own bad habits to help cope or even numb themselves to the unhealthy family dynamic.
How family members may be negatively affected:
- they may isolate themselves
- they may avoid social engagements for fear of embarrassment
- they have trouble trusting anyone
- they expect the worst in every situation
- anxiety and stress can cause adverse health affects
- they ride a very unstable emotional roller coaster
These are all legitimate feelings and reactions to the unhealthy situation that they feel they are trapped in, but help is available. The good news is there is help available but the first step is to get the struggling addict help likely through a treatment facility. Through time the whole family can heal as trust is rebuilt. Anyone needing assistance to help a family member who may be struggling should feel free to contact us at Always Hope.