How Addiction Effects Other Family Members

How Addiction Effects the Entire Family

By Jennifer McDougall

Addiction takes a toll on the whole family. It can be hard watching someone you love self-destruct and bring harm to themselves as they divulge in substance abuse. Maybe you are experiencing something similar in your family. There’s no easy way to address these issues to someone is abusing drugs and alcohol because chances are they are in denial and refuse to admit there is any problem present, regardless of how obvious it is to you.

Growing up with an addicted family member can put a strain on family bonds, causing immense stress during the holidays and any other family get-togethers. One may even experience physical, mental, or emotional abuse from a loved one addicted to drugs and alcohol. Growing up under these conditions, no matter how old or how many years pass the trauma and pain lie there somewhere under the surface. It important to remain aware of the conditions in which you are living in and experiencing so that you can create boundaries from the effects brought on by addiction-related pain.

The important thing to remember is that this person or family member who is over-indulging or abusing drugs and alcohol is doing so because of their own underlying conditions and unresolved problems. This is not your fault and sometimes no matter how hard you try or what you do, the one suffering needs to be ready to be the treatment they need to fully recover from substance abuse.

If you have an addicted family member, you know the heart wrenching feeling of mistrust, betrayal, and a lack of confidence when it comes to relying on that individual.

Affects on Family Ties

  • Overall negative environment causing everyone around to feel weighed down and irritable
  • Increased stress for all members of the family
  • Broken communication adding to more arguments and disagreements
  • Cause of reversed roles (children becoming the caretakers of an addicted parent or family member)
  • Abusive situations that are brought on by substance abuse 
  • Financial troubles from bad spending habits, job loss, or poor judgment
  • Embarrassment for other family members dealing with an addicted parent, spouse or sibling
  • Conflicts between all family members and unresolved issues
  • Violence is a likely possibility when drugs or alcohol are present 
  • Cheating on a partner or spouse brought on from poor judgment
  • Increased heal problems in the addicted family member or even a non-addicted family member due to stress from the heart wrenching dynamics
  • Jealousy and resentment of other family members and friends 

Affects on the Children

  • Physical, emotional, mental, and sometimes even sexual abuse
  • Difficulties in intimate relationships later in life
  • They feel guilty or responsible for any issues related to the addicted parent
  • Exhibits general anxiety symptoms, social dysfunctions, insensitivity, PTSD, difficulties coping with stress, and impulsive behaviors 
  • Neediness along with emotional distance and unwillingness to connect to others on a deep on a meaningful level due to fear of rejection or any type of criticism
  • Insecurities when it comes to speaking or behaving amongst other people due to their trouble in understanding what normal is and is not
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth from years of feeling inadequate
  • Trouble trusting other people after one broken promise after another
  • Fear of abandonment due to an absent (emotionally and physically)  mother or father and greater tendency to lock onto unhealthy relationships to avoid being alone
  • The constant need for approval and usually become people pleasers
  • Physiological distress and depression
  • The deep desire for isolation and solitude away from other people especially other family members who they know and feel are toxic for their wellbeing and trigger them very frequently 
  • Self-harm and the indulgence of substance abuse themselves 

Also, read How to Talk to Your Loved One About Going to Rehab

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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Effects of Addiction on the Family
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