The Negative Effects Drug Addiction Has on Families
Addiction is a family affair. Family members are often the first to notice when someone they care about has become addicted to drugs or alcohol. They’re also usually the ones who have been supporting their family member for years and will continue to do so even after addiction takes a toll on them. However, family members should be aware of how addiction can better cope with this difficult situation.
It’s important to remember that drug addiction doesn’t just affect the addict. It can affect family members in many different ways: affecting family dynamics, finances, parenting skills, and more.
The family dynamic can be strained when one family member becomes addicted to drugs, which often leads others in the family to feel neglected or unloved. Family members may also become frustrated with a person who abuses drugs because they will often avoid family obligations and family time in favor of going out with friends who abuse substances.
Family Dynamics Affected By Drug Addiction
It’s important to realize a family is affected by drug addiction, not just the addict. Drug addiction affects family dynamics in many ways, from how family members interact to family traditions that get harder or impossible to keep up through the dependency of family members on drugs. These family dynamics can be stressful and difficult for everyone involved.
One aspect of family dynamics impacted by drug addiction is the day-to-day interactions between family members. For example, if you have a loved one struggling with addiction, it can be hard for them to make it to family gatherings and celebrations due to the demands of their addiction and its emotional toll on them. It can also make family outings feel highly uncomfortable for family members who are sober around an addicted family member who is high or drunk.
Another family dynamic impacted by drug addiction is family traditions. Many family traditions revolve around certain family members, like the grandma who always bakes Christmas cookies together or the brother who operates the barbecue grill every Memorial Day weekend. When family members are struggling with addiction, they might not be able to make it to family events because of their addiction, or family members may have to take over family traditions for family members with addiction.
How Addiction Affects Family Finances
Drug addiction can have a heavy impact on family finances. Often family members will be the ones to pick up the slack, which can leave them stretched thin. Whether it’s paying for an addict’s food and shelter (many family members take over these jobs), finding them jobs, taking care of their children, or even bailing them out of jail, family members should be prepared to take on more than they’re used to. This is true even when the family has previously agreed to avoid enabling the addict in their behavior.
Some family members are required by court order to fund drug rehab or addiction treatment for family members, but there’s no guarantee that an addict will be clean even after completing a program. And most family members can’t afford multiple “get out of jail free” cards.
When family members find themselves stretched too thin, often their health and well-being will suffer. They’ll neglect taking care of themselves because they prioritize what’s going on in the family, including the addict’s needs.
In addition to neglecting family members’ health and happiness, addicts may also drain family finances by borrowing money from family members or stealing from family. Addiction can also lead family members to make poor financial decisions as they try to fund the addiction, leaving themselves in deeper debt as a result.
How Drug Addiction Influences Parenting Skills
Relative to the process of parenting, drug addiction can influence parenting skills. Parenting is a complex and challenging task and requires an attentive and loving parent. Addiction may lead to neglect and abuse or neglectful and abusive parenting. This type of attachment does not teach children the value of family bonds and healthy relationships with family members.
Negative Effects Drug Addiction Has on Parenting Styles
More common among addicts are the negative effects that drug addiction has on parenting styles. This may include too much closeness, overprotection, or over-involvedness with one’s children. For example, some parents may overprotect their children, not allowing them to take risks. This type of parenting inhibits one’s child from developing skills necessary for autonomy and independence. On the other extreme, other parents are more permissive, giving children too much freedom with not enough supervision or guidance.
Regardless of parenting style, family structure is often undermined by drug addiction. As a result, parenting skills are compromised, family bonds are weakened, and family structure is unstable. These types of family dynamics can have a significant impact on children’s development.
How Drug Addiction Can Influence Teenagers’ Emotional Development
The relationship between drug addiction and mental health disorders has been well documented. Common among addicts are emotional disorders that can have an impact on family members, including teenagers. For example, depression is prevalent in family members of drug addicts because they may feel isolated and lonely when family members are using drugs. In addition, teenagers often get caught up in drug use because it’s common to experiment with substances; however, family members need to educate themselves on what they can do if family members are struggling with drug addiction.
Negative Effects of Alcohol and Drug Addiction on the Family Structure
Addicts may suffer from personality disorders, such as paranoid personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, among others. While substance abuse and addiction can affect family members negatively, family members may also be influenced by the addict’s personality disorder. For example, family members of drug addicts may learn to neglect their own needs and take care only of a family member struggling with addiction.
Getting Your Family Member Treatment for Drug Addiction
To get help for family members struggling with drug addiction, the first thing you should do is talk to them and find out what they need. You can also contact a family member or friend who may be able to help you.
Other types of support don’t involve family members, such as getting connected to a community organization that understands addiction and mental illness and other family members who can offer help.
There are also treatment options at which we offer to individuals struggling with drug addiction. With the help of licensed physicians, we can help individuals who are struggling with substance abuse by providing treatment options such as residential treatment, detoxification, outpatient therapy, and family therapy.
Why Choose North Star Treatment Services
North Star Treatment Services offers IOP (intensive outpatient treatment) for substance use disorders. Choose a program that allows you to stay at home while making your way toward a successful recovery. We create an aftercare plan tailored to your specific needs so that you can continue on a healthy journey after treatment. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you move toward a fulfilling sober life.