Addiction is difficult for everyone involved, but it can be especially hard on family members. The addict may be breaking promises and lying to their loved ones. A person with addiction may not be able to take care of themselves properly or even look after their children. Addiction can cause financial problems and stress, while also causing depression and anxiety in the entire family unit. Families need support during this time as they struggle as well. Here are nine ways addiction hurts families.
Addiction Impacts Over the Family
There are Financial Troubles
Addictions can be expensive. If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, money will most likely be an issue. Drug and alcohol addictions are expensive, and there are many other costs that come along with the problem. Buying drugs or alcohol, visiting doctors who don’t understand addiction, paying fines related to arrests due to DUI/DWI charges, and even hiring lawyers can get expensive.
It is Hard to Trust
Trust is the foundation of a relationship, and it takes time to build. Solution Point’s family program and others like it seek to address these issues for the whole family. Good relationships are built on honesty, consistency, and reliability. Trust is essential for healthy relationships because it allows couples to be open about their feelings with each other without fear of being judged harshly or rejected outright. When someone has an addiction, he or she may be less likely to trust others because they feel ashamed about their behavior as well as what it means about them personally. They may lie which erodes trust over time as well. Additionally, people with addictions can appear unreliable due to their chaotic lifestyles or inability to commit themselves wholeheartedly.
It is hard not knowing what will happen next. When you have an addict in your life who keeps making promises that never seem fulfilled, then nothing seems certain anymore except chaos and disappointment. This erratic behavior and failed promises impact everyone in the family because chaos becomes the only constant.
The Addict May Engage in Illegal Activity
An addict’s drug use may lead to criminal behavior. The addict may steal money or other valuables from family members to pay for drugs or engage in other illegal activities to get high. This can cause tension within the family, especially when kids are involved. This can also create dangerous situations that can impact the entire family.
There is a Lack of Respect
The lack of respect is a common theme in family addiction. The addict is not respecting the family, they are not respecting themselves, they are not respecting the law, and they are not respecting their body. This shows up in various ways. They are often lying to loved ones, disrespecting others’ property by stealing or destroying it, and abusing alcohol or drugs while driving.
It can Lead to Depression and Anxiety
Children in homes with addiction often experience depression and anxiety due to the uncertainty of the situation in their house. Their home is no longer a place of safety and this lack of security leads to their own mental health issues. If a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can be hard to know how they’ll act or feel. They may not be able to work or attend school regularly. They may be in and out of jail as well. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires treatment—but often, addicts need to hit rock bottom before they’re ready for help.
Here’s How to Help
Take care of yourself first. You cannot help anyone if your own physical and mental health are not taken care of first. Make sure that you eat nutritious food every day so that your body has the energy it needs throughout this difficult time in your life. Set firm boundaries to protect your mental and physical health, and protect that of your children if there are kids in the home.
An Addict’s Behavior can put Others in Danger
An addict’s behavior can put others in danger. They may exhibit violent episodes. An addict may be violent with their spouse or their children, or they may become violent while they’re using drugs. They may engage in criminal activity. When an addict is high on drugs, they are more likely to commit crimes including theft and physical assault. They may drive under the influence which makes them a danger to those in their vehicle and on the road.
Addiction Affects Relationships with Parents and Siblings
When a parent is addicted, the whole family is affected. The relationship between parents and children can be strained by financial stress, emotional distress, physical illness, and more. Addicts don’t often know how to have healthy relationships and this strain can create distance in the family.