More than 21 million Americans aged 12 and older have experienced a substance abuse issue, which includes alcohol and drug addiction, at some point in their lives. 

Addiction is a condition that affects not only a person’s physical health but also their emotional and psychological well-being. There has been a great deal published on the harmful effects of addiction on the user, and those effects are generally well-known.

As much as addiction affects the individual, however, it also has an emotional influence on their family. Addiction and family have a particular bond that the drug abuser does not frequently see. This article will look at how drug misuse impacts families.

A Direct Impact On Children

One in five children has a parent who uses drugs or alcohol, according to research. There are several ways in which the impacts of a parent’s addiction or drug abuse issue might affect a child’s development. 

Children in single-parent families are particularly vulnerable to this kind of abuse since there is no one else to turn to, and this is the way the adult will often feel too, meaning that finding a way to detox is much more difficult. 

An addicted parent will be preoccupied with finding and consuming their drug of choice, which diverts their attention from their duties. Thus, they will not be able to adequately care for their child. As a result of this lack of accountability, the child’s fundamental requirements, such as food and hygiene, as well as secondary needs, such as education and social life, are not being met.

A further association exists between addiction and child abuse. Abused youngsters are more likely to develop drug misuse and addiction later in life, according to studies. A child’s emotional and mental health will be harmed even if they don’t get addicted to drugs or alcohol. This will have an effect on their sense of self-worth, physical health, and social growth.

Loss Of Trust 

An addict’s failure to keep their end of the bargain might lead to greater strain in a relationship. The fact that most addicts want to keep their promises is important to mention, however, since the effects of the narcotics prevent them from doing so. When an addict can’t keep up with their responsibilities in a relationship, their partner becomes angry.

In addition, they’re more inclined to forget about the commitments they make to their children. Children will struggle to build relationships if this becomes the norm since they don’t know how – or who – to trust.

More Stress

When an addict is in the grips of their disease, it is possible that they will abandon their obligations to their spouse. Thus, the partner serves as a facilitator.

The other parent is immediately going to feel the strain of taking care of money, making choices, parenting the children, and cleaning up after the addict. Because of this, they are at a higher risk of developing stress-related disorders, such as high blood pressure or anxiety.

As a result, people who are more inclined to erupt in anger when they’re under a lot of stress are more likely to do so with the addition of illicit substances and alcohol. Stress and pain among family members might be exacerbated as a result of this. At this point, outpatient treatment might be the only viable option.

Financial Issues 

Addiction isn’t inexpensive to support financially. In addition, the person’s lack of performance or presence at work is likely to lead to their dismissal owing to their drug addiction issue. Then they’ll use their savings as a source of support. This means that basic necessities such as food, clothes, utilities, and rent or mortgage payments will become more difficult for the family.

Driving under the influence or being caught with drugs might potentially lead to legal issues. The additional expenses that come along with it exacerbate the situation financially.

Enablers may even provide the addict with money to buy alcohol or drugs in order to placate them. This is not only a drain on the family’s resources, but it also encourages the addict to believe that their loved ones will always be there to provide for their drug habit.

What Can Be Done?

If a loved one is suffering from addiction, the best thing to do is turn to the experts at The Robert Alexander Center for Recovery. The sooner this can be done, the better, especially as there are a number of different options when it comes to treatment. 

For those with families, an intensive outpatient program is usually best. When undergoing treatment in this way, there will be no need to stay away from the home, meaning that bonds won’t be broken further. Not only that, but other responsibilities, including work, can still be carried out. 

This can all help greatly when it comes to not only eliminating a substance addiction, but renewing family ties and ensuring things don’t get any worse.

Get in touch with RAC today to find out more and take the first all-important step.

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