Addiction Affects the Family Not just the Addict
It is no question that addiction can cause major damage to the individual that it inflicts. This is often a long process that gradually changes. It can quickly go from a somewhat innocent experimentation and fun with friends on the weekends, to something more consuming. Chronic abuse of these drugs will deteriorate the addict’s mental health. Not to mention their physical well-being and their spirit as well. How will this person’s decline impact their immediate family? Also, how will the family deal with this drastic change in their precious loved one?
As an addict transitions from recreational drug use to full blown addiction, the family often gets trapped in the middle. Seeing their carefree young loved one turn into something one could describe as a monster causes a lot of emotions in fathers, mothers, siblings, and children alike. Stuck in a whirlwind of confusion, hopelessness, and regret, immediate family members often do not know what to do.
How Addiction Affects Siblings
Children and their age have to be factored into the equation when dealing with an addict in the family. It is likely that a younger sibling looks up to and respects his or her older sibling. If the older sibling is an addict and is acting poorly and setting a bad example for a younger sibling, this can have a profound affect on the child’s perspective on life. In addition, the likelihood that he or she will end up using drugs themselves.
Other key problems an addict can induce in a sibling is excess stress, begin to be uncommunicative, and rebel from authority figures. Starting with the sibling becoming uncommunicative; Younger children, with a turbulent household environment, may turn to fantasy play and isolation in order to escape the chaos of the house. Likewise, They may start to rebel against authoritarian figures. They may start to get in trouble at school and may even get arrested because of their rebellious behavior.
How Alcoholism Affects the Spouse
Much destruction comes within the relationship between the addict and the spouse. They more than likely entered the relationship with an alcoholic out of the picture. As the addict grows in their addiction they will begin to place drugs and alcohol as a higher priority than their very own spouse. This can promote strong feelings of jealousy, sadness, regret, hopelessness. Furthermore, the addicts lack of responsibility and change of priorities can create a heavy share of household and financial responsibilities on the spouse. As stress continues to increase, the relationship will start to fail. Alcoholism and addiction has been directly chained to divorce rates among couples.
Family in Addiction Recovery
So it continues. Almost every person that has a part in an addict’s life is going to be affected in some way shape or form. Even coworkers may be emotionally affected. They may be forced to pick up slack that the addict is not able to fulfill with his reduced efforts in the workplace. This is why it is of up most importance that close friends and family of the addict show their support in getting the addict treatment as soon as possible.
Supporting the addict and offering resources can be a productive step. Reach out for help today if you or a loved one are experiencing addiction in the family. Our team at Clear Recovery Center in Redondo Beach are here to help.