3 Ways Addiction Can Affect Family and Friends

A substance use disorder has major impacts on your life. Your social life, finances, emotions, and physical health can all be negatively affected by drug and alcohol use. But how often do you consider how your addiction affects those around you?

Many people who suffer from addiction wait until they lose loved ones, like children or a spouse, to seek treatment. It doesn’t have to be this way – if you know the ways that your addiction affects those around you, you may be more motivated to get the help you need.

Read on to discover how your struggles with addiction might be affecting those around you – emotionally, financially, and physically.

How Addiction Affects Family and Friends Emotionally

It is not a coincidence that many people who have issues with drug use end up losing close loved ones. Substance abuse can alienate you in a number of ways, and it may take a toll on the emotions of those around you. Some ways that addiction can hurt family and friends emotionally include:

  • It can cause trust issues. It’s difficult to have an addiction and be completely honest about it with those around you. In many cases, people end up stealing from loved ones so they can buy drugs or alcohol. Even in less extreme cases, dishonesty can create space between yourself and your loved ones and cause stress.
  • It can lead to confrontations. When dishonesty occurs, tensions run high. It is likely that you will end up in heated conversations with people close to you if your addiction continues. Fights with friends or family members like your siblings, parents, or children can be a huge emotional burden.
  • Your loved ones know you well. Let’s face it: it’s difficult to see someone you love going through a hard time, even if it doesn’t affect you directly. Even if you are somehow able to avoid trust issues and confrontations with loved ones, your addiction will likely still take a toll emotionally.

Your parents might feel like they did something wrong which led to your drug or alcohol use. If you have children, they will probably sense that something isn’t right. This can cause trauma and feelings of neglect that stay with them for years to come.

Your loved ones may start to create distance or establish boundaries as a way of protecting themselves emotionally. If you want to save your relationships, you will need to change your behavior.

How Addiction Affects Family and Friends Financially

If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, then it is almost guaranteed that you are spending a lot of money on getting your fix. Like it or not, finances are a part of life and, more importantly, money can influence your relationships. Financing your addiction can affect those around you in a number of ways:

  • Keeping a job may become difficult. It’s nearly impossible to show up in the way you are expected to at work when abusing drugs or alcohol. If your employer notices changes in your performance, you may have trouble keeping your job. If you have family members and others who rely on your income, you are bound to let them down.
  • Addiction can lead to stealing. Many people turn to stealing in order to get the money for their next fix. It is only likely that someone who steals to finance their addiction will end up taking from those close to them. This puts a huge monetary burden on the people you steal from, not to mention the emotional impact it has.
  • Legal trouble can happen. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to all sorts of legal issues. From possession charges, to DUIs, to reckless behavior while you are intoxicated, there’s no end to the ways that addiction can land you in court.

Legal troubles are expensive, and your family and friends might feel responsible for helping you pay for bail, lawyers, and other fees. Even if they choose not to pay for you, your absence may leave people who rely on you financially without the money they need.

How Addiction Affects Family and Friends Physically

You may think there is no way that your addiction could physically harm those around you – but think again. There are a number of ways that an addiction can cause physical harm to family and friends. They include:

  • Addiction can lead to violence. People with addictions engage in violent behavior more often, including domestic violence. While some drugs may lead to violent behavior while you are intoxicated, all addictions can cause violence because of the stress and tension they create. You might be surprised how you act when put under the stress of addiction.
  • Addiction can cause depression. There is nothing as difficult as watching someone you love to be gripped by addiction. This process may lead to some people developing clinical depression. Over time, depression can cause serious physical issues including an increased risk of heart disease.
  • PTSD could occur in children. If you have children, your addiction may be putting them through a great deal of trauma. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can happen in people who experience serious trauma in their lives. This disorder can take a major toll mentally and physically.

Get Treatment for Substance Abuse

Your addiction does not have to bring down the people you love. The first step towards repairing your relationships is to get treatment. If you are confused and don’t know how to quit, rehab is the perfect place to start.

At rehab, you will be given the support you need to start the path of addiction recovery and regain control over your life. Call our treatment center today to get help with your addiction. The first and most difficult step towards repairing your relationships with loved ones is to help yourself by getting clean.

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Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.