Addiction can destroy entire families; not just the loved one who is battling a chemical dependency. This is heartbreaking and exhausting for everyone involved, including family, friends, co-workers and anyone else who is in close contact with the person suffering from addiction. As one of these impacted people, you might find that even your own behavior and thinking gradually suffer over time. It’s important to understand how your loved one’s addiction affects you so you can be prepared for these trials ahead and be able to support their recovery.
Ways Addiction Affects Family Members
- Changes in your relationship: Your family member may separate themselves from you.
- Negative mindset: You might be blaming yourself for their addiction.
- Negative behavior: The hallmark negative behavior is enabling. You may knowingly or unknowingly contribute to their substance abuse with your actions.
- Fill the role of caretaker: Drugs and alcohol can create other illnesses and diseases and you may find yourself taking care of your loved one even more.
- Become isolated: You may withdraw from your own social circle to protect the person who is addicted.
- Financial stability problems: Because the one who is addicted has financial issues and might even lose their job, you could bear the brunt of their money strains. This can lead to your own financial problems.
- Abuse issues: Addiction can make your family member violent or aggressive.
- Divorce: Couples don’t always survive the stress and tension of having one partner addicted.
- Children are impacted: Kids can be the most affected because those who witness substance abuse are more likely to be addicted in the future.
Family Support is Important During Recovery Process
Since nearly every person in contact with the person suffering from addiction is affected, their recovery is most successful when everyone is involved. If addiction can damage a whole family, the whole family should be part of the healing.
Why is Family Support Crucial?
Support of a family plays a large role in the road to addiction recovery. This is a lifelong journey so your role as a support system is crucial along the way.
Four Ways You Can Help During Recovery
- Understand treatment is not a magic cure. This is a long process even after drug rehab is finished.
- Stay involved and supportive. Maintain a drug- and alcohol-free environment.
- Find support for yourself and ask for help when you need it.
- Reduce stress as much as possible since it can be a trigger for relapse.
You Don’t Have to do it Alone
Families need help during the addiction rehab process too. Knowing what to expect can help you along the way but you don’t need to do this on your own. At Footprints, we offer family therapy sessions that include counseling and therapy sessions. Contact us to learn more about our treatment programs and support options for family members.