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How Family Members Are Affected by a Loved One’s Addiction

Addiction is a very personal disease. Each person with an addiction problem has found themselves under a unique set of circumstances. The cause of addiction, its manifestation and recovery is an incredibly personal, intimate journey. However, the actions and behaviors of a person with an alcohol or substance use problem do not affect them alone. Addiction also affects those closest to the person, which often includes their family.


The Effects of Addiction on Family Members

A certain dynamic exists in each family unit. Through the natural evolution of relationships, each person plays a specific role in this family dynamic. These roles often change naturally over time but when an addiction is present in the home, it can cause these roles to shift abruptly and prematurely – putting stress on relationships and destroying the foundational fabric of the family unit.

Often, a person with an addiction problem will begin to separate themselves from the family, even before those closest to them realize that a problem exists. This can cause feelings of hurt and resentment for everyone involved.

The effects of drug addiction on family members can also include feelings of blame and lack of self-worth. A spouse or a child may feel that they caused stress or weren’t enough for the person suffering from the addiction. We frequently discuss the effects of addiction on a person’s self-esteem, but we often fall short when considering how it affects the self-worth of others in the family unit.

Addiction can also lead to a hostile home environment. Tensions rise, trust erodes, and disagreements become more common. In homes where an abusive situation already exists, addiction can escalate the problem.


The Effects of Addiction on Children


While an addiction can have far reaching effects, adults are often more resilient to damage than children who have been affected by a parent or loved one with an alcohol or substance use problem. Children of all ages are shaped by their environments, and exposure to addiction at a young age can set the stage for problems down the road.

Children who are raised in environments where drug and alcohol use are normalized are more likely to experiment with substances at a younger age. Because of their exposure, their perceptions of drug use and healthy interpersonal relationships are often unbalanced.

Addiction frequently puts additional financial stress on the family. Children who grow up in a home where an addiction disorder is present may not have all their basic physical and emotional needs met. Challenges that are more easily overcome in homes where an addiction is not present, such as academic and emotional support, can become major obstacles for children in families with addiction problems.


Heal Your Life and Strengthen You Family

While the effects of addiction on family members are far reaching, there is hope for recovery. Together, you can heal from addiction and begin the lifelong process of recovery. We’re here to provide you with an individualized, holistic approach to addiction recovery. Contact Bayshore Retreat and take the first step to regaining control of your life today.


At Bayshore Retreat we have extensive knowledge in treating substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. We understand that Mental Health Disorders can be the root cause of substance abuse. We use the latest scientific research and holistic approach for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

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