Whether you’re a parent, offspring, sibling or spouse, your behavior has a direct impact on the physical well being and mental health of the people who are closest to you. Addiction isn’t a choice; it’s a disease. It hijacks essential functions in your brain and pretty much always leads to selfishness and dishonesty. When coupled with an underlying mental illness, it can be that much more difficult to overcome. If you have children, you’re putting them at risk of harm — as well as setting an example that could cause them to abuse substances in the future themselves. It’s time to find a moment of clarity and choose addiction recovery.
It’s easier said than done, but it is possible. Your family is a vital support network, and the love you give and receive from them is going to be imperative during the healing process. One of the toughest things to face up to in the throes of substance abuse is the impact it how addiction affects entire families and the ones you love. Realizing that addiction is often a family disease can help you recognize the harm you’re doing, which can also be a key catalyst for getting you into rehab.
Exposing Children to Negative Influences
If you’re an addicted parent, abusing drugs and severe alcohol use can have serious repercussions. You’re much more likely to get into an accident if you look after your children while under the influence, and you’re also not fully present mentally to supervise them.
A lack of supervision often leads to neglect, which is a significant risk factor for children of alcoholics and addicts going on to develop a substance abuse problem themselves. Also, you’re setting an example that tells them alcohol or drug abuse is okay. If they start experimenting at a young age, they’re going to be at serious risk of becoming addicted in the future – not uncommon for adult children of addicts.
Forcing Loved Ones to be Caretakers
Drug use and alcohol abuse incapacitates the sufferer to varying extents, depending on the type of substance you’re using and how chronically you’re abusing it. Caretaking could include cleaning up after you, carrying you to bed each night, needing to pick you up or pay for taxis as a result of inebriation, apologizing to people on your behalf, paying bills for you and much more. You may be so distracted by being high that you’re unable to see the toll you’re taking on them. In many cases, the addicted person and the caretaker can become codependent on one another, further increasing the impact on the entire family unit.
Disruption of Routine
People who are struggling with addiction tend to lose their sense of routine. This can mean staying up late at night, living your life around obtaining and taking your substance of choice and spending inordinate amounts of time socializing with fellow users. Continually worrying about getting your next fix becomes a priority over spending quality time, cooking, cleaning or working. All of these disruptions can cause upsetting and detrimental consequences to the people closest to you.
One of the most common and obvious adverse ways addiction affects your whole family and the people closest to you is the financial implications. Drug and alcohol addiction are expensive habits. As your illness progresses and your tolerance rises, the habit becomes more and more costly. Addicts often live paycheck to paycheck and end up dipping into their savings.
The worst-case scenario is that they lose their job as well, meaning they have no income to draw from. All too often this leads to borrowing money from the people closest to you. Unfortunately, the need to feed a drug addiction can become so overpowering that someone with a substance use disorder will steal from friends and family.
Stigma and Reputation
While reputation isn’t everything in life, it can still be embarrassing to feel as if you’re being looked at and judged by those around you. While the sufferer of the addiction is often oblivious because they’re focused on getting high, loved ones experience shame and sometimes even ostracization as a result of an addicted friend or family member.
Friends and family members are victims of the disease of addiction as well. If you’ve been struggling through a drug or alcohol habit with someone you love, help is at hand in the form of addiction treatment programs and support groups. Call Calusa Recovery’s treatment center at 844-331-0471 to get advice from an expert about how we can help you overcome this hurdle together.