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When engrossed in a drug or alcohol addiction, oftentimes the user does not consider the damage that their actions and behavior cause on their family members and loved ones. Treatment Alternatives understands those directly involved with addicts suffer just as bad as the addict does themselves.

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it puts an enormous amount of stress on the user’s friends, family, and children, and can cause long term financial and emotional issues.

How does drug addiction affect your family?  Families of drug addicts experience devastating pain and heartbreak as they try to cope with the addiction.

-The family cannot establish a normal routine due to frequent interruptions from the addict’s behavior. The addict’s behavior may disrupt the family members work life or education, as they are constantly trying to suppress, manage, and downplay the addict and their issues.

-When a spouse or partner is dealing with an addict, there can be emotional damage or physical violence which can lead to a relationship falling apart.

-Families of drug addicts become immersed in the disease of just one member, as they struggle to keep an internal balance within the unit.

-Family members will lie to themselves and to others about the extent of the addiction

-Drug addiction causes financial setbacks for a family. When an addict spends all of their money on drugs or alcohol, they may miss out on paying bills, lose their job, have their house foreclosed on, or file for bankruptcy. This affects and displaces the entire family.

-Family members of addicts begin to operate and enable out of fear that denying the user of their addiction will lead to a blowout or big disaster.

-All of these actions and stresses combined lead to a general restriction of sharing feelings in the household, and a lack of a genuine connection amongst the family. There is no positive communication, relaxation or trust within the family since each member constantly lives on edge.

How does drug addiction affect your children?

-An addict is unable to provide a child with a strong parental support system critical to their development. Children growing up in a household with an addict may become overwhelmed with fear, stress, problems with attachment, anxiety, and ambivalence.

-Children growing up in a household of an addict eventually shut down emotionally. They exhibit irrational behaviors, deny issues, become overly defensive, withdraw emotionally, and may begin coping by self-medication.

-Children and adults in families of drug addicts begin to lose trust in people, believing they cannot depend on anyone.

-Children faced with such heavy burdens at a young age are severely affected in their development and adult life. The emotional damage caused by being raised by an addict can lead to long term psychological issues, ultimately effecting performance in school, work, and socially.

-A lack of structure at home can result in the child creating their own set of rules and governing themselves, which could mean going down the same destructive path as the addict.

-Studies conducted by the government reported up to 80% of child abuse and neglect incidents were a result of a parent using drugs or alcohol. Further studies show there is a strong link between childhood trauma and addiction development in that child later in life.

Substance abuse is harmful not only on the user, but also has devastating effects on the user’s loved ones.  Putting drugs or alcohol ahead of your family will inevitably result in the family falling apart. Treatment Alternatives has individualized treatment plans to help both the addict and the families of drug addicts their family regain control and recover from addiction.

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