The effects of drugs are apparent in the fighting couple.People who talk about rehabilitation for substance abuse frequently refer to a person’s having to hit bottom before they see the need for help. But the effects of drugs within the user’s family quite often result in the family hitting bottom well ahead of the individual with the addiction problem. If you’re currently suffering from substance abuse and thinking of quitting, don’t put it off any longer. There’s still time to repair the damage to the relationships with those closest to you.

The Unpredictable Nature of Daily Life

If you were to summarize the effects of drugs under one umbrella term, it would have to be volatility. The National Institute on Drug Abuse outlines a catalog of reactions to drug use by a family member. The effects of drugs on a family can be mild or severe, depending on the disease’s duration, severity, and extent:

  • Financial unpredictability. If the family’s income earner loses employment because of drug abuse, it may be necessary to sell a house, find a smaller place to live, move in with other family or friends, or temporarily live in a shelter. In some cases, a family may become homeless. However, money problems may also manifest as insufficient food availability. The utility companies may turn off services because of non-payment, and there might not be enough money to buy necessities.
  • Emotional volatility. If you’re abusing alcohol, what’s your personality like when you’re drunk? Are you a mean drunk? Your family members may fear you and try to avoid making you angry. You may hurt them physically and emotionally even though you wouldn’t do so when not using your drug.
  • Legal instability. If you’ve been caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you have to deal with court and possibly the loss of driving privileges, an increase in insurance rates, and the cost associated with hiring an attorney. Other legal problems can crop up when law enforcement catches you with an illegal substance in your possession or while you’re trying to sell it to make money.

When Children Experience the Effects of Drugs

Youngsters whose parents suffer from drug addiction do not understand why their family is different from others. Neglect is not uncommon in a family where the parent’s focus is on getting the next fix or drink.

Children also have to deal with the effects of drugs when a sibling is the one with the disease. Suddenly, the parents’ full attention is on the needs of the child who is using. The one who is not using misses parental time and focus. This situation quickly breeds resentment.

Getting Help is a Family Affair

Whether you’re dealing with the effects of drugs that your loved one’s use is causing, or you’re worried about the way your children are responding to the disease, getting help is not just something for the person with the addiction. In fact, the effects of drugs can be so severe on those around the drug user that rehabilitation cannot happen unless these relationships get help as well.

Intensive individual and family therapy sessions can begin a healing process that results in a strengthened support network for the household member with the addiction problem. The goal of these meetings is a restoration of relationships and the exploration of normal interactions. At the same time, family members need to learn how to practice tough love to prevent any enabling behaviors that would be detrimental to the person with the disease.

Don’t let the effects of drugs wreak havoc with your family’s lives any longer. Call 866-605-0532 today to get help – take the first step on your family’s journey to recovery.