Client Lives With Spouse And Minor Children
Similar to maltreatment victims, who believe the abuse is their fault, children of those with alcohol abuse disorders feel guilty and responsible for the parents drinking problem. Children whose parents abuse illicit drugs live with the knowledge that their parents actions are illegal and that they may have been forced to engage in illegal activity on their parents behalf. Trust is a key child development issue and can be a constant struggle for those from family systems with a member who has a substance use disorder .
Most available data on the enduring effects of parental substance abuse on children suggest that a parents drinking problem often has a detrimental effect on children. These data show that a parents alcohol problem can have cognitive, behavioral, psychosocial, and emotional consequences for children. Among the lifelong problems documented are impaired learning capacity a propensity to develop a substance use disorder adjustment problems, including increased rates of divorce, violence, and the need for control in relationships and other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and low selfesteem .
Effects Of Drug Addiction On Family Members
Drug addiction is something that affects not only the addicted individual but their family/friends as well. There are serious effects of drug addiction on family members. It is not easy seeing a loved one change for the worse and become someone they are not. Drug addiction affects several different aspects of a persons life, one of which is ruined relationships with loved ones.
A part of drug addiction treatment is repairing these relationships and building a stronger bond with loved ones. In order to achieve sobriety, its crucial to have the support of loved ones and friends along the way. Many people tend to focus on the physical effects of drug addiction and not the impact of substance abuse on families. At the end of the day, drug addiction can end up causing much more than physical damage to a persons body.
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The 6 Ways Drug Addiction Affects The Family The Most
A drug addict has one primary focus where their next fix is going to come from and when that fix will take place. The drug users lack of self-respect, and lack of respect for those around them, become evident very quickly. The drugs become a priority over everything else in their lives. Kingsway Recovery, located in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, can help you or your loved one change that focus. We are ready to help you or your loved one make your family a priority once again.
When the drug addict is your family member the emotional toll and effect that the addiction has on your entire family can be overwhelming. The stress of the overall situation, the fear of your loved one getting caught with an illegal substance, and the financial strain it can place on your family are very real. The drug addict will choose drugs over choosing to be a responsible, contributing member of the family every chance he or she gets.
Having a family member who is addicted to drugs is never easy, no matter which family member it is. The direct effect that the addiction has on everyone in the family will vary depending on who the drug addict is. Parents who are dealing with their own child who is abusing drugs face different issues and challenges compared to a child who is dealing with a parent who is addicted to drugs. If you are the spouse of someone who is an addict then your situation is also different.
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How Does Addiction Affect Families
You dont necessarily have to be an addict in order for your drug and alcohol use to annoy members of your family or have a negative impact on your familys dynamics. However, an addiction often forms around dysfunctional family behavior that can be aggravated by the addictive behavior.
Families in which parents are addicts have their own particular dysfunction. Instances are they will not able to their own children. Because of what theyve witnessed as models for adult behavior, these children are at an increased chance of becoming addicts. Sometimes, as they mature, children of addicts may attempt to distance themselves from their parents compulsion. Only to find later on that they have abuse a different substance. This might happen, for instance, when a parent is an alcoholic. Even though the adult children of this parent dont drink, they might develop an addiction to sex. Or might run up high debt because they are shopaholics.
Dealing with Addiction
Usually, these extreme steps might be the final push that an addict needs in order to seek help. Addiction causes damaged on the normal family bonding. An addicted family members cannot be trusted. They usually cannot hold onto a job and may often go missing over night or for multiple days. They inevitably betray people who love them and more prone to violence. Above all, they are not able to attend to small children.
How Drug Addiction Affects Families
Drug addiction is an illness that can destroy lives. However, there is a common misconception that states it affects only those actually using the drugs. The reality, however, is quite different. Rather than being left to get on with their addictive behaviour because they are only harming themselves, drug addicts require help and support to overcome this illness. It is an addiction that has devastating consequences for so many other people, and families in particular. The issue of how drug addiction affects families is a complex one.
Those who live with the drug addict will usually be the worst affected by the illness, but extended family members also suffer. Parents, siblings spouses, and children are all affected in one way or another, but it is the kids who tend to suffer the most. This is usually because their needs are neglected, not only by the addicted parent but also by other adults who might see them as too young to understand what is going on.
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Physical And Emotional Abuse
In addition to making the addict irrational, their substance abuse is also likely to put everyone around them on edge. This means that simple disagreements can result in big fights as everyone feels misunderstood.
With everyone acting out of character, physical abuse may start occurring on top of the pre-existing emotional abuse. Addicts can be the perpetrators of abuse, but their vulnerability also puts them at risk of becoming victims of it, too.
Children of addicts might also end up becoming abusers as well. In an attempt to shift blame from the addicted parent, some children may end up acting out and misbehaving. These actions can later scar them and cause them to turn to drinking or drug use as their relative did. Abuse and addiction can become a deadly cycle that can only be broken by treatment.
They Might Struggle In School
Having an addicted parent makes it difficult for a child to succeed in school. They miss many days or have trouble paying attention in class. As a result, their grades suffer. They might also struggle with social skills and have difficulty making friends.
The shame, financial struggles and emotional problems associated with having an addicted parent make it difficult for a child to succeed in school. Talk to the teacher or guidance counselor if you notice your child is struggling. Theyll develop a plan to get your child back on track.
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Parental Substance Abuse And Child Social And Emotional Functioning
Many children living in a home where there is an addiction develop into âparentified children.â This occurs when the caretaker is unable to meet the developmental needs of the child, and the child begins to parent themselves and perhaps younger siblings earlier than developmentally appropriate. In a phenomenon called âreversal of dependence needsâ the child actually begins to parent the parent.
Confusion And Fear Can Develop
Drug addiction and abuse can end up causing confusion and sometimes frightening changes in a loved one. They may become unpredictable and it may be unclear as to how theyll react to certain situations. This fear and uncertainty can have family members confused and hesitant to help them or engage with them.
Going back to the idea of emotional and physical abuse, this unpredictable behavior can lead to abuse. This is also true when children are in the picture. They may be more reserved and scared to interact with their own parents or siblings. This creates a tense and fearful environment for everyone involved. Fear is one of the effects of addiction on family members and shows the true impact substance can have on loved ones.
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Effects Of Parental Drug Abuse On Children
Alcohol and drug abuse negatively impacts everyone in the family, but too often children and adolescents are most affected by the addiction of a parent.
Studying Addiction In Families
“…shared familial beliefs about the substance and addiction will also shape the child’s inclination towards substance abuse.” Addiction disorders are quite heritable . There are a number of ways to explore the heritability of a disorder, including familial, adoption, and twin studies. 2
In family studies, occurrence rates of a disorder within members of a family are examined. While this provides a nice estimate into how often an addiction might occur in a family, it does not account for the role of the environment. While genetic influences may be at play, factors associated with growing up in a home with an addicted parent, exposure to the addictive substance and other addictive behaviors, and shared familial beliefs about the substance and addiction will also shape the child’s inclination towards substance abuse.
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The Risk Of Domestic Violence
While every effect mentioned can have a negative impact on an addiction sufferer and their family, the worst, by far, is domestic violence. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines domestic violence as the intentional emotional, psychological, sexual, or physical force by one family member or intimate partner to control another.
As we can see, the main motivator for domestic violence is a need for control. To gain it or feel as though you have gained it, acts of domestic violence can take a number of appalling forms, including: verbal, emotional and/or physical intimidation, destruction of possessions and/or property, violence against pets, threats, rape, punching, slapping, kicking, choking, stabbing, shooting, and/or killing. Each or all of these in combination are acts of domestic violence, which can affect any member of the family: spouses, parents, stepparents, children, siblings, grandparents, etc.
In most instances of domestic violence, substance abuse plays a role. Worse of all, children of abusers often develop substance use disorders themselves later in life, creating a continuing cycle of substance abuse and all the other abuses that come with it.
Client Lives Alone Or With Partner
The consequences of an adult who abuses substances and lives alone or with a partner are likely to be economic and psychological. Money may be spent for drug use the partner who is not using substances often assumes the provider role. Psychological consequences may include denial or protection of the person with the substance abuse problem, chronic anger, stress, anxiety, hopelessness, inappropriate sexual behavior, neglected health, shame, stigma, and isolation.
In this situation, it is important to realize that both partners need help. The treatment for either partner will affect both, and substance abuse treatment programs should make both partners feel welcome. If a person has no immediate family, family therapy should not automatically be ruled out. Issues regarding a persons lost family, estranged family, or family of origin may still be relevant in treatment. A single person who abuses substances may continue to have an impact on distant family members who may be willing to take part in family therapy. If family members come from a distance, intensive sessions may be needed and helpful. What is important is not how many family members are present, but how they interact with each other.
CoDA describes codependency as being overly concerned with the problems of another to the detriment of attending to ones own wants and needs . Codependent people are thought to have several patterns of behavior:
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Find Family Addiction Treatment At Kingsway Recovery
At Kingsway Recovery, our approach to the treatment of drug addiction focuses on a wide range of intensive programs and services. We offer family therapy, family education workshops, and family-based events. Our staff will work with you and your loved one to find the perfect balance of services to meet your needs.
We offer a holistic and therapeutic approach to healing at our Kingsway Recovery facility. We are focused on finding a long-term solution for you or your loved ones addiction to drugs. We believe that in order for this solution to be successful it is important that the process includes all family members. Building support and trust are necessary for everyone involved in the treatment process.
We know that the journey that led you to reach this point has not been easy. Our experienced staff at Kingsway Recovery looks forward to speaking with you about the recovery process. Please reach out to us today for more information and find out how to take the first step.
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Addiction And Family Roles
When a family member is struggling with substance abuse, he or she is supported by several relatives. There is a shift in the dynamics of the home once addiction comes in, and there are six dysfunctional roles that each family member plays to sustain balance and normalcy. Each role can give you a better look at how substance abuse affects the family.
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Dealing With Addiction In The Family
The first thing you should do upon realizing that your loved one has a substance abuse problem is to encourage them to seek treatment. Approach them while theyre calm and sober, and talk to them compassionately. Using facts, explain to them how their addiction has damaging effects not only on them but also on the rest of the family.
If they dont want to listen, consider staging an intervention where you get other key members of the family and a therapist involved.
Its important that the whole family gets counseling or therapy. This is beneficial toward helping everyone recover and move on from the effects of the addiction. A therapist will create an environment where everyone can share their thoughts and feelings. They can also help you work through the present challenges while implementing strategies that will build trust.
The effects of drug addiction on family members can be dire. However, by seeking treatment for the addict and counseling for the entire family, affected families will have a better chance of rebuilding their lives and relationships.
What Impact Does Addiction Have On The Family
Family relationships Addiction affects the family unit by influencing how its members interact with one another, how they cope with mental and emotional pressures, and how they perceive themselves and the person in active addiction. A person in active addiction may react in anger or denial when confronted about their drug abuse and need for treatment. They may skip out on responsibilities such as paying bills, or caring for the home and children, creating financial strain and an environment of neglect. Trust is also often broken between family as a result of a persons actions while in active addiction, such as stealing or lying.
Enabling and co-dependency could prevent the person from seeking proper treatment as other family members look to avoid confronting the addiction or give in to appease their loved one, even if it means neglecting their own needs.
Emotional strain Addiction in a family can increase the occurrence of dysfunction, conflict, and feeling isolated from other members. Loved ones may experience frequent stress and anxiety about their family stability or worry the person will overdose or relapse. Feelings of guilt, shame, anger, confusion, resentment, and hopelessness could be experienced by all involved.
Family stigma The stigma of addiction is also an issue that can affect the family as a whole. Stigmatizing addiction may prevent someone from seeking alcohol or drug abuse treatment, counseling, and other crucial resources.
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Helping A Loved One Through The Trans
The TTM says that people who struggle with and overcome substance use disorders go through five stages although its sometimes listed as six. Its not always a linear process, and people can jump back and forth between stages for a considerable amount of time. Although it doesnt perfectly capture everyones experience, it does accurately represent significant turning points in the recovery process.
How your loved one responds to you and to treatment depends on the stage theyre at. Understanding where they are and explaining the TTM to them can be a good starting point for change.