When you think about how addiction affects families, you may realize that substances like opioids and alcohol have a severe impact on the way we relate. Although we think of addiction and substance abuse disorder as a largely personal experience, these substances have a devastating impact on the people who surround the addicted individual.
Addiction impacts spouses, children, parents, siblings, and other family members. Many people overlook the emotional damage of addiction. But addiction affects everybody in the family. There is a reason why many addiction professionals say that it is a family disease.
How Addiction Affects Families Long Term
One of the major ways in which addiction affects families on a long-term basis is the fact that substance abuse can turn peaceful homes into divided ones. Conflict emerges between parents when a son steals money from them to pay for heroin addiction. Problems may begin when a father turns toward alcohol and away from his growing family. Often, addiction causes trust to wash away and people to become more guarded in their interactions. Some even become more aggressive or secretive. Some addictions break up marriages, often because they make it much more difficult to communicate.
The Roles Family Members Take On
In many cases, people can seek help for a loved one. This is important, especially because family members often take on different roles when they are dealing with addiction.
Some people in the family may become enablers. An enabler is somebody who is not addicted to a substance but rather takes care of the individual who does use substances. They make it easier for this person to use substances by giving them money or letting them live in a home without paying rent.
In some cases, people take on scapegoat roles. Often, others in a family blame them for the family’s problems. Sometimes people with addictions are scapegoats, but sometimes these people do not deal with substance abuse at all. They could be blamed for somebody else having a problem with substances.
For many families, parents begin to take on the role of “friend” rather than parent. This can lead some families to abuse drugs together. Since nobody in the family thinks another person has a problem, it is easy to overlook addiction and the negative impact on the family.
Children Growing Up in an Addicted Home
When most people think about how addiction affects families, they consider the fact that one in 10 children today grow up in a home in which one or both parents had alcohol use disorder. In some cases, the substance is something like opioids, methamphetamine, or marijuana. For children who witness trauma and parental addiction, the effects can be long-lasting.
For example, children who grow up with an addicted parent are more likely to become addicted to substances in adulthood. They are more likely to be physically or sexually abused and neglected. For a child to see a parent who is often under the influence, emotional and mental disorders are not uncommon. Some children may even feel guilt and shame for their parent’s condition, which can lead to self-esteem issues later in life. However, removing children from their home can be devastating.
Seek Help Today
Serenity House Detox Houston provides help for difficult situations in which a family is struggling. If you see how addiction affects families firsthand, you should consider detox as an option for recovery and treatment. There are many types of treatment options. They include:
- Outpatient treatment so you can live at home
- Residential treatment so you can live on campus
- Different therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy
Call us today at 866.516.8356 to discuss your options for detox and treatment. Your family will benefit from seeing you in a healthier, happier place.