How Parents and Family Are Affected by Their Addicted Family Members

The Effects of Addiction on Family Members

Addiction has a huge impact on American lives. Over 50% of all Americans report that they have a close relationship with an addict. The addict is often a family member or a close friend.

Addiction does not discriminate, and addicts are often parents, children, siblings, uncles, grandparents and more. Anyone can become an addict. While some demographics are more likely to abuse certain drugs, the truth of the matter is that there isn’t a solid line between who can get addicted to what.

Addiction affects not only the addicted individual, but those around them. It strains relationships. This article will take a look at the effects of addiction on family.

Significant Damages on Relationships

Anyone who has a family member who is an addict can attest to the fact that addiction strains relationship. The addicted individual is not his or her usual self. The addict may be grumpy or may lash out whenever he or she is withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.

Those who try to help the addict often end up getting dragged through the mud as well. They may dedicate a tremendous amount of time and effort into helping the addict only to get lied to and stolen from. Trust will be broken, and family will often have a hard time trusting one another.

Family members of the addict will also often get into a lot of disagreements and arguments on what to do. It’s a stressful time for everyone. Children may need to grow up quickly if the addicts are their parents, and parents may argue with one another on what to do for an addicted child.

A Huge Financial Strain

Drug and alcohol abuse is a huge financial strain on the family. Depending on the type of drugs that are being abused, the addict may spend over $100,000 a year on their substance of choice. The entire family may face a huge financial strain as a result.

The drinking and the drug use is not the only costly factor. Medical bills can pile up quickly. Those who abuse drugs are more likely to face mental and physical health issues.

Last but not least, the cost of addiction treatment can be just as high. Inpatient opioid rehab programs can cost about $30,000 a month. Outpatient rehab programs cost an average of $10,000 a month. Substance abusers will need months and months of rehab. Fortunately, health insurance may cover most, if not all, of the costs at times.

The Dangers of Codependency

One of the most common issues that arise within families dealing with addiction is codependency. Codependency can also often lead to enabling. Codependency is an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on one individual. This individual may support the addiction by turning a blind eye to the addict’s actions or helping them avoid facing any consequences for their actions.

Family Therapy Can Help Mend Strained Relationships

Fortunately, the effects of addiction on family does not have to be permanent. Relationships do not need to be permanently strained. Family therapy is often integrated into a complete addiction treatment plan. This type of therapy can bring family members together and it can also mend strained relationships. Through family therapy, family members can learn how to process their own emotions and work through their issues with addiction.

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