Addiction is a disease that affects every member of the household. While some family members may become emotional or combative, others will withdrawal and isolate themselves. Still, other people fall into a mode of codependency. How addiction affects families largely depends on several factors including family stability, the nature of the addiction if there is abuse involved and other factors.
Most families are not equipped to deal with addiction. As such, different people may react in ways that only fuel addiction or tear the family apart. For this reason, it is important that entire families get help – not just the addicted person. Let’s explore a little further how addiction affects families and what your family can do to get help.
The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol
Substance abuse can have devastating short-term and long-term effects on families, regardless of how close they are. A normal home can quickly deteriorate as the addiction grows progressively worse. Some of the ways in which addictions affect families may include:
- Strained relationships that become more volatile over time
- Poor performance at work or school
- Financial problems that accumulate, creating instability
- Codependency in one or more of the relationships
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse against one or more family members
- One or more people deciding to leave the home permanently
The Effects of Substance Abuse on Children
Young children and adolescents process substance abuse differently than adults. Part of the reason for this is because they are still going through psychological development at an early age. As a result, some of the effects of addiction may not affect the child until several years later. This condition is often referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Early exposure to intense family conflict can cause children to feel unsafe and emotionally unstable. A child may also feel that they are to blame for the parent’s condition. In the most extreme cases where abuse is a fact, a child may need to be removed from the home. Children are often the greatest victims of addiction. Consequently, they need therapy as much as the user.
Helping a Family Member Who Has an Addiction
Most families are unaware of how addiction affects families until the problem has grown unmanageable. Once this occurs, the best thing a family can do is get helped for their loved one. This starts by contacting a treatment center in Pennsylvania. A treatment center offers a wide range of services including:
- A comprehensive detox center
- Inpatient and outpatient rehab
- Individual, group, and family therapy
- Aftercare programs for families
- Support groups for each member of the family
Families can get the help they need from licensed specialists who can treat both the addict and each member.
Learn More About How Addiction Affects Families
If you would like to learn about how addiction affects families, then contact Victory Bay today. We offer complete treatment for types of addictions. Our services are available for both addicts and their families. To get started with your treatment, call us at 855.259.1624.