People who are addicted to drugs often believe that their addiction is only harming themselves. They may even justify self-destructive behavior by stating it’s not affecting anyone but them, and therefore, it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone else. However, this is a selfish, self-serving opinion. In fact, addiction does impact those around someone suffering substance use disorder: it creates serious concerns and hardships. Furthermore, it can be just as destructive to family and friends as it is to the person abusing drugs. If you’re in active addiction, your predicament is also a problem for those closest to you.
Addiction is NOT All About You
Addiction drives a wedge between people. Addiction produces a disconnect in your brain and reduces a person’s interest to one thing – drugs! When your focus is drugs, it’s hard to even realize that you’re ignoring your loved ones. This leads to strained relationships because you’ve gone past normal limits and treated your loved ones badly. Addiction also causes you to lose interest in the things you once loved. What’s more, you may not even know you are disconnected to those around you when it’s obvious to everyone else.
Addiction demolishes trust. Addicts are typically deceitful. They lie, steal, and use others in serve their selfish needs. Over time, trust is lost, and friends and family members stop believing the person and begin to shield themselves by putting up walls.
Addiction creates chaos. Relationships become tense due to addict behaviors. This leads friends and family to blame themselves for problem, which can lead to their own set of mental health issues.
Addiction is difficult to understand. Unless you have a lot of experience with addiction problems, it may be difficult to understand the behaviors of someone who has substance use disorder. Addiction can change the chemistry of the brain, causing the person to make poor decisions that are not rational. Typically, addicts put themselves in dangerous situations and loved ones get caught in the crossfire of these bad decisions. Family members often shake their heads not understanding how any normal person would make these choices.
Addiction turns you into a different person. Because drugs modify a person’s brain chemistry, addiction changes the way people act. You may find yourself becoming more defensive, and you may even be cruel or hostile to those around you.
Some relationships may be shattered altogether. The anxiety and tension placed on relationships by addiction are severe, and in some cases, can lead to absolute destruction. People with substance use disorder are quantifiably more likely to get divorced, and addiction can create closed doors for some relationships forever.
Once you realize the effect your addiction is having on your loved ones, you may feel hopeless. Fortunately, that’s not true when real positive change occurs. It is viable to fix fractured relationships, but it will require genuine effort on your part. Just like overcoming addiction, fixing the connections that have been shattered is a challenging process, but it’s worth it. The first move towards restoring your relationships is getting help for your drug or alcohol addiction.
Simple Path Recovery is an oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.