The Impact Of Alcohol And Drug Addiction To A Family

When a person is an alcohol or drug addict, it is not only him who needs treatment and therapy. Let’s say the father or the mother is “chemically dependent” and they have children. They also want to recover from their addictive behavior and start anew. Well, the treatment and therapy program that they have to undergo must include a family counseling and therapy plan. Because of their addiction, it is most likely that their spouses and kids have been affected hugely. They need to recover from it, too.



Addictions Destroy Families


By now, you may have an idea that any addiction, especially alcohol and drugs, are family and relationship destroyers. Sara Nash, PhD, LMHC explains that “The term “alcoholic” places the problem within the person, not within the nature of the drug.” When a person is dependent on alcohol or drugs, he will behave erratically. His usual self hides behind the vastness of his addiction wherein the alcohol will talk for him, or the drugs will act on his behalf.


Is An Alcoholic Or Drug Addict Conscious Of His Deeds?


You can say that he is not “conscious” of his actions while under the influence, but then again, the person was fully aware of the consequence during his lucid times. Of course, he has to be held accountable for all the emotional distress he has brought upon his family. If only he had the will not to drink chronically or take substances for recreational purposes, there will be no problems.


Why Is There A Need For Family Involvement?


“The goal of family therapy is to help family members improve communication, solve family problems, understand and handle special family situations, and create a better functioning home environment. ” That is according to Dave Kaplowitz, LMFT, CGP. Now, going back to the idea of family counseling, why is it needed? Experts call substance or alcohol abuse as a family disease, and therefore, everyone in the family must heal together, not just the addict. Along with the person who is chemically dependent, his or her spouse, children, and siblings also need the support and guidance from mental health professionals by undergoing a family counseling and treatment program for alcoholics and drug addicts. They have been through a lot of heartaches just because their loved one has an addiction.




Some Ways Wherein Alcohol And Drug Addiction Affect A Family


  1. The family becomes unstable. More often, the person with chemical dependence is unreliable and other members of the family have to pick up after them. For example, if the father is an addict and cannot perform his fatherly duties, someone has to absorb the role. Usually, it is the mother, the eldest child or the eldest son. It causes hurts and conflicts within.


  1. An addicted person cannot be trusted for he will continuously cheat, lie and steal. If you notice, alcoholics and drug addicts will do whatever it takes to find money so that they could buy their “fix.” It means stealing from their spouse, parent or sibling. Situations like this are emotionally distressing.


  1. There will be financial problems. Alcohol and drugs are not cheap. The addict will buy until he has no money left. What about rent, food, utilities, and other essential needs? It will create a problem especially when kids are crying due to hunger.


  1. Conflict is an everyday issue. A lot of things will happen within the family because of the addict’s doing. And so, not everyone will maintain a good relationship, and often, the addict and some members of the family will fight. It will make everyone in the household feel bad.


  1. Everyone is in denial and will be so ashamed. If you have a parent, child, or sibling who is an addict, you will deny this fact as long as you can, but deep down inside, you are so ashamed. You don’t want other people to know that this is happening to your family, but eventually, it will all come out. “Admitting you have a problem is the first step in treating your addiction. However, due to the nature and the danger of this disease, simply just stopping on your own is highly unadvisable.” Dr. Howard Samuels, PsyD said.


Can you see now how difficult it is for everyone in the family because one member is alcohol dependent or a drug abuser? Let’s not be selfish because if you become an addict, everyone else will suffer on your behalf. That includes your mom, dad, wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, and son. Stay away from drugs and alcohol.