Drug and substance abuse lead to dependency and addiction. Individuals suffering from addiction have numerous social and health problems. The individuals may lose their jobs, fail to maintain social relationships, or develop diseases, such as liver Cirrhosis. While the impact of drug abuse on those abusing the substance is clear to everyone, addiction effects on the family have not received much attention.

However, according to family systems theory, children, parents, and siblings living with the drug abuser undergo similar challenges, if not more. The family systems theory views the family as a social unit in which the behavior of one member affects the others. Here, we will look at the effects of addiction on family and where to get help for a loved one struggling with addiction in Southwest Colorado.

The Many Ways Addiction Affects the Family

Addiction affects families in several ways. The effects of addiction on families range from social and financial to health. Families living with loved ones struggling with addiction may suffer breakups, experience financial challenges, or even develop mental health conditions. However, how addiction affects families vary from one member to another. Children living with parents struggling with substance use disorder may suffer more than adults.

How Addiction Impacts Children

Children bear the greatest brunt when a family plunges into addictions. However, the impact of drug addiction on children depends on two factors.

  • Whether the children come from single-parent families or they live with both parents.
  • If the children live with both parents, the impact of addiction depends on whether one or both parents are abusing drugs.

Children from single-parent families, where the parent struggles with addiction, suffer more than those living with both parents. The rationale here is a child with both parents receives support from the parent who is not addicted. However, a child from a single-parent family or a family where both parents are addicted may have nowhere to run to.

How Addiction Affects Parents

Parents also suffer when their children become addicted to drugs. The suffering becomes intense when the parents blame themselves for the predicaments of their children. Others blame parenting skills as they helplessly watch their children get wasted by drugs.

Some may provide financial aid to the addicted sons or daughters, hoping the finances will improve their lives. However, the money is spent on more drugs, which worsens the addiction and leaves the parents struggling financially.

How Addiction Affects Siblings

Drug addiction also affects siblings, especially the younger ones. The siblings may follow the trend if an elder brother or sister abuses drugs. However, some siblings may not engage in substance abuse but suffer mental anguish watching their brother or sister get lost in addiction. The siblings may also suffer isolation as parents concentrate on helping those lost in addiction.

Help is Available for the Families

Addiction effects on the family can take many forms. Seeking help for a loved one struggling with addiction can help alleviate family suffering. Moreover, family counseling can help children and other family members overcome the impacts of addiction on the family. Counseling also helps family members overcome maladaptive behaviors resulting from neglect, abuse, or violence from the substance abuser. If the family has more than one member struggling with addiction, family counseling can bring them together and develop joint solutions.

How to Get Your Loved One into Treatment – Contact Axis Health Systems

Need help now? Professional and compassionate care providers will answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Regional Crisis Center – Montrose 970.252.3203 for people in the following Western Slope, Colorado counties (Hinsdale, Montrose, Delta, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison).

If you live in Southwest Counties, Montezuma, La Plata, Dolores, San Juan, or Archuleta please contact Regional Crisis Center – Durango at 970.403.0180

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