How Drug Addicts Affect Families
Many families now a days seem to struggle with addiction somewhere within their family. Whether a person is dealing with addiction themselves, or instead going through the painful steps alongside a close family members, drugs tear apart everything they encounter. Because drug addiction is such a tough battle to overcome for some people, many family member often feel an obligation to go above and beyond on efforts to help the drug addict only to often times realize they are sometimes in the battle alone. Unfortunately, it’s often times very difficult for some addicts to actually acknowledge that their addiction has spun out of control, and that it is now negatively affecting not only themselves, but each and every person that loves them. Some people feel that drug addiction is a victimless crime; however, a drug addict’s lifestyle often times negatively affects not only their own quality of life, but those who love them the most are affected quite harshly.
With drug addiction, mood swings are a very common side effect. Some people have extreme highs meaning that may act wildly with lots of energy, often times become violent, or have a false sense of pure happiness. In other cases, some drug addictions cause the person to become groggy, lethargic, ill, and may tend to live somewhat of a loner lifestyle. With drugs altering a person’s personality so much, it’s difficult for others, even the drug addict’s children, to bond and connect with the drug addict. According to the article “The Set Up: Living with Addiction”, Dr. Tian Dayton MA, PhD, TEP states, “The intensity and type of connectedness in addicted/traumatizing families can create the types of bonds that of people tend to form during times of crisis.” True connections are made when both parties are mentally aware of their emotions and their acting in rational ways.
Drug addiction also has a history of leading a person into a life of low morale. In order to get what a drug addict feels they need, he or she is willing at times to do whatever it takes in order to get the drugs. Whether it’s by lying, stealing, or cheating their way, they do it. Spouses of drug addicts often times begin to notice where money begins to be missing, or the drug addict lies about finances. Regardless, drug addicts tend to put their addiction above all else. Before food is placed on their child’s plate, before clothes are purchased, before bills are paid, before everything else, drugs are number one. People typically want to help those that they love and care about. Even though the drug addict’s addiction is impacting every area of their life, trust has been broken numerous times, and money is being put toward purchasing drugs instead of buying and paying for the normal necessities. Family members a lot of the time continue helping the drug addict regardless of the repetitive and constant betrayal.
Finally, in my opinion, the most serious problem dealing with drug addicts is when a spouse and/or a child or children are involved. A good spouse wants to try everything in their power to help the drug addict change, “get back on their feet”, stop using, and most importantly, stay that way. Unfortunately for the spouse, drug addiction is way bigger than they are. Often times, the best of marriages are torn apart due to drugs. The addicted spouse can become emotionally withdrawn from their spouse, or even begin lying to them. This in turn will begin to tear the couple apart. Drugs are notorious for causing a divorce. Also, when children are involved, they are too negatively affected. In some cases, the child hardly even has a bond with the drug addicted parent. Being as drugs take first priority, the child may have never properly bonded to the parent, and this can be hurtful by itself. Dr. Tian Dayton also states in her article “The Set Up: Living with Addiction”, “When what is going on within the family is never talked about, children are left to make sense of it on their own. Talking need not be constant, but avoiding talking altogether can lead to confusion and disconnection.” Children need to be told that it’s okay to feel the way they do, and should be allowed to vocalize their feelings to someone who can help them sort out their feelings. Children of drug addicts have it unfair anyway, but being forced to just hush about and ignore can cause major emotional issues in a child. Some people feel that drug addiction is a victimless crime; however, a drug addict’s lifestyle often times negatively affects not only their own quality of life, but those who love them the most are affected quite harshly. Drug addiction is a very complex and confusing issue to understand. There are so many areas of a
drug addict’s life that are affected that it’s kind of difficult to say what is the worst part of the whole situation.