How Drug Abuse Affects Relationships

Drug abuse is a disease that affects the entire family. It can destroy relationships and create emotional turmoil for your loved ones.

How Drug Abuse Affects Relationships

The Effects of Drug Abuse on Families

Different family units will experience different effects from their family member abusing drugs. Some of the most common effects include:

  1. Stealing, lying and mistrust – Once people become addicts, many turn to stealing and lying to try and hide the abuse. This kind of behavior creates mistrust and resentment within relationships and the family unit. 
  1. Instability – People who suffer with addiction tend to be unreliable. This leaves the rest of the family to attend to the addict’s responsibility. This can cause a great deal of instability in the family unit as loved ones are let down. 
  1. Conflict – Addiction leads to negativity when the addict communicates with his or her family. Resentment can lead to family members lashing out at each other. Criticisms and complaints tend to become the norm and leave everyone feeling unhappy. 
  1. Financial distress – Drug abuse can lead to problems in the workplace, such as missed days, decreased productivity and even the loss of a job. Addiction results in a financial burden that can lead to families losing their homes or being unable to provide for their children. The addict then lands up replying on support from their family with even more strain placed on relationships. 
  1. Denial and shame – When one person in the family unit becomes an addict, the entire family can suffer from denial and shame. Families try to work hard to hide the results of the addiction and start developing elaborate stories of denial. 

Addiction and Co-dependency 

According to the leading drug rehab in Chiang Mai, drug abuse affects personal relationships in very specific ways, usually with one of the partners, or even both, showing signs of co-dependency.

Symptoms of co-dependency include:

  1. Controlling behavior – Co-dependents believe other people can’t take care of themselves and that leads to them becoming controlling in all types of situations. 
  1. Low self-esteem – Spouses try hard to please their partner, truly believing that if they make their partner happy, they will stop using drugs. 
  1. Becoming dependent on other people’s approval – Co-dependents’ partners tend to put their own values aside to avoid rejection and make others happy. Their self-worth tends to be based on the approval of others and this in turn results in excessive people pleasing. 
  1. Neglecting your own needs – Partners may think they are selfless in wanting to care for the addict’s needs, but this is an enabling behavior that is detrimental to the relationship. 

Overcoming the Effects of Drug Abuse on a Family Unit

One of the best ways to help the family unit cope with the drug addict’s abuse is to involve the family in therapy and counselling. Together, the family can learn about addiction and co-dependency and how to support the addict instead of enabling him or her. Therapy can help family members rebuild their damaged relationships with the help of skilled counselors.

Drug rehabilitation is the first step towards recovery. Since the disease affects the entire family, it is a good idea to involve everyone in the recovery process.



Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products and businesses we support. We may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a mentioned product. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. We are required to make you aware of the use of affiliate links and commissions that may be earned by the FTC. To review all of our disclosure policies, visit the POLICIES tab in our menu at the top of this page.

Hits: 442

2 Comments

  1. My ex that I currently live with broke-up years ago… First it started with drinking, then going out, not coming home… I’m home with the kids wondering why? Then it was pills, she started stealing my medicine and the drinking I couldn’t take it any longer so I moved out with our daughter. Now that I’m sick I’m back staying on the couch and it was okay for a little bit, but now she’s back at it and its the worse its ever been…. I just need to take my daughter again and move out, but this time around I can’t and unable to do it on my own….

THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMMENT. WE APPRECIATE YOU!