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The Effects of Addiction on the Family

Someone experiencing addiction and family issues

Your entire life will be affected when you’re struggling with addiction. Your job, family, and friends will all feel the effects of your addiction. Your age doesn’t matter when it comes to an addiction, your background doesn’t matter, and none of these things will protect your loved ones. Call 844.413.2690 to speak with someone from The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare’s knowledgeable and compassionate team about addiction and family issues, and how our treatment programs can help you and your family overcome these problems.

How Addiction and the Family Affect Each Other

Addiction affects everyone in the family differently. Your loved ones can also influence how you experience addiction. For example, addiction can cause friction in the home, which can worsen your addiction. It’s also possible that family members may enable addiction or even develop addiction themselves.


If you have any children, they may feel guilt or feel they are the cause of your addiction and your actions while you struggle with it. Most children are not able to process cause and effect and know that it is your actions that are the issue. They may feel like they are responsible due to something that they have done in the past. Children may become depressed and have low self-esteem. In addition, they will also develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. These can include acting out to take the attention off of the addict or thinking that they have to be perfect to make up for the behavior of the addict. They can develop obsessions, such as dressing perfectly or having excellent grades. They could also go to the other extreme and develop bad habits like lying, cheating, or stealing.

Significant Others

Spouses or significant others will also be affected by their partners’ addiction. They can become the caretaker of the person struggling with addiction and ignore every other aspect of their life. They can become so focused on the needs of their partners that they do not think about their own needs. Significant others may deny their interests and hobbies and focus solely on how to make life better for an addict. They may feel like they have to be perfect and maintain complete control. They will try to protect the addict from consequences that could arise from their addiction. Spouses may become angry, hurt, depressed, and withdrawn while trying to maintain strict control of their partners’ lives.

Close Friends

People struggling with addiction tend to pull away from those who do not offer endless encouragement for their addictive habit. It’s a lot easier to be around people doing the same activities as you, such as drinking or doing drugs, than to be around someone who is saying you should stop. Feelings will get hurt, and friendships will suffer, because of addiction.

How Family Can Help to Overcome Addiction

Having addiction and family issues can be tough to handle on your own. Close friends and family can help by doing the following:

  • Talking openly and honestly with the person struggling with addiction
  • Educating themselves on addiction issues and resources to help
  • Providing emotional support for the person struggling and family members affected by addiction
  • Encouraging the person struggling to seek professional help from a qualified addiction treatment center

More than anything else, your loved ones can participate in family therapy, which is critical to helping those in addiction recovery and their families heal. Family therapy can help family members better understand addiction and how it affects everyone in the family. It can also allow everyone to express their feelings and thoughts in a safe environment to start rebuilding relationships.

Find Addiction Treatment in Texas at The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare

When getting help for an addiction, it’s important to remember your family and friends. You’ll be encouraged to make amends and be prompted to allow your family members to attend therapy sessions with you. Having your family and friends available as an extended support system for recovering from your addiction is essential. Contact The Arbor today at 844.413.2690 to learn more about how addiction affects family relationships.