Drug addiction is an illness which impacts not only the addict but also the entire family. It is an illness that family members must handle as they live under the same roof as the one suffering. It can be especially challenging when your loved one is suffering from a hidden addiction where you are not able to understand what is going on- leaving your family feeling confused and stuck. Although there are many examples of how an entire family suffers from one’s addiction, here are some key examples:
- Heightened Stress and Anxiety: For family members who are trying to engage and communicate with the addict on a regular basis, it can make family members more stressed and anxious than they should be. It can feel like you are walking on eggshells and at any moment, you can trigger the addict. Due to the fear of the addict’s difficult behaviour, family members are not able to continue their day-to-day tasks with ease or peace of mind.
- Financial Strain: The loved one suffering from an addiction is usually making poor financial decisions as they are constantly trying to fulfil their cravings or other dangerous needs. This can mean taking loans, stealing money, or pressuring other family members for money. When a family is already struggling financially, this increases financial hardship for all members of the household. This also increases stress for the family because they can get pressurized to pay back loans that the addict took.
- Isolation and Stigma: When the family discovers that a family member is suffering from an addiction, they often hide this issue from their friends and extended family. Due to the stigma of addiction, they are fearful of what people will say if they find out. This fear causes family members to distance or isolate themselves from other family and friends. When socialization was once a positive experience that brought joy, it becomes a draining experience that brings pain.
- Witnessing Withdrawals: The family witnesses all the withdrawal effects firsthand when the addict enters their home. This makes them vulnerable to emotional, physical or sexual abuse by the addict. Withdrawal symptoms can cause distress to other family members (including parents) as they may not know how to handle severe mood swings, anger, anxiety, depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, and other withdrawal symptoms.
Your family should not have to suffer any longer. We know how painful it can be to witness a dear family member falling into a trap that you cannot save them from. We are ready to help your family stand strong again. Please contact our team at 0315-0500158 or [email protected] today for help with your loved one’s recovery. We integrate family counselling with our programs to heal the family unit as a whole.