Is Addiction A Family Disease?

Family Disease meeting with therapist

While addiction may affect one person directly, it affects many others indirectly. Addiction is considered a family disease because it hurts all family members; this occurs through the individual’s lying, manipulation, abuse, rejection, and ultimately, the family’s perception of losing a family member they once used to “know”. If you are a family member of someone who was affected by addiction, you need to seek help, too. Addiction can push families to their breaking points, can maximize family members’ stress levels, and can negatively impact the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and overall health and well-being of every person in the family.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) emphasizes that the entire family dynamic can become unstable; reality may become distorted even for adults in the family, as they may lie to the children to cover up or attempt to lessen the intensity of what is really happening. Pain and pressure build up, and eventually things can spiral out of control. If you are a family member attempting to recover from the way addiction has affected your family, there are a number of resources you can use:

  • Al-Anon – a group that is dedicated to friends and family members of a loved one with a drinking problem. Share your experiences, learn from others, and feel supported.
  • Nar-Anon – a group for friends and family members of a loved one with addiction, individuals can walk through 12 steps towards recovery and build their spirituality through a closer connection with a Higher Power.
  • Gam-Anon – a family group for those with a loved one struggling with gambling; engage in a 12-step help group that is meant to uplift your spiritual self.
  • – for individuals who have struggled with co-dependency, this group will promote healthy, loving relationships.
  • – as the name suggests, this group is for adult children of parents who want to recover and find strength from a Higher Power.

Many reputable treatment centers also provide family therapy to help family members work through challenges together – helping to restore and rebalance the family’s dynamics. If this is something that you need, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.