As stated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), addiction is a family disease. Millions of people across the world have loved ones who are struggling with addiction, and they too are experiencing stress, pain, and heartbreak. Addiction has the propensity to turn our loved ones into people we don’t even recognize – thus pushing boundaries and breaking family dynamic. If you are a family member of a loved one with addiction, you surely understand the pain that addiction can bring. If you are in recovery from addiction or a friend of someone with addiction, learning information about what a family endures is bound to provide you with a solid foundation for support, because the entire family needs it.
A study involving 1,565 people who completed surveys sought to explore how family members of those with addiction experienced recovery. Half of the participants were parents, with the next highest percentage of participants being spouses or ex-spouses of those with addiction. Respondents reported their loved ones having a number of dependencies, including those with alcoholism, illicit drug addiction, prescription drug addiction, and/or “legal highs” from substances such as marijuana. Participants stated that during their loved one’s active addiction, the following emerged as occurring more often than during their loved one’s recovery:
- Having more debt and being unable to pay their bills
- Increased experience of being a victim of family violence
- Being more likely to be a perpetrator of family violence
- Having more untreated mental or emotional health problems
- Frequent use of healthcare services
- Being arrested more
- Driving while under the influence more
- Served prison time in active addiction than recovery
- Fired or suspended from work while their loved one was actively addicted
From a family perspective, addiction takes a major toll on the mind, body, and spirit. This is what makes seeking support and treatment for yourself so important – just because you weren’t actively involved in addiction doesn’t mean that you don’t need help too. Family therapy, individual therapy, and support groups such as Al-Anon can provide you with a lot of tools and resources to work through the pain that addiction causes. It does get better.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, 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.