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5 Ways Substance Abuse Affects Families Long Term

by Maggie Bloom
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The entire household feels the effects when a family member has an addiction. Because of the stress and worry of helping an addicted loved one, many people do not realize how substance abuse also has long-lasting long-term effects on their family dynamic.

The constant fear that something bad will happen, the stress of monitoring their behavior, and regular arguments are all side effects of having a loved one dealing with substance abuse.

1. Constant Worry and Stress

One of the first things you are likely to notice if a family member deals with substance abuse is that you are always on edge. You may constantly worry about what your loved one is doing or saying, especially if you live with them.

This stress and worry can take its toll on your health, causing high blood pressure, insomnia, and other health issues like heart disease and digestive problems. It can also strain your relationship with your loved one, which is the last thing you want.

Substance abuse can also lead to violent behavior, driving under the influence, and other dangerous activities that you must constantly be looking for.

2. Financial Problems

Financial problems are often a byproduct of substance abuse. Whether it is spending money on drugs or alcohol, paying court fines, paying for rehab, or Xanax addiction treatment, financial issues are likely to be a part of your loved one’s substance abuse story.

Substance abuse can also lead to a drop in productivity, which can cause you to lose your job. You may also have to find a way to cover your loved one’s share of household expenses, whether it’s groceries or rent. It can put an unnecessary financial strain on you and your family.

3. Reputation Tarnishing

When your loved one begins to show signs of substance abuse, others will notice and begin to talk. It can tarnish your loved one’s reputation and have to deal with gossip, rumors, and judgment in your community. It can affect your friends, family members, and your loved one’s career.

If your loved one is underage and is caught drinking, they can be charged with a crime. If they are caught with illegal substances, they can face legal trouble. It can lead to a tarnishing of your loved one’s reputation and can also affect your family as a whole.

4. Loss of Trust and Sense of Betrayal

You may feel betrayed by your loved one’s actions, which can be very painful. You may lose trust in your loved one and feel that you can no longer trust them.

You may question your loved one’s actions, even when they are not under the influence. It can cause a lot of tension between you and your loved one and lead to a breakdown in trust. During a period of substance abuse, your loved one may do things to betray your trust.

They may lie to you, steal from you, use your credit cards without permission, or engage in other risky behaviors. It can cause a breakdown in trust between family members and can cause a lot of tension.

5. Loss of Freedom and Independence

Substance abuse can quickly lead to a situation where your loved one can no longer be self-sufficient. You may have to begin to take care of your loved ones and their basic needs, such as making sure they eat and bathe regularly.

You may even have to move your loved one into a rehabilitation facility or take them to a treatment center. It can take away your loved one’s independence and freedom.

It can also cause you to feel like you have to give up your freedom, such as making sacrifices to ensure your loved one has what they need. You may worry that they will engage in dangerous behavior, so you may need to look closely at them frequently.

Substance abuse affects families in a variety of ways. The negative impact of substance abuse on families is often long-lasting. Still, the healing process can begin once the person finishes the treatment program and continues to work on recovery.

Helping your loved one get the treatment they need can help them overcome their addiction and help you and your family regain the trust and freedom that substance abuse took away.




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