Substance Abuse In Families
Parents or children with a drug or alcohol problem affect the whole family in different ways. In many cases, drug addicts or alcoholics are not aware of the effects of substance abuse in families. In this section, we are going to have an in-depth discussion on this broad topic to help you understand how families are affected if a parent, partner or child is drinking or abusing drugs.
Addiction is a severe physical and mental disease that affects the entire family in ways that you cannot imagine. That is the main reason why the whole family ought to be included in treatment. When a member of the family becomes dependent on substance use, the results of the mental turmoil that comes as a result affects relationships in a great way.
When a daughter, son or parent becomes addicted to drugs / alcohol, family support is what majorly determines the success of the recovery process. Many people tend to think that drug / alcohol abuse affects the addict alone thus neglecting being part of the treatment.
In order to overcome the negative effects of substance abuse, support and help from the family is highly recommended. This article is meant to help families know how to cope with loved ones who spend most of their time in the state of addiction. This is because family has a great impact on potential recovery.
According to research, impacts of drug/alcohol are diverse depending on the type of family. For instance, the single-parent family and the nuclear or extended family experience different influences of addiction. The weight of the impact is felt depending on the kind of family composition as well as how each member of the family reacts to substance use in families.
As a matter of fact, healing process can become more difficult when families fail to understand their role in recovery. In most cases, family members start pointing fingers and blaming each other to be the cause of the addiction to the child and they want to escape the responsibility of helping the addict through recovery. For instance a parent might blame his/her partner to be responsible for the addiction.
Impacts Of Substance Abuse In Families
A family with a loved one who is addicted to drugs / alcohol experience various negative impacts. Substance dependency is a severe physical and mental disorder that alters an individual’s lifestyle in a big way. The strong cravings and urges for more drugs or alcohol is so strong to an extent that it is difficult to let go no matter how one is badly affected by the addiction. In fact, the condition moves from bad to worse but with proper treatment and family support, an individual can find his/her way to recovery.
When a person is addicted to drugs / alcohol, a lot of things happen within his life. A person who used to stay clean and well-groomed now finds grooming an uphill task. The person may start being smelly and look messy. Due to this, many people start isolating themselves from the addict. It is therefore the family’s responsibility to help the addict stay well-groomed and guard the family image.
In the severe cases of addiction, an individual’s physical and mental health is badly affected. The patient might suffer from chronic diseases which can be very expensive to treat. This therefore affects the family’s finances and it might affect the stability of a family that was once well established. Drug and alcohol addiction may lead to misconduct and negligence which may result to job loss and this might affect the family’s financial stability in a great way.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to legal issues like fines and jail. This can be a major blow to the immediate family. It requires hiring a lawyer and when fines are imposed, this might affect the family’s finances. If the parent/ partner is jailed, he cannot continue with his family responsibilities and this poses a major challenge to the family’s stability.
In some cases, the parent or child in addiction can become violent and this can pose a major safety problem to the family. Children living with a violent addicted parent will always stay under fear and this badly affects their physical, mental and psychological health. A violent addicted partner can also pose major threats to the other partner and this affects family’s growth and development in a significant manner.
As a result of the subsequent fights and misunderstanding between partners, breakage of the family unit becomes a reality. Separation and divorce affects children and partners and leaves behind scars that can never be forgotten. This results to the increase of single-parent families which clearly depicts a deficiency in parenting. In connection to this, the number of neglected children is increasing at an alarming rate.
Children brought up in families with an alcohol / drug history are more likely to get involved into substance abuse at a very tender age. They are likely to copy the morals and behaviours of their parents. If this is not looked at keenly, it might result to spread of addiction problem to many generations thereafter.
When children start engaging in drugs / alcohol, their school performance deteriorates and this might result to many school drop-out cases. If families fail to take charge of these bad impacts of substance abuse, the entire community suffer great loss. A crisis in professionals and human labour slows the development of any given community.
In the quest to quench the strong urges and cravings for drugs or alcohol, the addict requires a constant flow ow money. If the addict is a school child or an individual who does not have a stable source of income, stealing from family members becomes the only option. Stealing, lying and mistrust becomes an obvious challenge in the family cycle.
What Should Be Done To Curb Substance Abuse In Families?
As discussed earlier in this topic, we found out that addiction is a family disease. It is therefore important that families understand that addiction is a disease and they should always know that their loved ones in addiction need help.
Understanding the causes, symptoms and treatment for substance abuse is the key to recovery and family stability. There are many factors that contribute to substance abuse in families. Children coming from families with history of addiction are likely to start substance abuse at young age. Other people drink or use drugs due to peer influence, stress or running away from a reality in life. One can become addicted to illegal substance or prescription medicine.
The Common Symptoms Of Drug / Alcohol Addiction
Most symptoms of addiction are self-recognisable. When you find your loved one engaging in repeated drug/alcohol use despite the prevailing health and legal issues. They may feel guilty after drinking or using drugs but there is nothing much they can do to help themselves out of the addiction.
When you detect the following symptom, just know that the individual is an addict and find help immediately.
- Redness of eyes and face
- Lack of restraint
- Self-destructive behaviour
- Nausea / vomiting
- Coordination problems
- Slurred speech
When you see any of the above symptoms, consult a doctor immediately for help. Family intervention at the initial stages of addiction is very important. Parents should be present in every stage of their children’s development so as to notice any change of behaviour in their teenage children.
In order to avoid being overwhelmed by the financial and emotional burden as well as the emotional distress caused by substance abuse in families, early intervention is really important.
Addiction can affect life even at the very initial stages of existence. For instance, a pregnant mother can ruin the life of the developing foetus if she engages in drinking or substance abuse. Family should therefore play a major role of ensuring that they help the expectant mother fight addiction to ensure that healthy babies are born.
Parents with substance abuse disorder may fail to provide the emotional availability to their growing children. The best thing to do is to find addiction recovery treatment at the initial stages. Parents should be aware of the effects of addiction to the family and find help immediately.
Feelings of depression, anxiety, guilt, anger and helplessness are felt by parents addicted to substance abuse or have addicted children. In order to overcome these mental disorders, such parents should seek advice from professional counsellors to help them overcome the effects of addiction and find their way to freedom and happiness.
Can A Family Still Enjoy Peace And Happiness When Dealing With Addiction?
Did you know that families can still enjoy happiness and peace even when going through the turmoil of addiction? You might be asking yourself how. Isn’t it? When a family realises how to develop strong coping strategies, then dealing with the issue of addiction becomes less difficult.
Regardless of the problems a family is experiencing when dealing with a loved one who is addicted to substance us, it is important that they be careful not to be overwhelmed, but instead be physically and mentally prepared to face the challenge with a lot of patience and perseverance.
The issue of drug / alcohol addiction is not a new thing in many families. At one point in life, there is usually one or more members who is alcoholic or addicted to drugs. In the US and other parts of the world, family support programs have been introduced to help families handle the issue of drug / alcohol addiction and help the patient through recovery until sobriety is achieved.
What Everyone Must Know About Drug /Alcohol Addiction
Whenever you come across an addict, every time you should know that that individual is going through a situation that he cannot help himself out. Many addicts have always been trying to get out of the addiction but the withdrawal symptoms are just too much to overcome on their own.
This is where the family comes in handy. With proper support from the family, a successful recovery process is very certain. The very basic thing to do is know what to do to avoid substance use in families.
Families should create awareness about drug /substance abuse to the children. Bringing up children with good morals is a great way to raise a generation of responsible citizens. This helps these kids to withstand the temptation of engaging in substance use during their teenage and young adult stages. Parents should take their children to their religions to help them get spiritual nourishment. This makes them to be deeply rooted to their spiritual believe and they can be able to say no to drugs or other irresponsible behaviours.
Strong coping strategies is what makes families to be resilient and less prone to the adverse effects of substance use in families. Attending seminars and drug / alcohol awareness campaigns helps families and the society to learn how to deal with alcoholism and drug addiction.
Social Impacts Of Substance Abuse In Families
Drug or alcohol addiction can pose a major threat and burden to the family and the society at large. Substance dependency can lead to accidents and death. In other severe cases, the addicts can either become violence and dangerous or can become suicidal. Chronic liver and heart diseases as well as other severe illnesses can result from prolonged use of illegal substance. All these issues can bring some negative social impacts to the family.
Criminal behaviours that result from substance abuse are increasing at an alarming rate regardless of the intense campaigns on addiction. If families become part of the recovery process, the good results are assured. The family is meant to provide financial and mutual support to the addict during recovery.
Sobriety – which is the key goal to recovery is not an overnight event. It is a process that takes time before the patient is completely freed from addiction. The family should therefore be present to ensure that the offer the moral support needed by the recovery patient who is undergoing treatment.
The Role Of The Family During Withdrawal
The moment you identify a loved one with an issue of addiction, the best intervention is to find immediate help on how he can be helped out of the addiction. It is highly recommended that medical consultation is made so as to ensure that you engage a professional doctor to help with addiction treatment.
At times, the addict may be willing to find help while in other cases, the individual is still denying that he is in an addiction and that he needs help. It is therefore the role of the family to encourage the loved one to go to the rehab centre to find help.
During the initial stages of recovery, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms are experienced depending on the severity of the addiction. Without proper mentorship and support, it is easy for the patient to give up along the way. The family should be present to offer their love and support during the times of intense pain and helplessness while giving assurance to the patient that it’s got to be well.
Withdrawal symptoms are not meant to last forever. Withdrawal becomes very intense during the first 72 hours and after that, the patient slowly stabilises and during this moment, the patient requires a lot of help and attention from the immediate family.
Addiction can lead to irresponsible sexual behaviours which can contribute to the rise of HIV/AIDs and unplanned pregnancies. These can greatly affect families. Sexual education among teenage children can help our children escape the trap of contracting sexually transmitted diseases or even becoming pregnant at young age. It is therefore the responsibility of every family to ensure that they bring up their children with right morals who are aware of the consequences of irresponsible sexual behaviours.
The issue of unemployment has also been a key cause of substance abuse among youths. When young people stay idle, they are likely to be influenced by their peers and as a result they engage into substance abuse. Families should establish ways to help their loved ones who are not in employment or business. Families can opt to start income generating projects or businesses to boost the less fortunate members of the family and this can help them from the agony of drug addiction.
Education is key to family development and growth. Parents should encourage their children to embrace the power of education. This lowers the rate of illiteracy in the family and the society. Literate people are hard to be misplaced because they are able to make informed judgement and it’s hard for them to be easily influenced by peers.
Members of the family who are well educated should be there to provide mentorship and support to their loved ones. They should also be willing to provide financial support whenever needed to fund their education.
Why Offer Comprehensive Treatment For Substance Abuse In Families?
If comprehensive addiction treatment is not offered, chances of a relapse become quite obvious. Relapse is going back to drugs / alcohol after a period of abstinence. Relapse is very dangerous and should be avoided at all cost. The reason why we insist on family intervention during treatment is because the addict is too helpless to walk through recovery alone. It is true he might be willing to find help but the withdrawal symptoms are just too much for him to bear alone.
Family involvement at every stage of recovery is very important. All the way through assessment, detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance, the support from family is of great significance. The family should be there to help ensure that the patient is taking prescribed medication when receiving outpatient medication. They should also help the addict with child care, legal help, housing and other basics in case of severe addiction especially during treatment which might be very tough.
During recovery, the family is responsible for helping the patient to thoroughly address the social recovery issues to avoid the risks of a relapse. The family should help the patient start a new lifestyle free from drugs or alcohol.
To begin with, the family should help clear the home of all the drug/ alcohol, empty bottles and drug peels that were used during the days of active addiction. This is to promote a drug-free environment which is very essential for a fast, safe and long-term recovery.
During active addiction, there could have been many relationship problems that had developed and left unsorted. It is at this point that the family should work together towards counselling and reconciliation. Family should also help the patient establish new friendships and minimize contact with people or events. Family should encourage the patient to participate in drug-free social activities and connect him/her to individuals who have successfully overcome a nasty addiction.
Looking For Family Support Programs?
Are you having a loved one with substance abuse disorder and you are looking for the best way to intervene as a family? Find the best family support programs near you. if you are finding it difficult to influence the addict to start treatment and get help, call us now. We help families support their loved ones with substance dependency as well as help the family address their reactions to effects of alcoholism of drug abuse.
Why Family Support Programs Are Important In Your Case
The issue of addiction is quite intense and alone it is difficult to overcome the bondage of substance dependence. Even when you are dealing with it at a family level without proper information and support, it becomes an uphill task.
Family support programs helps improve family approaches to addiction and thus reduce the emotional burden caused by the nasty addiction. Families are encouraged to increase their involvement and family care during every stage of recovery.
In order to facilitate comprehensive treatment, family support programs help individual families engage in family care, provide education and facilitate family treatment as well as help the member engage in treatment programs that works for him.
Need Help With Substance Abuse In Families?
We understand the social turmoil and physical burdens caused by substance abuse in families and that is why we are committed to offering a comprehensive support to families with loved ones who are addicted to drugs / alcohol.
If you are facing difficulties with effects of addiction in your family, relax. You are not alone. Millions of families are going through the agony of drug addiction every day but with the right help and support, they are finding their way to freedom and happiness. Don’t give up, your help is just a call away.