Addiction and the Family

Addiction affects every family differently, depending on how persistent the addiction is, which family member struggles with addiction, and whether or not these families have external social support. Addiction introduces increased amounts of stress, which affects many different areas of family life and many different family members. Social, psychological, and emotional issues caused by addiction effects family life:

  • Increased Stress
  • Reversed roles (a child acting as caretaker of their parent)
  • Disjointed conversations and relationships
  • Inappropriate dependency
  • Denial (from both the parent and the child)
  • Verbal or emotional abuse
  • Fear or anger
  • Guilt
  • Self-medication
  • Inconsistency in parenting
  • Negativity

The primary way that addiction affects the family unit is through negativity. When a family member struggles with addiction, any form of communication is more likely to be negative – complaints, criticism, blame, and anger or guilt become the most common sentiments expressed by family members.

Over time, this only works to undermine the trust, love, and respect that all relationships should be built upon. This often extends in many different directions – from a parent to a child, from a child to a parent, and from a spouse to another spouse.

Addiction within the family can affect a cycle of unhealthy relationships, a lack of trust, and a lack of modeling for what constitutes normal and healthy behavior. With this in mind, it is crucial to understand what can be done to minimize these detrimental effects of addiction on the family unit.

Contact Jimmy for intervention help.