Research shows that families experience negative consequences when a close relative has a substance use disorder (SUD). Unfortunately, oftentimes, those who become addicted believe self-harm only hurts them. By realizing how addiction affects families, those suffering from SUD should ask for help, if not for their sake, for the well-being of their loved ones.
Communication Centers on Negativity
Communication centers on negative verbal expressions. Households with a member with SUD feed on complaints and criticism. When someone within the home displays positive behavior, it is unwelcome. This way of life becomes normal. The cycle of SUD continues as the addicted person creates situations to reuse substances.
Parenting Lacks Consistency
Children also suffer in households where there is addiction. A study conducted by the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that between 2009 and 2014, about 8.7 million children lived with a parent who was addicted to a substance.
Past studies illustrated the effects of children with one or more parent suffering from SUD. Some of the findings were:
- Difficulty in social settings
- Educational and learning difficulties
- Family communication role functioning issues
- Lower social positions
How addiction affects families is worth noting, especially in the mental health development of small children. All children have blurred boundaries in households with a parent who has SUD. As they grow, they learn what is acceptable by their parents. It is common for parents to deny they have an addiction. In turn, when a parent refuses to accept their problem, a child may cope with the emotional rollercoaster by using substances.
A child or parent may use substances to cope with:
- Other mental illnesses
Cultivates a Co-Dependent Environment
Another example of how addiction affects families is that it encourages a household where co-dependency is a way of life. The non-SUD family member or members may be overly willing to please the substance abuser. They will do this to maintain a peaceful household.
Children May Blame Themselves
Because of the destructive climate, children may falsely accept blame for their parent’s SUD. Step-parenting conflicts may arise in blended family situations where parental authority seems threatened, for example. Lack of being able to control a spouse’s child might motivate a parent with SUD to begin or accelerate acts of substance abuse.
Healthier Coping Methods Are Within Reach
If you or a family member is afflicted with SUD, it is important for you to realize you are not alone. Effective programs are put in place to address the very issues you are facing. Families can support one another by not judging the person suffering from SUD and not blaming themselves either. Instead, get help.
Learn More About How Addiction Affects Families at Soledad House Today
At Soledad House, we specialize in offering therapy for women so that they can thrive within their families and throughout all aspects of their lives.
Some of our programs are:
- Addiction Treatment Plan
- Aftercare Program Treatment
- Christian Rehab Program
- Family Therapy Treatment
- Relapse Prevention Program
- Biblical Counseling for Women
Reach out by contacting us at 866.314.3222 or by entering your contact information online. You and your family’s lives are too precious to waste another day in the grips of a SUD. You may not have realized it until now, but how addiction affects families is devastating to each member. We know it is not easy, but with our help, we believe you can rewrite your story and create a happier beginning. Take the initial step today.