Drug addiction and substance abuse affect different aspects of life, including relationships. That is because addiction makes it difficult to maintain respect, open communication, and trust, which are critical elements in fostering healthy relationships.
When you or your loved one is addicted to drugs, life revolves around using and obtaining drugs. Thus, you end up neglecting your responsibilities and needs of your family. This will make your family sad and depressed. Over time, drug addiction will have disturbing effects on family life and relationships.
At first, it is difficult to notice the signs. For instance, your partner may come home late, your boyfriend is avoiding you, or your teenager becomes evasive and cannot answer questions about his or her whereabouts. The behavior will continue growing and becomes worse with troubling signs such as loss of appetite, fatigue, mood swings, and forgetfulness.
A relationship that you considered healthy begins to disintegrate. You will understand what it is to be in a relationship with an addict. As addiction ravages your relationship, whether you are a partner, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend, you will suffer severe heartbreaking consequences.
The following are some of the ways addiction fractures romantic relationships, families, and marriages:
Table of Contents
1. Deception and Lies
A common problem faced by people who have a loved one addicted to substances is their secrecy and mystery surrounding their daily lives. Ideally, when addicts start to center their lives and routines around substance use, they are unaware that they are getting out of control. At a given point, when they realize how bad the situation is, they will revert to feelings of guilt and shame.
As a result, they become secretive about their state of being and activities. Fear of judgment is the motivating factor behind their behavior. Most addicts start isolating themselves from persons who know them best.
Addicts will lie about where they have been, persons they hang with, how they spent their money, and why some things are missing. This happens when your drug misuse turns into an addiction and starts to erode their intrapersonal relationships.
2. Financial Burden
Studies have shown that the economic burden of addiction is higher than of other neurological diseases. Purchasing drugs is costly to start with, and there are extra expenses that include legal fees, social costs, and healthcare expenses. Nevertheless, persons addicted to drugs end up losing a lot of income.
These are some of the Economic Costs of Drug Addiction:
Loss of Income and Productivity
Substance abuse makes a person a poor performer and less productive at the workplace. As a result, you may end up missing out on a promotion or bonus or even lose your job. Also, it can become more difficult to find employment.
Cost of Purchasing Drugs
The truth is that drugs are expensive. As the addiction level keeps increasing, you will consistently take more frequent or higher doses to get the same effect. Even nicotine or alcohol addiction can drain your pocket with continued use. Drug addiction can take up more than half the income of an addict at the poverty level.
Drug abuse and addiction have a huge impact on a person’s health, which carries increased healthcare insurance premiums and medical fees.
Many addicts get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). As a result, they incur considerable costs for legal help, drug-related fines, and educational courses.
Foreclosure of Property
Drug addiction also results in missed payments. For instance, an addict can miss car loan payment or mortgage payment that may lead to repossession of the vehicle and foreclosure of your home.
3. Loss of Connection
Drug addiction makes it difficult to enjoy intimacy in a relationship. Drug addicts tend to dissociate themselves from their loved ones. Therefore, persons battling with addiction struggle to maintain healthy relationships. Moreover, they focus more on substances than they would engage with their partners.
Sometimes, addicted persons have relationship issues that contribute to substance abuse and addiction. For instance, they might have experienced childhood abuse issues, which makes them feel alone and guilty. Also, marital problems can contribute to addiction.
Some addicts use drugs to enjoy sexual activity. Unfortunately, this can make a partner feel neglected emotionally. Some people rely on substances to enjoy sex that it becomes impossible to enjoy it without using drugs first.
Drugs can have a positive or negative effect on sexuality. For instance, some drugs have been found to cause erectile dysfunction. Cocaine, on the other hand, increases sex drive, albeit on a temporal basis.
The common problem with addiction is its psychological impacts on a partner. An addict will focus energy on using and obtaining drugs and not being concern about satisfying his or her partner’s sexual needs.
4. Abuse and Violence
The traumatic effect of addiction on a relationship is domestic abuse and violence. You have probably noted how an addict can become irritable or violent quite fast. That is because continuous use of drugs compromises one’s mental clarity and judgement.
Certain drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine result in changes in the brain, causing various health problems such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia. For instance, common signs of opioid abuse include irritability, mood swings, and poor decision making. Studies have shown that addicts are more susceptible to anxiety and mood disorders than people who do not use drugs.
Ideally, this does not mean that any person who uses drugs is violent to another person. Rather, there is a link between substance abuse and violence. Cases of psychological and physical aggression towards partners and children are common in a relationship involving an addict.
Abuse does not always mean the use of physical force. Rather, it includes insulting, threatening, name-calling, and humiliating a partner.
What to Do:
If your loved one or both of you struggle with addiction and substance abuse, that is not the end of the world; there is still hope. Though addiction has some devastating effects on relationships, you can repair the relationship, heal as partners or family, and rebuild trust. Remember that it takes time to correct the damage caused by anger and lies.
The first step to recovery starts by realizing and accepting that there is a problem. After this, every person should seek help and be ready to change. The addicted person should join a rehab program that provides counseling, therapy, and detox programs. Family therapy can play a critical role in helping members to learn effective and healthy ways of supporting the addicted person.
If you want to recover, you should take a step in reaching out to a rehab facility near you. Most inpatient rehab facilities are dedicated to helping addicts recover. They use clinically-proven treatments to reduce withdrawal effects. As a result, patients can focus on integrating back into society.
Since drug abuse and addiction are dire conditions, there is a need to find a reputable inpatient facility near you. Most rehab facilities provide a wide range of services that include detox and therapy treatments. Ensure you enroll a patient in a facility that provides aftercare services to reduce the chance of relapse. Therefore, if your loved one is battling addiction, the best thing to do is reach out to the rehab facility.
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