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How Addiction Affects the Family Dynamic

an older adult male sits on a bench with a younger adult male and talks about how addiction affects the family dynamic

It is a misconception that addiction is a disease that only impacts the life of an individual struggling with substance use. While addiction wreaks havoc on a person’s mind and body, its effects reach far beyond that person and can alter the lives of their immediate family and anyone who cares for them. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use, seeking out a family addiction therapy program can help the person battling addiction and those around them.

At Evoke Waltham, we believe that holistic healing is the key to genuine recovery. Our addiction treatment programs include various therapies to help patients identify and resolve the issues that contribute to their addiction. Our family therapy programs can guide and support the patient and their loved ones as they recover from abuse, resulting in stronger relationships that contribute to lifelong sobriety. Contact us at 866.276.1920 today to learn more about how addiction affects the family dynamic and how we can help.

How Addiction Affects the Family Dynamic

When someone falls into an addiction, there are countless effects on the people around them. While the extent of these effects varies from situation to situation, the following are the most common:

Strained Relationships

Addiction can cause a lack of communication and trust issues between people. This can be caused by guilt, shame, or neglect as the addiction becomes their primary focus. It is difficult to maintain healthy relationships when using and acquiring substances becomes the main priority of a person.

Financial Difficulties

It’s possible that the person suffering from addiction has racked up debt or cannot keep their job. The loss of income or the additional expenses may strain the rest of their household finances.

Emotional Trauma

The stress of having a loved one going through difficulties with substance use can lead to mental strain and emotional trauma. Fearing for their loved one’s health or stress from managing the fall-out of that person’s addiction can get increasingly difficult as time goes on.

Risk of Physical and Emotional Abuse

As the person falls deeper into addiction, their behavior may become erratic, leading to violence or verbal lashing out.

Broken Families

Some people find it challenging to stay with someone addicted and unwilling or unable to kick their habit. They may also deem the environment unhealthy for younger family members and opt to leave to shield them from the addiction.

Other Cases of Addiction

The stress of loving someone with addiction may lead some people to turn to substances to deal with the situation eventually. This is one reason why a pattern of addiction often runs in families.

The Benefits of a Family Addiction Therapy Program

When a loved one is struggling with an addiction, the people around them are often willing to give their support. However, most people are ill-equipped to properly guide and support someone through substance use without enabling bad habits. They may think that picking up that person’s slack in their responsibilities helps them, but it only shields them from the consequences of their actions. Through family addiction therapy, loved ones can learn how to impact someone’s recovery journey positively.

By attending group therapy sessions, a family dealing with addiction can reap the following benefits:

  • Family members can learn about addiction and its effects to understand the situation better
  • Improved communication skills among all family members
  • A safe and supportive place for family members to voice their opinions, air grievances, and express their emotions
  • Eased feelings of fear, anger, stress, or confusion related to their loved one’s addiction.
  • Family members can learn how to provide appropriate support without enabling

Battling addiction is never easy, but having a solid support system at home can significantly contribute to someone’s long-term sobriety. Understanding the situation can go a long way toward proper guidance and healing the damage the addiction may have wrought.

Change How Addiction Affects Your Family with Evoke Waltham’s Therapy Program

At Evoke Waltham, we strive to help patients and their families feel that they are not alone. Our compassionate staff is here to give quality care and expert guidance to help patients through every stage of their recovery journey. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us at 866.276.1920 to learn more about how addiction affects the family dynamic and to take the first step to a healthier future.