Is Addiction a Family Disease?

Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. At its core, addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. Experts now believe the roots of addiction can be found in a person’s efforts to escape discomfort. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.

Drug addiction isn’t about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances. Drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose self-control and can lead you to damaging behaviors.

Is Addiction a Family Disease?

How Does Addiction Affect Your Relationship with Loved Ones?

Addiction hurts the family dynamic and disrupts the stability of the household. If it is a child that is abusing drugs, this will cause great concern, stress, and devastation for the parents. If the user is a parent, it will dramatically affect the bond and trust between that parent and their child. The child is set to have a future with much healing to do as a direct result of the emotional and mental damage they suffered because of the parent. Quickly the child will find that they are not important to their parent, not as important as their drug of choice. The child will miss school and no longer be enrolled in sports.

That parent will withdraw from their family and eventually won’t work anymore or participate in the activities of their family. Pertaining to a spouse, he or she would no longer count on you to the things you say you would do. Pertaining to authority figures such as parents, grandparents, and in-laws you will become rebellious. The irrational anger, paranoia, and mood swings that come with addiction cause a wall to be drawn between even the distant family members in their attempt to protect themselves and loved ones from the addict. Statistically, addicts are more likely to physically and or verbally assault their family members.

How Does Addiction Affect your Family Financially?

Addiction hurts the whole family. The cost of drugs ranges from under $50 to thousands of dollars depending on the drug the addict is dependent on and the level of the addiction. The individuals that are selling these substances are in it for the money with no regard for the happiness of the families involved. An addict can easily find themselves stealing items of value, credit cards, and money to be able to purchase their drugs. The ones that have a mortgage on their house can potentially lose the home leaving the family homeless. College and retirement funds designed to secure the future of the family are too often wiped out. Once the addict steps out denial and decides to go to the treatment they may have to sell valuable items to afford the treatment.

Addiction Treatment for Families

People who use drugs don’t see the damage and hurt they’re causing others. While the whole family is affected, the first step is acknowledging the problem and you’re already on the right track. Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12 step addiction treatment and many other services that help teach you the skills you need. We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions. We personalize the treatment plan based on the individual’s characteristics and we take into consideration the best interest of the family involved. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.