The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol Abuse on Family and Friends

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Jan 19, 2016

The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol Abuse on Family and Friends

Drugs and Alcohol Abuse on Family and FriendsThe path of addiction is a tough and all too-often traveled one and the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse on the family can cause long-term issues, generation after generation. Addiction in the family makes for an incredibly volatile environment that doesn’t allow for any kind of healthy relationship to grow and prosper. Here are some characteristics that are almost always present in relationships of the addicted.

How Does Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Affect Friends and Family?



Usually one of the first telling characteristics of a toxic relationship with an addicted loved one is co-dependency. Basically, co-dependency is when one person in the relationship continuously puts their partner’s or loved one’s needs before their own. Sounds kind of romantic, right? Wrong. Often dismissed as neediness, co-dependency can cause both parties to have zero regard for self-sufficiency or autonomy. Your loved one will get so used to you bending to their needs that they won’t really know how to function without you or you without them. Which only further enables them in their destructive behavior and drug dependency.

Intoxicant Emotions

You and your loved ones’ destructive co-dependent behavior can lead you through a plethora of emotions that will eventually become intoxicating. These are emotions that eventually get so entangled and complicated that you end up feeling emotionally exhausted, thus making you perpetually less emotionally available to those around you. These feelings are usually referred to as intoxicant emotions and they tend to throw off the family dynamic to the point that you and your family will be unable to function in a healthy way.

Negative Environment

Living with an addicted loved one can cause many conflicting emotions; anger, anxiety, shame, guilt. All of which don’t really make for a positive or loving environment. As mentioned above, these types of emotions will become overwhelming and will begin to affect the family and household dynamic. If you find yourself dreading spending time at home or if your children or other family members spend as little time as possible in the house, this is a huge sign that your loved one could be in need of drug or alcohol help.

Coping Mechanisms

As your loved ones addiction progresses, you will find yourself adapting your behavior to accommodate them. You may become obsessed with them and their behavior, emotionally giving all you have left in you so that there will be nothing left for you or for the rest of your family. This is the point where you might turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like participating in alcohol or drug use yourself or other behavior that is very uncharacteristic.

The truth is that addiction is a family disease and it is vital to work together to achieve long-term recovery. If you or a loved one is ready to conquer an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery is possible. can give you or your loved one the resources necessary to make a turnaround into lifelong sobriety. Call 1 (877) 968-6283 and we will locate rehabilitation centers offering the alcohol and drug treatment you need, all at no charge to you.

Lindsey W

Lindsey W

Content Manager at
Lindsey Whittaker is a writer, blogger, and marketing content creator for multiple addiction treatment centers in Southern California. As an adult child of an alcoholic parent, her passion is to find new and exciting ways for people to connect in addiction recovery. Originally from Canada, she's lived in LA for four years where she has written for several online lifestyle publications and start-ups. On the weekends you can find her at the beach or working away on her latest DIY project.
Lindsey W

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