Drug Addiction and the Impact on Families is a real tragedy. Many times families suffer more than the addict. Often times the addict will tell his or her loved ones that they are done abusing drugs. Then soon after they are using once again causing more anguish to those who care for them. So what should families do in these situations? One clear thing they can do is seek help from a medical professional or some type of support network such as Al-anon which is a twelve step program for the loved ones of alcoholics.
The need to get support is crucial for any family member or friend. Support systems can help people learn about addiction and the importance of taking care of themselves first. All too often families spend so much time and energy helping their loved one with an addiction that they neglect their own physical and mental health. Active addiction is a stressful experience for everyone. One former patient recalled all of the times she had lied to her family about using drugs. She admitted that she was not a good liar but continued to do it so she would not “hurt” her mom and dad. The sad reality she found out later was that they knew she was lying to them about her addiction. Furthermore, the lying for her parents was one of the most hurtful and stressful things about her drug use.
One family learned that they just could not control their son’s addiction. It seemed like the harder they tried the more disappointment they got. So, they decided to just let their son know that they loved him and when he was ready for help they would be there. A recent article tells about the tragedy of the heroin epidemic in our country and how overdoses tear down families. The report discusses how families can find comfort with support groups. Another article explains how one one company’s alleged promotion of opiates leads to addiction.
No matter what the outcome families should know that they are not responsible for their son, daughter, husband or wife’s drug addiction. The only person who can stop their addiction is the addict themselves. But by having a support network in place families will not have to bear witness to this disease alone again! There is support out there which will make your lives much less stressful.