Addiction to illegal drugs can affect your entire household in ways you could have never possibly imagined. Addiction can change how you feel about someone you once loved deeply, and it can inflict awful emotional damage on every member of your family. Worse yet, addiction exposes everyone living in your household to drugs, crime, violence, arrest, financial destitution, crippling legal and medical bills, and even loss of a loved one.
Addiction Causes Collateral Damage
Left unaddressed, the collateral damage associated with addiction can destroy your family. Drugs impair reasoning, which can interfere with relationships and fulfillment of responsibilities; a drugged-out parent can even be a danger to children. Addiction causes long-term behavioral changes, like bringing drug deals or other criminals into the home or keeping a gun in the house in case a drug deal goes wrong, can put other family members in danger. A drug stash inside the home increases a child’s risk for accidental ingestion and, in worst cases, overdose or death. Addiction is also an expensive habit that diverts household funds that could have gone for rent, groceries, bills or even a college savings account. A drug addiction can prevent someone from working regularly, contributing even more to the family’s financial troubles. Drug abuse increases the risk for costly medical care, as drug abuse is associated with a high instance of side effects including overdose and death. Addiction can also result in legal costs, fines and loss of wages during incarceration that can financially devastate a household.
Shame, guilt, resentment, self-pity, worry, and anger are common emotions in people suffering from addiction, and family members living with an addicted person can also share these feelings.
Stages of an Addicted Household
Families of an addicted person often experience four stages of decline. The first stage is concern, where family members work hard to understand what the addicted person is going through. The second phase is the defense stage, where family members protect the addicted individual’s behavior from detection. The adaptation stage comes next, where family members change their own behavior to accommodate the addiction. The last stage, the exhaustion phase, occurs when family members run out of time, energy, and resources to deal with addition; the family “hits bottom” just as an addict does. The exhaustion phase is crucial to the survival of the family unit. Either the family survives by providing treatment or removing the addicted individual from the household, or the family unit succumbs to addiction and dissolves.
How a Family Can Survive Addiction
The good news is that a family can survive addiction. The key to survival is to provide emotional support while continuously encouraging detoxification and rehabilitation for the addicted individual. It may take weeks, months or even years, but treatment does work and rehabilitation can restore the family unit. The physicians, doctors, therapists and staff at WAISMANN METHOD® work with patients and their families to create personalized treatment and aftercare plans designed to ensure a healthy and effective recovery from addiction.