How does Addiction Affect the Family?

The impact substance abuse has on the abuser themselves is readily apparent to anyone who observes them. Gaunt faces, emaciated frames, rotted teeth, an unkempt appearance - it is clear when active addiction is running rampant in a person’s life. The effects of addiction on that person’s family are not visible to the naked eye, but they are nevertheless substantial and potentially devastating to the family members and the family unit. What are the potential effects your loved one’s addiction has had on you and your family?

The effect addiction can have on communication within the family is often staggering. No one wants to address the elephant in the room, that being the substance abuse occurring in the home, so everyone bends over backwards to pretend nothing is going on. This denial results in communication breakdowns both in and out of the home, as well as having the unfortunate side effect of imparting the lesson that deception is acceptable to any children in the home. This new paradigm of interaction between family members can also lead to isolation within the home, as maintaining a facade of peace is exhausting and the required effort makes interaction with others unappealing. Eventually the family interacts with society and each other as little as possible, and the depression of isolation takes hold.

Besides the emotional and psychological health impacts, the financial health of the family often suffers during the period of active substance abuse in the home. In order to continue to paper over the addict’s struggles in the family, we give in to demands for money the addict makes lest a denial send them into a fit of rage. The financial burden placed on the family by the addict means you either sacrifice in other areas of spending, take on additional debt, or perhaps even both. No matter how you seek to make ends meet, the financial health of the family will take a hit as you attempt to support the addict in their substance abuse. The motivation behind this behavior is understandable, but we strongly urge you to put an end to this enabling, as it is only prolonging the suffering of you, your family, and the addict in your life.

The effects addiction has on the world around it are similar to the ripples made when a stone is dropped in water - they are most intense at the center, but they quickly spread and reach far from the site of the incident. As family members of the addicted person, you are very close to the epicenter of the situation, resulting in more substantial damage occurring in your lives. This damage may come in the form of psychological and emotional trauma or strained finances and increased debt, but like all damage it must be attended to if you are to move past it. At Evolutions, we understand the family is affected just as much as the addict themselves, which is why we provide family therapy as a part of our treatment program. If your loved one has reached the end of their rope and is ready to accept help for their substance abuse problem, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may help your whole family recover from this terrible disease.

ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit