How Addiction Hurts Families
When someone is in the throes of addiction, their behavior is so altered that their family and friends wonder what happened to the person they once knew. Family members may live in fear that their loved one won’t survive another day. The children of addicts suffer from their parent’s mood swings, erratic behavior and compulsion to seek out drugs or consume alcohol at the expense of most everything else.
Family members suffer in other ways too. Instead of enjoying their own lives, they may feel consumed by worry or with trying to control the uncontrollable. Family members may also feel forced to lie to employers and others to cover up for their addicted family member’s behavior. Families may suffer financially if household funds are used to buy drugs or if bad decisions or substance use at work leads to job loss.
Some family members turn inward, avoiding social situations that could lead to shame or embarrassment. Often, addicted individuals deny the extent of their disease, leaving family members frustrated, angry and trying to manage the turmoil.