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Substance abuse is not a one-way street. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, their behaviors do not just affect them. It affects the people closest to them. Family and friends also face the impact of substance abuse. We will discuss the impact family and friends see when their loved one abuses drugs or alcohol.
One of the hallmarks of substance abuse is that the person tends to separate themselves from their family and friends. They also tend to lose interest in activities they once loved, including ones they used to do with their family and friends. This withdrawal may be very painful for those closest to them.
Family and friends may encounter negative mindsets as a result of their loved one’s substance abuse. They may begin to feel mistrust towards their loved one. Substance abuse tends to cause people to lie to their family and friends about their habits, where they’re going, what they’re doing, and more. Because of this, family and friends take on a negative mindset. They may become depressed, experience anxiety, or even feel angry.
Substance abuse can take a toll on a person’s health, both physically and mentally. Due to this, family and friends can feel as if they need to take care of and look after their loved one. Becoming a caretaker can take over one’s life. Often, caretakers will shift their focus from their needs to those of their loved one and frequently forget to take care of themselves.
In addition to taking on the role of caretaker, the family dynamic changes. Another role that one’s family and friends take on is enabler. Family and friends don’t always take on their roles knowingly. Many times, they are in denial and cannot see the full truth of the substance abuse. They may do things that they believe are acts of love, such as taking care of their loved one when they are sick from substance abuse, calling in sick to work for them, taking over their responsibilities, or lying on their behalf to others.
Using substances takes money often in massive amounts. As use becomes more frequent, it is common to run out of financial resources to purchase more drugs or alcohol. It is a possibility that substance abuse may result in the person losing their job as well. When one, or both, happen and they are unable to contribute financially, there is a huge amount of stress on their family.
Getting the Help You Need
Fortunately, there is a way out of these situations. Here at Holland Pathways, we offer a variety of treatment programs to help you fight substance abuse.