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Addiction and Family Dynamics: What You Need to Know

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Home Addiction Addiction and Family Dynamics: What You Need to Know

Any individual who has felt the effects of addiction understands that it extends beyond the addicted person.   In earlier stages, some individuals may have good intentions when using drugs. Such may include relieving discomfort, anxiety, and pain. Others could be using drugs to get better sleep, lose excess weight, or remain attentive.

Persistence use of drugs for good intentions often leads to addiction. After addiction, the individuals develop both physical and physiological dependence, and they will continue to use the substances to attain the euphoric effect. Overcoming addiction becomes a challenge, and there is continuous abuse of drugs to relieve the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

There are individuals dependent on multiple drugs. At Design for Change Recovery, we offer various programs to assist drug addicts, and their loved ones overcome addiction and the effects of addiction. Most drug addicts deny their challenges because the substances interfere with numerous body operations such as pleasure, self-control, decision making, memory, and judgment.

Effects of Addiction on Social and Family Relationships

The extent to which addiction affects relationships depends on the addict’s behavior, the severity of the condition, and the presence of co-occurring conditions like psychiatric or medical problems. It is also dependent on the coping mechanisms of family members affected.

Drug addiction may cause anger, fear, anxiety, worry, and mistrust among family members. When family members are unable to assist their loved ones in overcoming addiction, they often get frustrated. The addict’s family members are often disturbed and fearful about the effect of overdosage. Some of the impacts of addiction on families include financial challenges, neglect, abuse, and high divorce rates or separation.

Our specialists at Design for Change Recovery, Lancaster, California, understand addiction’s harmful effects on the victim and other family members. We are ready to assist you and your loved ones in overcoming the challenges. Addiction impairs one’s mental activity, spirit, and health. Besides eroding the addict’s social relationship, addiction may lead to loss of employment and inability to be in social functions.

Role of Families in Addiction

In every family, we know every member is significant as they play a particular role in assisting the family in functioning better and maintaining homeostasis, stability, and balance. When alcohol or drug addiction gets introduced in a family, roles and dynamics adjust to patterns necessary to maintain order and harmony.

We understand that you may not be the cause of your loved one’s addiction, and obviously, you may not cure it. However, there are several ways in which you could contribute to the challenge. Before complaining about all the family challenges, it would be best to examine how the person’s addiction has affected you. At Design for Change Recovery, we play the following roles when managing drug addicts:

The Scapegoat

Scapegoats are family members who tend to misbehave and show annoying and unnatural tendencies before everyone. These younger generations often find themselves in trouble at both school and home. As the kids approach adulthood, there are high chances that they will have challenges obeying the law.

The Mascot

Mascots employ their humor in handling the uncomfortable house environment. Mascots believe their spirit is vital in relieving tension within the family and bringing some comfort. Hence, such individuals will persistently play this role to ensure balance and comfort in the home.

The Lost Child

The lost child is often alone and gets isolated from other members of the family. Because of the isolation, there is a higher probability that these children will get troubled relationships in adulthood. The lost children often feel awkward in public gatherings and always evade family engagements. These individuals tend to hide from the physical and emotional attachments of families.

The Enabler

Ideally, chief enablers are individuals closest to the victims emotionally. They double as the protectors of the families. Externally, the individuals appear as martyrs, physically sick, passive, righteous, sarcastic, and super responsible. However, internally such individuals have low self-esteem, guilt, hurt, and anger. They could be ashamed of the addict’s behavior. They will communicate their disappointments through actions or words.

The enabler could be a non-spouse or the oldest child in the case of single parenting. The enabler ensures that everything that the addict left undone gets sorted. Some of these roles include settling bills, maintaining communication between friends and family members, ensuring children attend school, and making excuses in business and social functions on behalf of the addict.

The enablers continue to make excuses because they are still in denial of the extent of their loved ones’ addiction. Behaviors of enablers are defense mechanisms aimed at presenting pictures of ease to individuals beyond the nuclear circle. Such behaviors are baseline to concern, shame, guilt, anger, and fear. By assuming responsibilities that are beyond their developmental stage, enablers may take parent roles.

The Hero

In families, heroes are serious, overachieving, and confident people. Like enablers, heroes may also assume parent roles. It is evident by taking up responsibilities that are too mature for their age compared to their peers. Some of these responsibilities include preparing lunch for their siblings and supporting their parents suffering from drug addiction.

The hero is also a perfectionist who may get distinctions in their studies or become stars in competitions such as athletics. It is challenging to maintain the hero’s position because of the nature of stress associated with alcohol and other drug abuse. The heroes feel they constantly need to assume more responsibilities. The external behaviors are the baseline for emotions and feelings such as anxiety, guilt, stress, and inadequacy that the victim internalizes.

The Victim of the Effects of Addiction

Many drug addicts feel remorseful, ashamed, and guilty about the pain and distress they cause to their families. On the other hand, some addicts become disrespectful and angry towards their loved ones. In most cases, such individuals will be in denial of their condition and blame their family members for their addiction.

Every family member is affected by the addiction of their loved one. Addiction interferes with the well-being, health, and finances of a family. Addiction significantly affects single-parent homes, unlike the larger houses. Young children growing up in families with histories of addiction are likely to become drug addicts in old age.

Such children are likely to start abusing drugs at an early age compared to their peers because they view the substances as acceptable. Hence, Design for Change, Lancaster, California, avails various programs such as family programs to help drug addicts and their families live happy lives.

Our specialists provide individualized therapy to addicts and their family members because we know the situation differs from one person to another. Patterns of family dynamics could be associated with drug addiction. We are ready to assist you and your loved ones overcome addiction and its adverse effects on the social setup.

What You Need To Acknowledge About Addiction and Family Dynamics