Millions of families across the nation are being impacted by drug abuse, as their loved ones quickly slip into the firm grip of addiction. Addicted family members may become so desperate for their drug of choice that they will steal money, medications, or other valuable items from the home. Families who are too afraid for their drug-addicted loved ones to live on the street may allow them to stay in the home and continue to use.

Families often experience guilt and frustration when they bend rules to appease their loved one. It can be difficult to say “no” to a child, sibling, or parent who asks for substances – especially if they tend to hold more “power” in the family dynamic.

Fracturing the Family Unit

There are several circumstances that may take place within a family that weaken the family unit and perpetuate the negative cycles of substance abuse. These include:

  • Feeling abandonment, anxiety, fear, or anger that leads to additional conflict
  • Being pressured to take on extra responsibilities so that a loved one can abuse drugs
  • An imbalance in the family dynamic, which makes any conversations about the drug abuse challenging to navigate
  • Denial that a family member is struggling with drug abuse, which typically only perpetuates the problem because that family member can go on without any consequences
  • Financial hardships that cause stress and restrict a family’s ability to help
  • Strained relationships that lead to marital problems and divide the family even further

Spouses, children, and parents who witness a family member struggling with drug abuse often experience emotional damage, as well as financial, legal, medical, and other consequences.

The Importance of Family Communication

It all starts with parents – for those with children, it’s crucial to develop a strong, open relationship with them. If you talk to your kids directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about drug use and hopefully make better decisions when the time comes.

It’s never too early to talk with your children about drugs and the risks associated with using them. Studies show that approximately 3,300 kids as young as age 12 try marijuana for the first time every day, and about five in 10 kids as young as age 12 obtain prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes. So the earlier you start talking, the better.

Find Help

If your family is currently struggling with these issues, remember that it’s always possible to seek outside help. If you or a loved one is battling drug abuse, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

At Alta Loma, we help heal families by treating men with a variety of substance use issues and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our comprehensive treatment plan helps residents get back on track and achieve sustainable, long-term recovery. It’s never too late to protect your family. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.