We all know that addiction has serious negative effects on the brain and body. It can affect your memory and focus long-term, plus put you at increased risk of mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

But when it comes to addiction, that’s only part of the story.

Substance abuse has devastating effects on the individual– but it’s just as devastating for that individual’s loved ones.

Addiction can have serious consequences when it comes to personal relationships, especially with the family.

Addiction and relationships

Unfortunately, when someone’s dealing with addiction, their substance of choice becomes their number-one priority. Finding and using that substance becomes more important than anything else in their life– even more important than the people they love the most.

This doesn’t mean that someone dealing with addiction is a bad person. It just means that addiction affects the brain to seek more and more of a substance until it becomes a necessity that’s impossible to ignore.

When a loved one becomes less of a priority than substance use, this results in damaged relationships and hurt feelings– and it can have many other serious effects, too.

What happens to the family of someone who’s struggling with substance abuse?

A lack of quality time is just one of the many negative consequences of substance abuse. If someone’s main priority is using their substance of choice, it might mean they don’t– or can’t– show up for their loved ones the way they should. This might mean a lack of emotional support, or even neglect.

Someone who’s severely struggling with substance abuse might be unable to properly care for their children and others who are depending on them.

Loss of trust

Since addiction and money problems often go hand-in-hand, people struggling with addiction might feel the need to borrow money from their family members, or even steal from them in order to support their habits.

It’s devastating to even imagine someone you love stealing from you– the reality is extremely painful. It also means that the next time your loved one is around, you’ll have your guard up to avoid a repeat incident. The love and trust that family members should seek in one another can be permanently damaged or destroyed.

Health problems

Abusing substances can have a myriad of negative effects on the brain and body. Dealing with a loved one who’s struggling with addiction can be a major source of stress– which also negatively impacts the brain and body.

Increased stress may lead to health problems for loved ones– a lack of sleep can lead to increased anxiety, decreased focus, and even heart problems, diabetes, or the risk of having a stroke.

Unfortunately, increased stress (and all the problems that come along with it) can put someone at risk of developing substance abuse issues themselves.

Do it for them

If you’re struggling with substance abuse, you’re already very familiar with all of the negative consequences of your habit. Most likely, you’re dealing with financial issues, relationship issues, and health issues.

It’s important to keep in mind just how gravely substance abuse affects the people around you. For example, children of drug users grow up in an environment that’s unstable and feels unsafe– setting them up for long-term mental health problems and relationship troubles.

Restoring your relationship with the people who matter the most might be enough of a motivator for you to seek help. If you’re ready to do so, reach out to an addiction treatment center– like us, here at Pecan Haven. We’re here to help you get your life back on track. Call us at 318-600-3333, or fill out our online assessment, to get started.