Long Term Effects Of Drug Addiction On The Family


Long Term Effects Of Drug Addiction On The Family  

Drug addiction is always depressing news in any family. Not only does the addict suffer but the entire family suffers along with him/her. Feelings of guilt, confusion and dread continue for a long time even after rehabilitation is a success.

Family members suffer the most when they have a drug addict in the house. While the addict in an intoxicated state becomes oblivious to everything around, the family has to bear the brunt of watching a loved one behave in this manner. As a result, many of the members start suffering from ‘Intoxicant Emotions’ themselves. For people who aren’t using drugs, these emotions can bring about feelings of guilt, resentment, self pity, anger and worry. The family experiences the same downward fall that an addict does. Typically the family of a drug addict goes through four stages. These are:

  1. Concern stage: During this phase the family members are genuinely concerned about the drug addict member. The family has not yet realized the problems that they will be facing in the future, including physical and emotional.
  2. Defense stage:  At this point the family members are finding it hard to accept the truth about another family member. They keep imagining the entire thing as unreal. They sometimes don’t believe in the truth themselves. In this they are experiencing the same feelings as the addict who does not accept that he is suffering from a problem.
  3. Adaptation stage: Now the family tries to adapt itself to the needs and wants off the addict. They try to create an atmosphere of well being and congeniality in the house. This is done to make the addict believe all is well.
  4. Exhaustion stage: By this time the family is physically as well as emotionally drained out. They experience feelings of depression and cannot get over the fact that they have failed in their duties towards another member. At this point it becomes important that the family members also be treated along with the drug addict.

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