How Addiction Affects Your Family

addiction affects your family

Addiction is a physical and psychological condition involving the inability to stop taking a drug or carrying out a destructive behavior. It’s not uncommon for an addict’s personal life to crumble, shown by loss of relationships, social life, and jobs. But what about the addict’s family? Is there a connection between addiction and family relationships? How does addiction affect the lives of the family members involved? At Laguna View Detox, we emphasize the importance of exploring how an addict’s actions affect the people around them. By acknowledging and making amends for your behavior, you will be able to fully move forward with your life, drug & alcohol free.


Addiction Is a Family Disease

People often think that addiction affects only the person that depends on drugs or alcohol but this is not true.  Addiction is a prevalent disease with an effect that reaches the addict and the family. Yes, the damaging impacts of addiction can extend to family members that don’t consume alcohol or use drugs.

Addiction can add addiction stress to the family and can make the home feel unstable. It also affects the family’s health (mentally and physically), finances, unity, and general family dynamics.

So what does “addiction is a family disease” really mean?

In this case, the whole family gets consumed by the addict and his actions.

This damaging enmeshment pattern with the addict’s condition is known as codependency. And it reveals itself in several ways. Here are some common symptoms manifested by the co-dependent family:

  • The need to control 
  • Obsession with the addict 
  • Nurturing, enabling, guilt 
  • Afraid to make the addict take responsibility 
  • No healthy limits 
  • Devoting time and energy 
  • Wishful thinking
  • Unable to say “no” 
  • No self-care


These are acute symptoms, and since the addict can’t get better alone, it’s important for the family to break away from these unhealthy behavioral patterns. One way to break these patterns of behavior is by joining a support group. 


Support Groups for Families of Addicts

Dealing with the effects of your loved ones’ addiction and family responses to these effects can be exhausting and frustrating, but the good news is support groups aren’t just for an addict. There are resources for families of addicts as well. 

It is best you put yourself first when dealing with such situations. Although it sounds contradicting, you won’t be able to help the struggling addict without helping yourself first. Laguna View Detox hopes the following tips can help:

  • Get in touch with a therapist to focus on your mental health. Therapists are great sources of strength and support during these challenging times.
  • Take care of yourself – you’re important too. Stressing over your loved one’s addiction and excessive worry or anxiety can take a toll on your health.
  • Fix reasonable, healthy, and fair boundaries.
  • Accept the truth – and the truth is… you can’t control an addicts actions.  While you can’t make decisions for your addicted family, you can control your life and choose a healthy path.

Many support groups exist to help family members going through the same thing you are. People with addiction and family of addicts can benefit from this group as they exist to provide information and education to help guide you through the process. They also offer excellent support networks with people who know how you feel.


How to Get Your Loved One’s Help With Addiction

Your loved one can overcome addiction with your support. Although each situation is unique, these general recommendations can help.

  • Be forthright and communicate with your loved one
  • Work on building trust
  • Respect his or her privacy
  • Don’t threaten or rebuke him or her

Don’t expect instant change. Granted, there are various methods of treating addiction, but transformations don’t happen overnight.


Get Support From Laguna View Detox

Indeed, addiction is a family disease. But there are treatment centers that can teach you how to cope and help the addict.

Here, at Laguna View Detox, within our comprehensive addiction therapy treatment program, we offer support programs that focus on you and your family’s healing needs. 

We have been helping families in Southern California and beyond to make complete recoveries from addictions. And we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more.