Drug addiction is detrimental to individuals. It has negative consequences on the health of substance users and can result in financial problems or legal problems. However, drug addiction is not entirely a personal experience. Many times, the family or drug abusers also suffer from the addiction.
Drug addiction can affect the spouses, children, parents, and siblings of addicts. The experience can take a significant toll on the family and even sever their ties.
The impact of family drug addiction on children can leave a life-long effect on them. Studies show that 1 in 5 children grow up with a parent that abuses drugs or alcohol.
Parents battling drug addiction can neglect their children and may not perform their parental responsibilities. It is more severe in a single-parent household where the children have no other parents to carry out their duties. Likewise, families with two parents battling drug addiction can leave children helpless. There is also a high risk of child abuse in such households. Children may face physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from their parents.
Children who witness drug addiction in the family may abuse substances in the future. Moreover, it poses a risk to their self-confidence and health.
Parents that have a child with a drug addiction problem tend to focus their resources on the child’s welfare. Catering for such individuals may lead to financial restraint and emotional stress for a parent. Drug addiction is not impossible to beat, but the process can be challenging.
Watching a child go through the process in which they may relapse can make parents feel powerless. The children may also get overly dependent on their parents, making them responsible for the child’s care even after they attain adulthood.
Sometimes, parents may feel guilty about the drug addiction of their child. They may feel responsible for the problem and believe they nurtured the child wrong.
When a child is a drug addict, their siblings may become traumatized by the problem. Parents who are present tend to focus on the child with the addiction problem, and their relationship with the other children may be unstable. The siblings may feel neglected by the parent if the extra care is at their expense. They may feel resentment towards their parents or the other sibling and draw away from them emotionally. In some cases, siblings of drug addicts may understand how detrimental it is and turn away from drug use. However, some siblings may follow the same path to escape the pain of neglect by their parents or to gain their attention.
Different family members tend to find a way to cope when someone is struggling with addiction. It may cause a strain in their relationship and result in trauma for some.