Drug addiction can consume and impact all aspects of a person’s life, including their closest relationships with their family, friends, and those around them. The effect can be swift and significant and serves as a massive change for the person affected by the addiction. This change represents why it is so difficult to overcome addiction; it is the result of the deterioration of the relationships that the individual has with those who love them. Here’s exactly how drug addiction can negatively affect these relationships.
Dishonesty and Deception
When a person is addicted to drugs and becomes aware of the severity of their issue, they will often attempt to cover up their activities and start being more secretive. This comes from both guilt and shame for their actions. Attempts to prevent their friends and family from learning of their activities will start with small lies and usually evolve into much larger ones. From lying about where they’ve been to being dishonest about money usage, things can quickly spiral out of control as the person with the addiction will try to hide their drug use from those around them. This can cause trust to be lost and relationships to falter.
Loss of Trust
With the amount of dishonesty and deception coming from a loved one with an addiction, it can be easy to lose trust in their actions and words. The loss of trust can be a turning point in a relationship that causes an irreparable change for the worst. Trust is an important part of a relationship and once that has been lost, it can be difficult to gain back. Because an individual with an addiction is often preoccupied and focused on their drug use, it can also be difficult for them to take the necessary steps to win back the trust they’ve lost.
When a loved one suffers from an addiction, there is a tendency from some of their family and friends to attempt to help them by enabling and accepting their poor behavior. Things like excusing their drug use, giving them money without knowing how it’s being spent, or not holding them accountable are typical examples of enabling. However, enabling their addictive behavior will only encourage them to continue using drugs. This type of unbalanced relationship where one party is taking advantage of another is also not a healthy one and will put a strain on those involved.
Codependent relationships where one party serves as the caretaker of an addicted individual can often be dysfunctional and toxic. This type of relationship does not serve to benefit either partner. This is because there is an imbalance where one person forgoes their own needs and tries to take care of another, but is not providing help that is conducive for improvement and betterment. This, along with enabling behavior, can allow the addicted partner to fall deeper into their addiction.
Anger and Violence
In some cases, the significant hold that addiction can have on a person can boil over and manifest in them lashing out in violent ways. Certain substances can trigger aggressive behavior that will escalate less intensive arguments into something more serious and perhaps even physical. Anger is not exclusive to just the individual with the addiction. Those around them can also be angry at their loved one for their volatile actions. Ultimately, all of this anger, resentment, and violent behavior will drive away even those closest to a person.
Drug and substance abuse can put a strain on your closest relationships. The first step toward mending these relationships is acknowledging that there is a problem and expressing a willingness to start your journey toward recovery. Such a journey won’t be easy and will require proper addiction treatment and support. At Twin Town Treatment Centers, we provide useful resources and evidence-based drug addiction treatment programs that have been personalized to match the rehab treatment needs of our patients in Laguna Hills and throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. For more information about our programs, please call us at (866) 594-8844 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment for a no-cost assessment.