Does Addiction Affect Families?

Drugs and alcohol have a terrible impact on family life. Whether it’s their own drug or alcohol addiction they are fighting or the addiction of their loved one. Families often feel completely powerless against the gripping hold that substance abuse has over a person’s life. Whether it is financial problems, legal or criminal problems, or even health problems, families have to deal with these consequences while their loved ones are still struggling to overcome their addiction. These are ways addiction affects families.

Financial Hardships

One of the biggest ways that addiction affects families is financial. Drug and alcohol abuse often make it impossible for people to keep up with their bills or financial commitments. It can lead to serious debts that someone has no way of paying off, which can put that whole family in a position of severe financial difficulties. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, or people who often buy them when there is no money for rent or food, may commit crimes in order to get money for drugs and alcohol. It can lead to legal problems, which can put a lot of stress on the entire family.

Causing Parental Grief

Substance abuse often leads to parental grief when they see their child destroying their lives and ruining their potential, or worse, when they experience the death of a child due to drug and alcohol use. Parents who have an addict in the family have to decide whether they will get help for their loved ones or let them suffer from addiction until it kills them. What’s worse is that these kids don’t want to get clean and are refusing treatment most time.

Involvement In Crime And Other Legal Problems

Many families are directly impacted by drug and alcohol use, especially when the abuser is being arrested or when a loved one gets in trouble with the law. Families often come together to support their addicted loved ones no matter what they’ve done, and even if they know the truth about the person’s actions. An addict can break the law when they are under the influence of drugs, they may steal something or hurt someone to support their habit, and no matter how much the family wants to help them, they can’t do it without getting into trouble themselves.

Inability To Work

Drug and alcohol addiction often makes it impossible for an addict to hold a steady job and provide for their family. This inability to work can lead to even more financial problems for the entire family. When someone has a job, they need to be physically and mentally able to work, but that’s not the case with drug and alcohol addicts. They may try to fake it and show up to work drunk or high, and when their employer finds out, there could be legal consequences. Or they may just stop showing up for work entirely, and their employer will have to let them go, which makes money problems even worse.

Health Problems

Addiction can cause serious health problems, especially when people inject or smoke illicit substances to feel the effects faster. Being in and out of the hospital for things like infections or even getting injured from being intoxicated is very hard for a family to deal with. Not only does it cost the family a lot of money in medical bills, but it’s also emotionally difficult for everyone to see their dad or mother hurt or sick, especially if they were already sick before the drug or alcohol abuse.

Divorce Or Separation

As you can imagine, divorce or separation are common ways addiction affects families. A spouse may become so angry at their partner for lying, stealing from them, and destroying their lives that they eventually leave. Sometimes they stay around in an attempt to help, but it’s not always the case. It’s a very sad situation because most times, drug addicts do not want help and refuse to go to rehab until it’s too late and they lose everything. The kids in this family may also be forced to stay with one parent.


Addiction can mean the difference between life and death for a family member. If they are already sick when they overdose on drugs or alcohol, which is very common during the early stages of an addiction, the worst thing that can happen then is death. The pain and grief that the family will feel is nearly impossible to deal with, and many times it can be very difficult to accept that their loved one died because of a drug or alcohol addiction. In conclusion, addiction affects families in many ways. Addiction can destroy a family, and it’s very hard for everyone to pick up the pieces once it’s happened. If we do everything we can to prevent addiction and encourage people with problems to seek treatment, we can make this world a better place for all of us. To get help dealing with addiction, call 833-497-3812.