Why drugs don’t only affect the person taking them…

ramifWhen someone is addicted to drugs, it doesn’t just affect them, it can affect their friends, their family and everyone close to them. Whilst the addict may see it as their problem, and their problem alone, when under the grips of addiction they may be blinded to the wide reaching impact it has on others. From the emotional to the financial and much more besides, drug abuse can have disastrous consequences on all areas of a person’s life.

An isolating habit

As addiction takes hold, the drug user will become more and more obsessed with their habit. Their priority will be obtaining their drugs and taking them. They will retreat from friends and family and  isolate themselves as they start to live the lifestyle of an addict. Their friendship groups may change and they will be more likely to spend time with other drug users with him they may find that they have more and more in common. Other drug users are unlikely to be judge mental about their habit and are less likely to be critical of them, unlike worried family members, partners and friends. Other addicts understand their need to take drugs and a problem user may even find justification as their new peer group find drugs acceptable.

Doing whatever it takes

Drug addiction can be a considerable burden on finances and many will do whatever it takes to fund their habit. This could involve stealing from those closest to them or embarking on a life of crime to pay for their drugs. It is very difficult to trust a drug addict as they frequently lie to cover their addiction. They may be paranoid, due to the effects of drugs and feel that anyone who displays concern or makes any comment about their destructive habit is “out to get them” or overly critical and feel that it is no one else’s business but their own.

When it’s your partner

Relationships where drug addiction is present can be fraught with many difficulties and dangers. Being in a relationship with someone with an addiction is difficult and they may try to hide it for a long time. Someone who is in a relationship with an addict may be suffering from co-dependency issues and feel that they can ”fix” the addicted partner and may make the relationship more important to them than they are to themselves. They may also fulfil unaddressed psychological needs in themselves by being seen as the “stronger” partner or, the “better” person as they try and help their spouse. The co-dependent partner may accept behaviours and treatment that most people would find unacceptable, but will put up with them rather than be alone.

What about the children?

Children brought up in a household where one more parents is a drug addict are statistically proven to be more likely to suffer from abuse or neglect. Children of drug addicts often suffer from low self-esteem, purse of image and may indulge in dangerous, attention seeking behaviours as they do not get their emotional needs met at home. When someone has grown up with a drug addict for a parent, they may also be more likely to become addicts themselves in the future.

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