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5 Ways Substance Abuse Affects a Family

Published on May 15th, 2017

When we think about dealing with substance abuse, usually the focus is on the abuser themselves. But the effects on the family and loved ones of a substance abuser are often ignored even though they can be far-reaching and long-lasting. One of the most tragic things to see when someone is suffering from substance abuse in Minneapolis is the way substance abuse can tear families apart.

This article will look at five ways substance abuse affects the family.

  1. The substance abuser may be unreliable.

Families function as a unit. And when one family member can’t be relied upon to do what they say when they say it, the system doesn’t function as well as it should.

  1. Uncharacteristic behavior hurts other family members.

Whatever the substance is, the mind of the user is altered. They act in ways that they would never dream of acting if they were sober. Relationships can be ruined in a matter of seconds with an uncharacteristic decision made under the influence.

  1. The victim of substance abuse may lie or steal.

When times get desperate, an addict will go to extreme lengths to get their fix. And that’s not because they don’t love their family. All they can see is their need for their substance, and that can be extremely damaging.

  1. Substance abuse can cause career problems.

For couples with children, when one of the adult members of the couple succumbs to substance abuse, the load is dumped on the non-abuser. It can be difficult to hold a job consistently for a substance abuser, so the financial load gets much heavier.

  1. Increased stress for everyone.

The people who love someone who’s abusing substances are under a huge amount of stress. They may not know where the person is, whether they’re safe, or in jail, or worse. It’s an incredible amount of stress to carry around each day when someone you love might fly off the handle at any moment.

River Ridge provides services for those suffering (both abusers and affected family members) from substance abuse in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas. Our mental health professionals provide substance abuse evaluations, individual and family therapy, and more. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions at (952) 894-7722. You can also visit the rest of our website to learn more about our process and the programs we offer.


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