Drugs and alcohol addiction affects relationships in many ways. Most of the time, we talk about how drug and alcohol addiction affects the user and their life. However, we don’t always talk about how it can affect the family members, friends, co-workers, and others around the user. Drug addicts and alcoholics rarely are able to maintain healthy and rewarding relationships because they are consumed by their addiction, which can create a big problem for the family, close friends and colleagues.
Elements of a Successful Relationship
Relationships and friendships can be complex; there are many elements to having and maintaining a healthy and rewarding relationship. When you add an alcohol or drug addiction on top, these elements usually fall out of place, which is why addicts can end up losing friends and family due to their addiction. The elements of a successful relationship include:
- Fun and rewarding
- Open communication
- Trust and understanding
- Absence of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or violence
- All members can thrive individually and together as a group
- All members feel good about themselves within the group
Without a doubt, addiction affects relationships on many levels, and far too often, the damage can’t be repaired.
How Addiction Affects Relationships
The above elements tend to go out when addiction comes in due to the fact that addiction tends to be the main focus of the user, allowing them to pay less attention to their relationships and put less effort towards them. The following can happen when a person becomes addicted, which can damage relationships:
- Secrecy: A person who begins to drink or use drugs excessively may feel guilty or shameful, and will want to keep their drug or alcohol use hidden. They may feel as though others will judge them or not understand their situation, which can make the user lie about who they are, who they’re with, why money has gone missing, why they’re acting differently and what they’re doing that day.
- Trust issues: Due to a person trying to deceive or lie to others in order to keep their drug or alcohol use hidden, it is only a matter of time before friends and family start to notice what is true and what is false. Close friends and family may start to develop trust issues with the user. This is a big reason why many relationships fail while a person is actively using drugs or alcohol.
- Violence or anger: As a relationship starts to fade away, both people can feel frustrated and upset. However, these emotions can be intensified when a person is high or drunk, which can make them angry or violent and even dangerous to be around. Drugs known to cause anger and violence include alcohol, cocaine, Ritalin, steroids, crystal meth and MDMA.
Repairing the Damage
Repairing relationships that have been damaged is very doable, however it takes effort on both sides in order to mend the relationship. Repairing the relationships consists of:
- Ending current dysfunctional habits. This means that the person who is actively using drugs or alcohol needs to get professional help so they can become clean and sober.
- Acknowledge what had happened in the past and create ways to better deal with issues in the future.
- Reinvest time and effort towards creating a healthy and successful relationship.
Mending Broken Relationships
Addiction is not an easy thing to overcome, but it can feel even harder when you don’t have a support system. While relationships can be damaged or even broken while a person is actively using drugs or alcohol, it is important to mend these relationships, especially as the addict enters rehab and is getting clean and sober.
If you are searching for recovery for you or your loved one, let our counselors help you. They will assist you in every step until you are completely recovered. If you or a loved on has an addiction and need more information on how we can help you mend your relationships, or for more information on how addiction affects relationships, don’t hesitate to contact us at our toll-free number today.