People experiencing how addiction and relationships are connected

How Addiction Can Impact Relationships

Addiction damages relationships. From the relationship someone has with a spouse or significant other, their children, colleagues, friends, and extended family, no personal connection is spared the fallout of someone’s substance use disorder (SUD). For numerous reasons, an SUD gets in the way of trust, communication, and respect. A person with an SUD is, by definition, completely tied up with thinking about obtaining their drug, planning their next drink, drinking or using drugs, and recovering. There is nothing left for the people in their lives. A family therapy program in addiction rehab is one way to combat the fallout of addiction and relationship damage. 

Consider how The Right Step Houston can help you. Whether you are suffering from an SUD or are a family member, spouse, or friend of someone who is, learning more about addiction and relationships, how to help a loved one with addiction, and where and how to start will help you regain hope. Reach out to The Right Step Houston today by calling 1.844.768.0169

Understanding the Link Between Addiction and Relationships 

When your life revolves around drugs or alcohol, this is addiction. It is a disease that seems to take over your life. Some of the symptoms of addiction include lying about substance use or the extent of it, hiding evidence of drinking or drug use, failing to show up to commitments like work or school, and dropping the ball with the people who depend on or trust you. It’s no wonder that addiction erodes the foundations of key relationships.  

Some of the ways addiction does that are the following: 

  • Secrets and lies often stem from guilt, shame, or fear of being caught. If you’re addicted, you might lie about missing money, work problems, bad grades, mysterious calls, or your whereabouts. Lies and secrecy harm healthy relationships. 
  • Trust erodes once lies start. Communication loses meaning, respect fades, and suspicion, resentment, and anger grow, undermining relationships at their core. 
  • Others covering for you isn’t sustainable. If someone constantly steps in for you emotionally and physically, it leads to burnout, or the relationship becomes codependent and toxic. Forgetting to pick up the kids, being absent from family events, or not doing your share because you’re lacking, hungover, or high is detrimental to relationships. 
  • Codependency introduces toxicity when one person protects you from the consequences of your addiction, like taking the blame for your actions or financially covering for you without questioning your motives. While it may feel like love, it ultimately damages the relationship. 

Honesty with one another about what is happening is the first step. Not saying the words, not stating the facts that one of you has a drug or alcohol problem, means the problem will remain hidden rather than healed. 

How to Help a Loved One Struggling with Addiction 

In addition to getting your loved one to admit there is a problem and seek help, there are other things you can do or not do to help them. For example: 

  • Learn as much as you can about substance use disorders. 
  • Attend Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, or other support meetings for families of people with SUDs, even if your loved one is still using and has not yet admitted to having a problem. 
  • Be honest about what you see and compassionately hold your loved one accountable for their poor behaviors. 
  • Do not engage in enabling/codependent behavior. 
  • When they enter rehab, participate in family therapy so the healing can begin for everyone. 

The road may be rocky, but your family members will feel your love even if they can’t hear you constantly. 

Get the Help Your Family Needs—Call The Right Step Houston Today 

Whether you or a loved one has an addiction, find your inner strength and take the leap toward healing. Contacting a professional addiction treatment center like The Right Step Houston is the most hopeful and empowering thing you can do. 

Let our staff walk you through the ins and outs of addiction rehab, show you how you and your family and loved ones can start to heal, and answer your questions. Call us at 1.844.768.0169 or use this form to contact us. 

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