Effects of Alcohol and Drug Use on Families by Phase
Alcohol and drug addiction brings a variety of societal problems. According to a study, there is a strong connection between disrupted family relationships and addiction of a family member to alcohol and other drugs.
The detrimental effects of alcohol and drug addiction can easily put a heavy burden to the family. Since drug testing is more likely to take place when an individual seeks for employment, applies for a health insurance, undergoes medical exam, or perform self-drug testing using instant drug test kits, an individual may not be at all times monitored at home. Hence, some people are still able to furtively use alcohol and drugs after work and at home. Sadly, many addicted individuals do not fully realize the side effects of alcohol and drug use to their family relationship. Alcohol and drug abuse can also cause considerable financial damage to the family, which can come from the direct cost of hospital expenses, accident compensation payments, and justice system costs. Thus, it is very important that parents monitor and educate their children, particularly, teenagers about the risks of alcohol and drug use.
The following are the effects of alcohol and drug use on families by phase.
During the first phase, a person may try to drink alcohol to forget their problems at home, such as troubles with parents, petty quarrels with siblings, insecurity with oneself, or rejection at home.
- · Sudden paranoia as a result of guilt
- · Slight change in the behavior (i.e. becoming secretive and defensive. At some point the person can become very talkative or silent, depending on the type of drugs taken).
- · Begin to complain about not feeling well because of hangover
Effects on the Family
- · Family members may notice the changes in the individual’s behavior and would complain about it
- · Family members would experience additional troubles and petty quarrels with the addicted individual
During the middle phase, the person starts to secretly leave home for a drink or to acquire and sneak in illegal drugs. Although the person may start to feel guilty about the habit, he or she may experience cravings and tremors when not able to consume alcohol or take drugs.
- · Uttering of nonsense words or making unreliable promises
- · Avoiding opportunities to socialize with the family to be with friends who share the same vices
- · Starting to feel unreasonable resentment towards some family members
- · Starting to borrow money from friends or ask more from parents to support addiction
Effects on the Family
- · Families may start losing some valuables in the house. When parents refuse to give money, an alcohol and drug addicted person will start finding ways to support his/her addiction, such as selling his/her own things or some of the family’s belongings.
- · Increasing financial problems for the recovery, treatment, or due to accidental damages caused by the family member’s addiction
- · Difficulty maintaining good relationship with the individual using drugs
Late Middle Phase
During the late middle phase, a person no longer joins family discussions, especially about family issues and problems. Most of the time, the person prefers to be alone as a result of slight psychological disturbance, loss of appetite, and loss of interest and focus.
- · Becoming more aggressive, loud-mouthed, and defensive
- · Apparent loss of ethical values
- · Excessive loss of money
- · More debts caused by frequent hospitalization and the need to buy alcohol and drugs
- · Beginning to have trouble with the law
Effects on the family:
- · Great financial loss
- · Relationship issues start to increase between the addicted person and other family members. At some point, the drug user’s aggressiveness can lead to violence, such as slapping, hitting, or smashing objects against family members.
- · Rise of emotional hardship and tension within the family
- · Severe conflict with partner and children
During the late phase, a person may become fully dependent to alcohol and drugs. A person may either get used to going home drunk or not go home at all.
- Becoming totally undependable
- Having repeated hospitalization
- Showing physical signs of disorientation
- Experiencing heavy financial problems
Effects on the family:
The following are the negative effects of alcohol and drug addiction to the family during the late phase depending on the family structure.
- · Younger individuals: Family’s attention may be focused on the crises experienced by the younger sibling, causing family to ignore the concerns of other family members
- · Older individuals with children: Elder maltreatment may become an issue.
- · Parents: There is a high tendency that the alcohol and drug addiction of parents can be passed on to their children.
- · Individuals living alone with partner: Both can suffer from issues of co-dependence.
- · Step-family: Alcohol and drug abuse can impede the family’s integration and stability.
A family that is affected by alcohol and drug abuse can never be harmonious and happy. Although drug testing may deter anyone from using drugs, a family may need to enroll into a family therapy to recover from alcohol and drug addiction. For instance, the Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy may be a good program to start with. This type of program can help a family member find ways to live without alcohol and drug addiction. Stopping alcohol and drug addiction among families as early as possible can also make the family stronger and more progressive in the future.