What Does Addiction Do to Family?

When one person is going through something, their whole family goes through it with them. This is the same for addiction. When a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s almost like the whole family has that struggle. Even if family members aren’t close, addiction can be a serious detriment to the family. Addiction is a family disease.

Watching someone go through such a terrible thing as addiction is a struggle in of itself, but things can happen to the family at the same time. It’s important to know what can come your way so that you can keep your family united and strong.

Addiction can pull family members apart.

Addiction happens, and sometimes it’s unexpected. Family members may feel disappointment, anger, and fear. These emotions can cause distress and ultimately pull families apart. That doesn’t have to happen, though. Allow the addiction to be a reason to unite and support one another.

Addiction can create distrust.

With families comes an innate sense of trust. You expect to love, support, and trust each other. Addiction may often ruin that trust. If this happens, work to build it up again. Work together, keep communication open, and be frank in what it will take to create those bonds of trust again.

Addiction can put pressure on finances.

Jobs may be lost as addiction comes into the lives of a family. The addict may find that they stopped going to work and ultimately lost a job. You may be in danger of losing a house or being kicked out of an apartment. The addiction has not only affected the well-being of the person but the well-being of the whole family. This is just yet another reason to get the help needed to recover so that finances can recover, and ultimately help the family recover.

Addiction can become a daily problem for all family members.

Addiction is not merely a bad habit; it’s something that is preventing your loved one from behaving normally and living their life as they would sober. This can become a forefront thought for all family members, as they go to work, or to school, or do anything. It can affect how the whole family behaves and may even cause depression. This is why the right steps need to be taken to cure the addiction, to recover from it.

Do not enable your loved one. Don’t give them money, but give them food and a place to stay. Seek out help. Research recovery programs so that your loved one can get the appropriate help. Do the research needed to make sure you are giving the appropriate support to your family member.

As it says right on our home page, “We’re here to help. We offer quality centers with experienced staff members who can give you and your family the tools for sober living.” You can learn more about our steps to recovery here.

Common Reasons Alcohol and Drug Addictions Start

For family members and whose loved ones are struggling with addiction it can sometimes be difficult to understand how a person becomes addicted to these substances. It can be even harder to know what to do to help them once they have become addicted. With drug abuse becoming more common, it’s important to understand some of the reasons behind the problem to be better able to help those you love.

Mental Illness

Perhaps one of the most common reasons that a person might start abusing drugs or alcohol is to help them overcome the feelings of suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol can temporarily relieve the pain associated with the suffering, helping a person feel more “normal” for a period of time.


Another common reason people start taking drugs or drinking alcohol is simply being exposed to it in their daily lives. When friends, family members, and others around them are participating in these activities it is easy to rationalize the activity as completely normal. When a person is younger it’s called peer pressure, but it can happen at any age.


Teens and young adults who abuse alcohol might start to do so out of sheer boredom. Since they are less likely during this time to have steady jobs, bills to pay, and other obligations, it’s a time when they might be inclined to try something that seems exciting.

Not Realizing the Dangers

In recent years some of the most commonly abused drugs are those prescribed by medical professionals—prescription drugs. The most popular are opioids, such as OxyContin® and Vicodin®; depressants, such as Valium® and Xanax®; and stimulants, such as Adderal® and Ritalin®. People often mistakenly believe that a drug prescribed by a doctor and legal to consume is safer than illicit drugs, so they engage in dangerous behaviors like mixing drugs and alcohol, or sharing drugs prescribed to others. Getting hooked on prescription drugs can also be unintentional, following a legitimate reason that they might be taking these drugs, such as chronic pain or a serious injury.


Drugs and alcohol are also commonly used to try and forget or overcome trauma from things that happened in the past, both physical and emotional. When other options—such as speaking with a psychologist—are not available or do not seem to help, a person might turn to substance abuse as a way to bury their painful memories.

A person doesn’t necessarily have to do drugs for a long period of time to become hooked. Since they overload pleasure sensors in the brain, it can be one of the highest highs a person ever feels, but can also be one of the lowest lows when they are not on the drugs. This cycle often leads to “chasing” the feeling you had that first time, and is extremely hard to overcome. If someone you know is addicted to these substances, there is help available through recovery programs in Utah.

The Connection Between Exercise and Addiction Recovery

Exercise has been shown by many studies to be beneficial to your health, but this is especially true if you are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Even if you have never been involved in an “exercise program” before, starting some type of exercise can be extremely beneficial in your rehabilitation journey.


If the idea of “exercise” makes you think of sweating in an aerobics class or running outside, keep in mind that there are many different ways you can get exercise. It could be as simple as taking a daily walk or playing ping-pong with your kids, or it could be joining a local gym or attending a boot-camp-style program in your area. It could even be running or attending an aerobics class if you would like that.


The Health Benefits


Drugs and alcohol are harmful to your body, and most people who fall into a cycle of drug or alcohol abuse find that they neglect to take care of themselves in other areas. Not only does this cause physical damage and lead to a body that has more difficulty overcoming illness and participating in daily activities, it also has a psychological impact on your health. Regular exercise has been shown to provide:


  • Weight loss
  • Improved muscle strength
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Improved circulation


The Stress-Reducing Benefits


Many people who discover that they have a drug or alcohol addiction find that they did not begin just because they wanted to. For many it starts as a way to reduce tension and “take the edge off” of stress before it evolves into something that causes even more stress. Exercise has therapeutic benefits that include a release of endorphins that make you feel happy (the same thing that used to make you feel good when you used drugs or alcohol), which can help reduce stress and calm you down. Plus by undergoing physical exertion and releasing emotional energy, you can avoid looking for other negative ways to release those things.


The Routine Benefits


Another benefit of exercise is its ability to replace bad habits with healthier ones. For many people drug or alcohol use is simply part of their routine, and when they decide to quit, the time they have that used to be consumed with drug or alcohol use can feel empty. The more healthy routines you can create to fill that time, the less likely you will be thinking about resorting to your drug or alcohol addiction.


The Connection Benefits


Exercise is also something you can do with friends and family, which means it can be a way to build a support group. Plus people have been shown to be more likely to participate in exercise routines when they do them with someone else, so whether it’s a friend from your neighborhood, church group, or even from your support group, find someone who enjoys the same activities as you and will help you stay committed to exercising.


When you combing drug and alcohol rehabilitation with exercise, the results can be long lasting and amazing. Find an addiction recovery program that incorporates exercise and discover for yourself the benefits.