"Addiction is not a spectator sport. Eventually, the whole family gets to play..."
Addiction is a disease that affects more than the person addicted. It is a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family's unity, mental health, physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics.
Living with addiction can put family members under unusual stress. Normal routines are constantly being interrupted by unexpected or even frightening kinds of experiences that are part of living with alcohol and drug use. What is being said often doesn’t match up with what family members sense, feel beneath the surface or see right in front of their eyes. The alcohol or drug user as well as family members may bend, manipulate and deny reality in their attempt to maintain a family order that they experience as gradually slipping away. The entire system becomes absorbed by a problem that is slowly spinning out of control. Little things become big and big things get minimized as pain is denied and slips out sideways.
Without help, active addiction can totally disrupt family life and cause harmful effects that can last a lifetime. If someone you know and love has a substance use and/or co-occurring disorder, support is available.
PEER Wellness Center provides support groups and information to help Friends and Family Members. For information on CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), SMART Friends & Family, and other supports, please visit our Friends & Family Resource Center.
You are not alone. Help is available.