Addiction, no matter what it is that you are addicted to, can have a profound effect on all areas of your life. First of all, it’s important to understand that addiction isn’t just a behavioral problem. It may begin, for some, as an experiment or a way to rebel, or even as a way to cope with some other life issue, but from that trial, dependency stems. The brain and body both crave the drug of choice.
Most people that become addicted have some other underlying health issue. Addiction is used as a coping mechanism for a dysfunctional life, or they have a dual diagnosis, meaning they have some other mental issue, such as depression or anxiety. Even these people can get clean from their addictions, though, it’s just a matter of getting treatment for both the mental problem and their onset of addiction.
The Effects of Addiction on Families and Friends
Addiction isn’t just a negative for the person with the addiction, it is also a catalyst for all sorts of family issues. However, just as each individual deals with life in a different way, so too does addiction affect different people (in relation to the addict) in different ways. Some people may just walk away from the addict, while others could be pulled into the same lifestyle as them.
Not only can having an addict in your house opening you up to the possibility of becoming addicted to their drug of choice as well, it also hinders your ability to connect with them. Addiction can literally tear families apart. And, depending on what the addict is like on a day to day basis, they could cause your children to be taken away, cause a death or accident, and even end up in jail or in prison.
The same goes with friendships. An addict may take on a whole new set of friends that allow their addiction to take over their life, especially if their former friends were against it.
The Effects of Addiction on Work
Addiction is not free, nor is it cheap. Drugs come at a hefty cost. Even food addicts and sex addicts can spend a lot of money on the things they need in order to fill that empty hole they have in their minds.
Not only will addiction put a strain on the bank account, but those with severe dependencies on drugs or alcohol may risk their jobs, and their lives, on a daily basis if they are going to work high or drunk. Addiction can easily, and quickly, leave the addict unemployed.
How to Deal with the Addict in Your Life
There are many things you can do for the addict in your life, but you can’t always make them get clean. Often they’ll need to hit rock bottom and realize on their own that they need help. For some people, simply showing them you care and want them to get help is the answer. For others, you may have to walk away for them to realize they have a problem.
Your best bet is to start with and intervention and ask them to get help. Share with them how much you love and support them, and want them to get better. Remember not to blame yourself for their addiction, and always be understanding of the fact that their addiction is an illness.