Substance abuse can have devastating effects on the family as a whole. The emotional toll can be debilitating as well as health and financial concerns. Illegal purchasing of drugs and the health of the individual or individuals in a family is also of grave concern. Communication breaks down and the family becomes divided. Violence can occur when a person is under the influence so treatment in a rehab facility or in family counseling is highly recommended.
Communication breaks down when a member of the family is abusing drugs. They will withdraw from their family and friends, becoming irritable and anxious.
Young substance abusers may run away becoming homeless or entrenched in a life of prostitution to pay for their habit. The family member is in denial regarding their drug use and will rationalize their habit making communication difficult.
Health concerns are a major effect on the family. The possibility of a drug overdose can frighten family members. The substance abuser may have multiple health problems from the overuse of drugs such as brain damage and heart problems.
When a family member is under the influence of drugs money becomes an important part of their lives so they may keep purchasing the drugs. They will find any means to obtain that money and one is by stealing from family members. Leaving a purse or wallet, jewelry and other valuables in their reach makes it easy for them to steal. Storing away valuables and keeping wallets and purses out of their sight helps in them not stealing from you. But they will find others to steal from and could get caught and prosecuted.
A family member under the influence of drugs can become quite violent. Their strength can intensify and their mind can hallucinate. When a family member becomes a threat to you or to himself law enforcement should be called. Do not try and take upon yourself to try and talk a person down when they are under the influence and have become violent.
Purchasing illegal drugs can have it’s on ramifications besides just the health concerns. When a member of the family is caught and arrested on drug charges the entire family is effected. It the arrested person is a parent their employment may be in jeopardy.
There are a number of support groups to help the family when a member is abusing a substance. For families of alcoholics Al-anon is a free support group. For people whose family member abuses narcotics there is Nar-Anon and Co-anon for those with cocaine abuse. Trusted family and friends can be a huge life support along with your local churches and their ministers.