How Drug Use Affects Families

If you or your loved one suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction, then you likely intimately know the countless ways addiction changes emotions and showcases the effects of drug use on the family

Everything you’ve worked so hard at creating together may be shaken, challenged or altered in ways that can be very hard to bear.

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Addiction doesn’t just affect the person taking the drugs or alcohol—it can create a changing family dynamic, one that requires its own measure of support and attention.

At Vertava Health Mississippi, we understand the unique complexities that revolve around this situation. We are poised to offer you and your family compassionate insight, education, counseling, and support, so that you can, together, move forward towards more positive and healthful relationships.

Addiction Can Derail Family Life And Stability

An important question to ask is how can drug abuse affect a family?

When a person suffers from an addiction, their focus might begin to take a narrow scope as they shift their energy away from important aspects of their life, towards the pursuit of finding and using drugs or alcohol.

In the process, they might negate critical responsibilities and let their relationships deteriorate. As they plummet deeper into the spiral of addiction, they may make choices that jeopardize their job, schooling or finances, or even embroil them in legal problems, all of which can threaten a family’s solidarity.

Due to this, resentment may surface, accompanied by numerous other negative mindsets and emotions. Both parties may begin to feel blame, shame, unhappiness, loneliness, doubt, and despondency. Left unchecked, these things may gain momentum and create tension, fueling an already tenuous, and at times, volatile situation.

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These things won’t easily go away on their own. Our skilled and compassionate staff has the patience, perspective and insight to help you find your way out from beneath the burden, confusion, fear and hopelessness that may have pervaded your life.

Addiction can have a wide and colored history. That is to say that the type of changes and damage that occurs can vary from person to person and family to family. For this reason, a therapeutic community, such as that offered at Vertava Health Mississippi, is essential towards recognizing each family’s distinctive needs as a means towards rebuilding and renewing a positive sanctuary for your family member during recovery.

how drug abuse affects families

Family Addiction Counseling

If you choose, you can integrate your family into your addiction treatment program. Family SUD counseling and support is dual purpose—it strives to rectify the damage done to both parties, uprooting negative thought processes, behaviors, and emotions, and replacing them with positive and healthful ones, in a way that garners healing for both the person in treatment and their family members.

Family drug counseling becomes a unique tool to further develop and implement the positive coping skills you’ve learned within other aspects of your residential treatment while engaging you to learn even more.

It is an adjunct therapeutic method that helps you to re-establish yourself in positive and powerful ways within your family dynamic so that you can learn to heal and work together more efficiently as a family. Your family will have numerous opportunities to learn how they can better sustain and encourage you throughout the duration of your recovery.

Help For Loved Ones in Recovery

Addiction places a heavy burden on a family, one that may not be the easiest to overcome, especially on your own.

During an addiction, people can be quick to pass judgment or blame—conditions that can hamper an already delicate situation, and drive people even farther apart. We understand that these can be normal reactions to these stressful conditions, however, we also know that within recovery, success hinges on your, and your family’s ability to overcome these things, in turn creating a strong and resilient family unit.

Our staff will help you and your family to recognize any unhealthful behaviors that might be hindering your progress, or even exacerbating the addiction. We will support you with empathy and insight, guiding you towards the truth, skills, and information that can aid in both freedoms from addiction and discordant family relationships.

Let us help you, the family member, to:

  • Realize what you have control and responsibility for, and more importantly, what you do not
  • Reaffirm your needs and learn to take care of yourself instead of focusing all your attention your loved one and their addiction
  • Recognize, readjust and correct any negative and unhealthy communication patterns
  • Pinpoint ways in which your family members may be enabling your drug or alcohol use, and teach you healthier ways in supporting your loved one
  • Identity and work towards resolving any family conflict
  • Overcome judgment and blame; begin forging trust
  • Uproot denial and replace it with a positive and focused awareness, supported by good coping skills
  • Establish healthy boundaries
  • Reestablish your family’s direction and work towards setting achievable goals

These things are all necessary when you’re trying to rebuild healthier relationships. Whether it be a child, parent, sibling, spouse, or another family member, you will have the opportunity to meet with your loved one in a safe space, one that our staff has taken great care towards developing, so that you can begin to bridge the gap that may have arisen between you.

Family Addiction Counseling for Lasting Recovery

Sometimes, even though you may live with a person or encounter them and their behaviors and reactions on a regular basis, you may not completely understand the situation. There can be a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding an addiction, in a capacity that can come from both directions.

Many times, family members, even in their good intentions, will say something or act a certain way that can, in actuality, push the person struggling with the addiction farther away or make them feel more hopeless.

This may happen because a person’s family may not accurately understand the complexities of the addiction, or it may occur because they are hurt and are acting out in frustration, fear or retribution, reactions that are not conducive to forming a positive, healing environment.


In order for a family to lend the strongest measure of support, they must learn not only about the addiction itself, but about their role within it, and the recovery process. Sometimes this information might be hard to hear, which is why we’re here. Our staff meets each family where they’re at within their journey. We understand that every person and every family dynamic is unique, built upon a varied history of shared experiences, individual perspectives, and personal needs.

We can help you to recognize and respect this while working towards establishing wellness, communication, trust, respect, accountability, and a positive and engaging family environment. In order to achieve this, Vertava Health Mississippi offers you, the family members, a rich diversity of educational programs that can help you to stay en point, open-minded and at the ready with an arsenal of knowledge and skills during your loved one’s recovery journey.

Healing for Families & Those in Recovery

As noted before, an addiction heavily impacts many facets of a family’s life. As a person leaves their addiction behind them and strives to regain control over these areas of their life, they may, at times, feel overwhelmed. During this period, it can make an immense difference if a person’s family not only understands this but if they are integrated into the process.

how can drug abuse affect a family

As your family member works through their treatment program, they will learn how to regain control over the skills that are essential towards having a productive and fulfilling life.

Your involvement can also further aid in healing, as some family members may yet harbor resentment toward the person who used drugs or alcohol, due to the ways their behavior shaped the family’s foundation. Taking part in rebuilding these things in an active and proactive way, while working towards a common goal, can help people to reconnect and develop a sense of pride, momentum, purpose, and hope.

Heal, Support One Another, and Become Whole Together

Change doesn’t happen overnight, especially when the damage may extend to numerous people in a variety of ways. Despite this, the good news is that change is possible. We can help you to overcome the hurts, broken trust, miscommunication and negative emotions that often surround a family when they’re consumed by an addiction.

Don’t go it alone—Vertava Health Mississippi’s guidance and support can make the difference. Through our family addiction counseling programs and education, we can help you to revitalize your relationships while obtaining valuable tools and critical coping skills that can help to make your or your loved one’s recovery success. Contact us today, and we can tell you more about how we integrate family support, counseling, and education into our highly successful program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the five stages of recovery?

You may see different versions of these, but the most common stages of recovery are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance/recovery. Here they are broken down with short definitions.

  • Precontemplation is before someone has acknowledged there is a behavior or substance use struggle that should be changed.
  • Contemplation is when the situation has been acknowledged but the decision to change or seek help hasn’t been made yet.
  • Preparation/Determination is the process of getting ready to make the change and begin recovery.
  • Action/Willpower is when you have begun recovery.
  • Maintenance is when you are in long-term recovery and maintaining your new life.

What are family interventions?

A family intervention is an intervention usually organized and filled with people who are related to the person the intervention is focused on helping. It doesn’t have to strictly be people who are related by birth, but that’s usually what’s meant by “family intervention.” Families come in all shapes and sizes, though, so a gathering of people who are invested in, connected to, and deeply care for the person they are hoping to help can be seen as a family intervention as well.