An addiction to drugs or alcohol is a struggle shared by millions of people across the nation. While addictions to drugs or alcohol can cause significant physical, behavioral, and emotional challenges for the addict, they can also result in far-reaching difficulties with the addicts’ relationships. For many who struggle with addiction, their perceived need to use or drink takes first priority over everything. This often means children, spouses, family, and others who are close to the addict find themselves feeling ignored and “less important” than the need to obtain or use substances. Unfortunately, the pull of addiction is often so intense and overwhelming that the addict does not realize their relationships are falling apart until it is too late. Without addiction treatment, addicts often struggle to acknowledge and understand the impact addiction has on their relationships.
How Addiction Affects Relationships
Addiction impacts relationships in many ways. Whether related to the behaviors of the addict or actions of their loved ones, many of the detrimental effects of addiction on relationships can be challenging to overcome. One of the most common effects of addiction on relationships is a loss of trust. Many addicts will say or do whatever is necessary to satisfy cravings.
This often includes lying and being deceitful to friends and loved ones. Eventually, as those who have been deceived begin to understand what their loved one is going through, it can be difficult to trust in what they say. Communication eventually becomes difficult as distrust grows, and each side is hesitant to disclose feelings and emotions. Another challenge many relationships face is that of physical injury. It is estimated that as many as sixty percent of domestic violence incidents are associated with a substance use disorder. Physical violence occurs in the home and on the road as well when those under the influence of alcohol or drugs choose to get behind the wheel.
Finally, friends, family, and loved ones who have become weary of the addict’s behaviors may become reluctant to lend ongoing support. The road to sobriety is not easy and is often filled with setbacks and challenges. With these stumbles often comes frustration from the addict’s support system as they themselves struggle to understand how to help. It is not uncommon for the addict to have the support of friends and family while they are seeking or in treatment, but the same supports need to remain in place after treatment and in the incidence of relapse.
Tips for Repairing a Relationship With an Alcoholic
The first step in healing and repairing relationships that have been impacted by addiction is an addiction treatment program like Rise in Malibu. Seeking professional help allows the addict and their family to learn how to live a sober life without the influence of drugs or alcohol. After your loved one has completed treatment, it is important to remember that recovery is not instant. It will take time for your loved one to heal, and therefore, it is essential to be realistic in your expectations. Everyone must remember that the effects of years of negative and harmful behavior will not be resolved overnight. The process of rebuilding relationships is a series of small steps. It is also important to be open and honest in communication. Addiction has likely impacted how the addict and their loved ones communicate with one another. During treatment, addicts seeking recovery learn better, healthier ways to communicate with others. These skills take time to master and practice, and both sides need to listen actively and openly.
Finally, some relationships should not be repaired. After someone completes addiction treatment, it is crucial to take a moment and look at the people and places they surround themselves with. Friends and even family who could act as triggers or remind you of drinking and using should be removed if at all possible. A key to ongoing sobriety and recovery is removing triggers wherever and whenever possible.
Rise in Malibu Is Here to Help You
The first step to repairing relationships that have been adversely affected by addiction is to seek treatment. If you are ready to take the first steps towards a life free of addiction, contact the admissions team at Rise in Malibu today.