How Substance Abuse Can Destroy a Family

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GNCM recently spoke to a family attorney in Rancho Cucamonga who told us that one of the main causes of divorce and other family issues is substance abuse. Substance abuse issues can devastate a family, and it can be difficult to figure out how to resolve the problem. Family members who abuse drugs or alcohol can often become hostile or withdrawn, and you may not know how to reach them or what to do.

Luckily, substance abuse is becoming a widely known issue, and you aren’t alone if you know someone who suffers from substance abuse problems. You should never feel like you can’t talk about these issues—they aren’t off-limit conversations to have. Don’t feel ashamed of your family member. Substance abuse can happen to anyone and any family, and it happens to more people than you might think.

The worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and hope it will resolve itself. That is unlikely to happen.

How Substance Abuse Can Affect the Entire Family

In the past, people often claimed that their substance abuse was their problem alone and everyone else should just mind their own business. Butt out, buddy! But today, most people realize that substance abuse is not something that only affects the abuser. The entire family, and even friends, can be negatively impacted by substance abuse.

Here are just a few examples of how others are affected by the substance abuser’s behavior:

  • The abuser can become violent or dangerous toward others.
  • The abuser might lose their job, affecting the entire family financially.
  • The abuser might need assistance getting substance abuse help, which can be stressful for family members.
  • The substance abuse will affect the entire family emotionally.
  • The abuser might not be capable of caring for young children and will likely be unable to provide love, care, and emotional support for others.

There are many other ways substance abuse can affect the family members of the abuser.

What You Can Do to Help Your Family Member

Here are a few tips as to what you can do to help someone in your family who is abusing drugs or alcohol:

  • Talk to them—a lot. Sometimes an abuser isn’t fully aware that what they are doing has become a problem. Make sure they are aware, but try to be supportive and understanding, rather than accusatory and hostile.
  • Tell them to get help. More than once. Sometimes a person will have to be told many times before they will seek help.
  • Don’t give up on them.
  • Find resources that can help your family member. Point them in the direction of counselors and institutions dedicated to helping those with substance abuse issues. The good news is there are a lot of places out there ready to lend a helping hand.

Here to Help You Resolve Conflict in Your Life

Now you know a little more about how substance abuse can destroy families and what you can do to help.

Continue checking in with GNCM to find more information on handling issues in your life before it’s too late. Conflict resolved.