How Might My Family and Friends be Affected by My Addiction?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

family arguing at dinner

Addiction impacts not just the person who was directly affected, but friends and family as well. Unfortunately, with sobriety comes learning of the ways we have hurt our loved ones, and this can be painful to grasp. Resentment and regret can seep into our loved ones, with some seeming to no longer wish the best for us. If initial family or friends’ reactions are ones of negativity and/or disheartening behavior, give them time. If serious relationship damage occurred prior to you seek treatment, a lot of anger and guilt could still be at bay. Your loved ones may need to know you’re serious, and you must show this through your words, actions, and as time goes on.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that family therapy can become indispensable in situations like these. Family therapy aims to hear how addiction has impacted everyone, allowing everyone to feel heard. Through this, each person can work individually and together in therapy to rid of negative thought patterns and habits while replacing them with more hope and positivity. The more your family and friends learn about addiction and how it affects a person’s brain, the more they should be able to look at the situation more objectively. However, this does not mean that the pain will completely disappear, at least not for a while.   

A mother explained her pain from hearing about her children’s’ struggle with addiction on CNN,

“It’s like having someone punch you in the stomach…You’re never the same from the second you find out [about a loved one’s struggle with addiction]…It’s the hardest thing in the world.”

CNN notes that many loved ones blame themselves, as they believe there was something else they should have done to stop their loved one. Yet others may feel anger from being lied to, cheated on, stolen from, and more. It’s important to remember, however, that the family dynamic can change over time with the help of a family therapist. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is to focus on your recovery.





Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. We offer a variety of treatment methods, including yoga and other holistic practices such as qigong and meditation. If you are ready to seek treatment, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.

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