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Friends & Family

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The Effects of Substance Abuse on Friends and Family

The path of addiction is a tough and all too-often traveled one. The effects of substance abuse on friends and family can cause long-term and inter-generational problems which become more apparent around the holidays. Addiction in the family makes for an incredibly volatile environment that doesn’t allow for any kind of relationship to grow and prosper. How does substance abuse affect friends and family? Here are some characteristics that are almost always present in relationships of the addicted.


effects of substance abuse on familyUsually one of the first telling characteristics of a toxic relationship with an addicted loved one is co-dependency. It is also one of the most overlooked. Co-dependency is when one person in the relationship continuously puts their partners’ or loved one’s’ needs before their own. Sounds kind of romantic, right? Wrong. Often dismissed as neediness, co-dependency can cause both parties to have zero regards for self-sufficiency or autonomy. Your loved one will get so used to you bending to their needs that they won’t really know how to function without you or you without them. Which only further enables them in their destructive behavior.

Intoxicant Emotions

You and your loved ones’ destructive co-dependent behavior can lead you through a plethora of emotions that will eventually become intoxicating. These are emotions that eventually get so entangled and complicated that you end up feeling emotionally exhausted, thus making you perpetually less emotionally available to those around you. These feelings are usually referred to as intoxicant emotions and they tend to throw off the family dynamic to the point that you and your family will be unable to function in a healthy way.

Negative Environment

Living with an addicted loved one can cause many conflicting emotions; anger, anxiety, shame, guilt. All of which don’t really make for a positive or loving environment. As mentioned above these types of emotions will become overwhelming and will begin to affect the family and household dynamic. If you find yourself dreading spending time at home or if your children or other family members spend as little time as possible in the house, this is a huge sign.

Coping Mechanisms

As your loved ones addiction progresses, you will find yourself adapting your behavior to accommodate them. You may become obsessed with them and their behavior, emotionally giving all you have left in you so that there will be nothing left for you or for the rest of your family. This is the point where you might turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like participating in alcohol or drug use yourself or other behavior that is very uncharacteristic.

The truth is that addiction is a family problem that needs to be worked through together and is vital for long-term recovery. If you or a loved one is ready to conquer an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery is possible. Circle of Hope rehab can give you or your loved one the resources necessary to make a turnaround into lifelong sobriety. Call (888) 277-3316 and we will locate a facility offering the recovery treatments you need, all at no charge to you.

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  • I'm from the suburbs of Chicago and have been in quite a few treatment centers. Circle of Hope is hands down the best and most comfortable rehab I have ever been in. Not to mention how caring and helpful all the staff are. The door to my counselors office was always open when ever you needed to talk. Everyone genuinely cares there and that’s what made it a special place for me. My four boys are going to get back their Sober and clean Dad back thanks to the help from Circle of Hope.

    Jeremy G.

  • Circle of hope changed my life!! Great food, great staff, wonderful place! Awesome to get to know the amazing clients and see that i was not alone in my recovery. I made friends for life in the short time i got to spend there. Not a better facility anywhere in my opinion!!The team of employees, from the Technicians all the way up to the Owner, all have a patient first mentality.

    Leto M

  • Going to treatment at circle of hope was one of the best programs Ive participated in, they helped me get my life back. They have amazing staff and over all good natured people. They focus on all aspects of counseling , case management, meetings, different types of therapy, including trauma, one on one counseling. This is coming from someone who has been traumatized and neglected. They helped me get to the root of the problem. Which most times can feel very uncomfortable but they provide groups that you participate in and communicate to other addicts and hear their life stories. They really are an organization of team working to help heal the conflicted minds of us addicts that we faced everyday. I would highly recommend this treatment program to anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health.

    Skyy S

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