If you are addicted to drugs, you may not be aware of the negative effects your addiction has on those you love. While you may think the drug, addiction affects those abusing drugs, family and friends are often the innocent bystanders that get caught in the crossfire.
Of all the things that begin to deteriorate as a result of drug addiction, your closest relationships with those who care about you possibly suffer the most.
This article details the ways which drug addiction ruins relationships. Understanding how drug addiction affects you and those around you can provide the motivation needed to change your life for the better. While the road to recovery is difficult, with determination and perseverance, you and those you love can find lasting happiness.
The Ways Drug Addiction Ruins Your Relationships
Lies and Deception
As an addict, you lead a double life. On the one hand, you keep an air of normalcy around your loved ones—yet you keep the deep dark secret of your drug use. When substance abuse takes over more control of your life, you become more isolated from family and friends. Loved ones may sense things are wrong, but someone addicted to drugs can be very deceiving when attempting to maintain their drug use.
They say that secrets keep you sick, and in the long term, the lies and deception you engage in start alienating your loved ones. As drug addiction gets worse, addicts start manipulating and deceiving those they love. The anger and resentment that results from these actions create a divide that can take years to repair.
The Erosion of Trust
When you tell lies and deceive others to protect your addiction, the sense of trust between you and your loved one gradually erodes. The feelings most familiar with the loss of trust include dishonesty, respect, and betrayal. Additionally, a loss of trust leads to loss of loyalty. Your friends and family will only tolerate so much dishonesty before they decide it’s better, they distance themselves.
The erosion of trust is especially painful when it comes to romantic relationships. When a wife, husband, or partner plays second fiddle to your drug use, they will begin to feel resentment and jealousy, which can drive a wedge between you that can be beyond repair. If not addressed, the damage done as a result of prolonged drug addiction may only be fixed with professional help.
When you are struggling with drug addiction, your loved ones will do anything and everything to help you get better. While their intentions are good, the behavior they engage in may do you more harm than good. Enabling behaviors occur when loved ones do things to help shield you from the negative consequences of drug addiction.
Examples of enabling actions include paying your rent or mortgage, covering for your absence at family functions and explaining away your bad or erratic behavior. These enabling behaviors create resentments between family members and friends who may feel they are being taken advantage or used.
Codependency is an extremely toxic kind of relationship that can occur as a result of your addiction. With codependency, your family member, friend, or significant other becomes your caretaker. They will sacrifice their well-being, so your needs are met. While codependent behavior is damaging, those who are codependent enjoy the feeling of being wanted and needed. Additionally, they feel they are meeting their deep-seated needs of being close to you.
All codependent relationships are one-sided, with the codependent being fully vested while you may get little or nothing out of the relationship. The closeness and attachment that a codependent feels towards you are for the wrong reasons. Instead of truly helping, the codependent is trying to find the love and attachment they find lacking in their life. Additionally, those who are codependent will be possessive of you and are jealous of others who may want to help you get better.
It’s never too late to change
There is no doubt that addiction crates chaos and dysfunction in relationships. If your relationships are suffering because of your substance use, the good news is many relationships can be restored with time and hard work. The proverb that actions speak louder than words is especially applicable in this context as taking action to change your life for the better is often the best way to regain the trust and respect of your friends and loved ones. If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction, it’s essential to seek professional advice right away. It may help save relationships with those dearest to you.