Heroin addiction is a serious and life threatening condition. It is probably quite obvious of the effects of heroin addiction on the user: physical appearance, moodiness, isolation, financial problems such as loss of a job, and legal problems. But heroin addiction does not only affect the user; it damages the relationships that the heroin addict has and their family as a whole.
Effects on the Family
Conflict Over Money: heroin addicts will lie and manipulate their spouses or other family members for money in order to support their habit. If they can’t get any money, they often resort to stealing from their family members and pawning such items as family jewelry, electronics, or anything else of value. Also, if the heroin addicted person catches legal charges such as drug possession, possession of paraphernalia, or shoplifting, the family will be facing ways to cope with legal costs.
Conflict With and Among Family Members: this includes spouses, children, siblings, parents. Conflicts will arise over drug using, behaviors, changes in personality and moods either directly or indirectly with the heroin addict. Also, conflicts among family members are an often occurrence because everyone will have their own idea on the best way to deal with their heroin addicted loved one. Some family members will be in denial while others can see what is really happening. Arguments and fights ensue when each side is trying to convince the other side of their point-of-view.
Emotional Trauma: The heroin addict will create emotional hardships for their family members because of their shift in personality. Oftentimes, heroin addicts are moody, irritable, and inpatient. They might begin yelling, talking down, insulting or manipulating their family members, including young children.
Violence: The person who is addicted to heroin may become violent or the family members may become violent with the addict, acting out of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. Violence can include physical contact such as slapping or hitting, verbal abuse and yelling, or smashing or throwing objects.
Family therapy is counseling that addresses the family unit and identifies the issues, concerns, and effects on the family and on each family member. Heroin addiction impacts everyone involved with the user; not just the user.
Benefits of Therapy to Combat Heroin Addiction Effects on the Family
Your family will become more aware of their own needs and feel that they can express their needs safely. The next generation in your family will be less likely to carry on your addiction. If you have lost custody of your children, you will be better able to overcome your addiction and reconnect with your family.
Recovery for the Addict and for the Family
Recovery is equally important for those who live in, develop their sense of self and learn relationship skills in a family that involves a heroin addict. Without a rigorous program of treatment and recovery for all concerned, the dysfunctional relationships developed in the addicted family environment will tend to recreate themselves in a repeated pattern. Sobriety needs to happen on all levels, in all family member.
If your loved one is in need of treatment for heroin addiction, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.