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How Family Can Influence Drug or Alcohol Abuse

How Family Can Influence Drug or Alcohol AbuseOur families are our structure and foundation of how we are raised, what beliefs we may adopt, how we behave, and much more. They shape our every fiber until we are old enough to make our own decision based on what we know of life as shown to us through our families. This can be both positive and negative, as all families are different and prone to make individual and unique decisions based on their own set of morals, values, and beliefs.

A family who has a past history of addiction, and is experiencing the continuation of that addiction through other members of their family can influence their drug or alcohol abuse in either a negative or a positive way, depending on their outlook on addiction and where they stand in terms of support. A family who has never truly addressed the issue of addiction may be more prone to supporting a user in the family for many reasons due to the neglect of the problem.

  • Leading by example: The majority of users find themselves saddled with a family history of addiction. They could have had first hand experience with drug and alcohol abuse through watching grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and even parents battle with addiction. If these role models were lax in getting a handle on their addiction, history is bound to repeat itself through the younger generation of the family.
  • Acceptance: By never truly addressing the problem, the family can give off the impression that drug and alcohol use is acceptable, as it has always been a part of the family and its behaviors. While the family knows that addiction is a serious problem, the amount of energy and time it requires to rid a family of a substance abuse problem can be more overwhelming than just allowing it to continue.

While one family may contributing to the continuation of drug and alcohol use, another family may be more prone to take a stance against the use.

  • Knowledge: Many families have more than one user in the family, but this does not mean that it is something that is continuing on without the appropriate efforts to stop it. Those who recognize an addiction in the family may spend large amounts of time gaining knowledge of the disease and how to guide their loved one towards the path of sobriety. This can greatly influence the user, as their role models are not allowing them to feel that their use is acceptable all while pushing for sobriety.
  • Limitations: When there is one or many users in the family, those who are not using must learn to set limits on those who are. This means that they will not support their loved ones financially, provide shelter, or allow themselves to be pulled into their downward spiral of addiction. By doing so, a family makes it very clear to their loved one that their behaviors and actions are unacceptable and require external help to get treated.

As our families part an integral part of our lives, it is important to understand that while some families make good decisions centered around sobriety, other families find it easier to accept a loved one’s use. This shows that some addictions run deeper than others, and that not everyone is fully equipped to take on the challenge that is rehabilitation and the means required to get their family member to accept.

Is your family impacting your drug use?

Please call us right now so we can get you the help you deserve. Do not wait one more day. Call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline today.

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