6 Ways That Your Drug Abuse Affects Your Family 

by | Feb 15, 2018 | Addiction Treatment | 0 comments

Drug addiction doesn’t just affect you personally. It also has an impact on those around you. From strained relationships to financial issues, drug abuse can negatively affect your family in several ways.

Hurt Feelings

When you’re taking drugs, you’re not in control of what you say or do to others. You might lash out at a loved one over an imagined slight, or you might say something hurtful and insulting to family members without meaning to. While your family might be able to overlook the occasional insult or unfair accusation, treating them this way regularly will put a big strain on your relationship with them. Your family members might find it difficult to forgive you, or they might even decide to sever ties with you altogether, especially if you don’t take the initiative to seek treatment for your addiction.

Financial Woes

If your family relies on your income for bills and other expenses, addiction can make this challenging and stressful. Drug addiction can make it harder for you to successfully hold down a job. When you’re not bringing in a steady income, other family members might be forced to take on a second job to make ends meet. You and your family might also have to lower your standard of living by moving to a smaller home or to a less expensive part of town. You and your family might fall behind on bills as well, leading to stressful calls from debt collectors or creditors.

Added Stress

Having a drug addict in the home creates a considerable amount of undue stress for family members. In addition to stress caused by money issues and negative interactions, your family might also feel anxious about your behavior, especially if you’ve resorted to stealing or lying in order to obtain money to support your addiction. They might wonder why you don’t come home at night, or they might be stressed about what they can do to get some help for you. They might also be concerned about the physical harm drug addiction might cause you, or they might be worried about a possible overdose.

Strained Relationships

Your drug addiction might not just be causing problems between you and other family members. The stress of living with someone who struggles with addiction could cause family members to fight with each other, leading to strained relationships throughout your home.

Bad Influences

If you have young, impressionable family members in your home, such as your own children or younger siblings, your drug abuse also sets a bad example for them. If these family members see you taking drugs, they might be tempted to experiment. They might also turn to drugs or alcohol outside the home to cope with the stress they face at home due to your addiction.

Social Isolation

Your family might be hesitant to invite company over, spend time with neighbors or get involved in community events. They might do this if your behavior has made them feel embarrassed or ashamed. They might also be reluctant to go out if they’re worried that you’ll hurt yourself or get into trouble when you’re home by yourself while under the influence of drugs. Withdrawing from social interactions puts added strain and stress on your family members, which can affect them physically and emotionally.

Being aware of how drug abuse can affect your family should prompt you to seek treatment. By going through recovery, you’ll be helping your loved ones, as well as yourself.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Abuse Hurts Families. Easy-to-Read Drug Facts.