Health Care

Dynamics of Drug Addiction in Family Systems


Drug addiction has destructive effects on any family. The impacts are extensive, and the young ones in the family feel them the most. The dynamic of drug addiction in the family system is complex and can be hectic to understand as much as one can get help from facilities such as rehab Austin. Here is a breakdown of drug addiction and its dynamics in the family.

Emotional and Behavioral Extremes

Addiction brings along intense emotions of fear, confusion, and even terror. These emotions, in most cases, ignite fight or flight responses. In such instances, the spouses and children feel trapped in confusion and uncertainty. With extreme emotional and behavioral actions, chances of familial trauma increase. The sense of helplessness, anger, fear, and pain make it hard for any family to function properly. The effects of addiction have become a cause of mental health issues among the afflicted addicts, their spouses, and their children.

Adapting to the situation becomes the trauma response when the family fails to handle the emotional and behavioral extremes. When the family adapts to the addiction outcomes and develops an operating style, the results become catastrophic. The young ones can easily follow suit and pick up the behaviors of the adults. This increases the chances of abusing drugs and substances and developing addiction in the process.

Disassociation and Disengagement

With increased cases of addiction in a family, the member develops the feeling of despair. This is because they don’t see any difference despite the efforts they are making. Opening up about the situation and seeking help from professionals becomes a challenge. The more family members go deeper in despair, the more they opt for denial as a way to ward off their efforts. They try to find a console for past efforts instead of finding ways to address the mounting problems. Due to the increasing feeling of guilt, fear, confusion, and denial, the family members slowly disassociate from communal disengagement.

The actions of disengagement only create a wall of oblivion for the family members. Addicts will start seeking solitude, and spouses find it hard to concentrate or engage in productive activities with others at the workplace. In most cases, children live in shame, making it hard to enjoy the company of their friends and peers. When the situation worsens, and the family members fail to seek help, they fall back and deeper into disassociation.

Financial Struggles and Poverty

Drug and substance abuse is an expensive behavior. Any family member that starts drug use struggles to sustain the trend. The situation gets worse when one develops an addiction. While it might be a personal trend for one of the family members, the toll is bigger and felt by everyone else in the home. Finances are vital in sustaining and keeping the family running. The cash flow, however, reduces once a family member starts to develop an addiction. This only creates an avenue for financial struggles.

In a family that depends on the breadwinner who is an addict, the chances of falling into poverty are much higher. Addiction has a huge negative impact on the financial stability of any family. Failure to provide for the basic needs of the family only leads to cases of neglect. The afflicted addict is only focused on meeting personal needs and neglecting the family in the process.

Abuse and Victimization

Every family needs a platform that allows them to address the issues within. An afflicted addict finds it hard to work in harmony with other family members. They, however, resolve intense emotions and behaviors as a means to addressing the issues. Because they cannot process and control their words and actions, the result becomes abuse and violence. In such instances, the victims become their spouses and their children.

The dynamics of addiction in the family system differ by the nature and severity of the situation. The impacts extend to other family members when there are no interventional efforts in place. It is important to find ways to counter the effects of drug addiction to protect the afflicted and their families.