Impact of Opiate Abuse on Families

Opiate abuse impacts families, friends and loved ones financially, emotionally and physicallyAn opioid addiction wreaks havoc on a user’s life, but also greatly impacts the lives of their family members. Consequently, opiate abuse does not stop at destroying all areas of an addict’s life, it causes many stresses for family members as well. Opiate abuse can create personal relationship struggles, financial burdens, health risks and more. Here are just a few of the negative impacts opiate abuse has on families:

Personal Relationship Problems

Opioid addiction causes a number of personality changes that can cause strain on relationships between a user and their family. Opiate abuse can result in irritability, anger issues, violent outbursts, criminal activity, manipulation, abusive behavior and other negative traits in a user. Due to changes in personality, family members build emotions such as resentment, anger, fear, bitterness and sadness. As a result, these negative mindsets foster mistrust, depression, anxiety and other emotional tolls that could potentially lead to withdrawing a positive support system for the addict.

Throughout opioid addiction treatment, it is highly recommended for an opioid user and their family to seek family counseling. Drug addiction counseling for the family can help start the healing process for the damage drug addiction has caused. The user and their family can be more aware of family dynamics, help regain trust, offer a place where they can safely share their feelings and learn how they can better support one another.

Financial Burdens

Aside from the emotional and health impacts of opiate abuse, one effect that might not first come to mind is the financial toll it also has on an opioid user’s family. Financial instability as a result of a drug addiction can cause lack of heat, food, electricity or even a home – directly impacting the user’s entire family. There are several types of costs associated to a drug addiction:
• Purchase of drugs
• Loss of employment
• Legal fees
• Loss of income
• Higher health care costs
• Unpaid debts/payments

Health Risks

It’s no secret that opiates have a negative impact on an abuser’s body. Their decisions can also put their family’s health at risk. With the use of intravenous drugs, needle share puts a user and their partner at risk of blood borne diseases. Family members may also be at higher risk for stress-related health problems and experience anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems and weight gain.

As a result, the effects of opioid addiction cause unnecessary personal, financial and health stresses for everyone involved. Opiate abusers need to seek help and start their recovery process, not just for themselves, but for the well-being of their family as well.

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