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How Drug Addiction Affects Relationships?




There are a lot of discussions about addiction that have the tendency to focus only on either the physical or psychological effects of using addictive substances. However, the effects generally can expand far beyond these aspects encompassing the social health and holistic well-being of the individual. The first refers to the relationships one has and the individual’s ability to keep healthy connections. A healthy support system is necessary for a person to become successful and to improve his self-esteem and experience happiness in life.

It is unfortunate; however, that substance abuse, as well as addiction, can potentially damage your social health. All kinds of relationships are put to the test when a person gets addicted to drugs or alcohol.

When the addiction becomes a disease and a part of your life, a lot of the aspects necessary to create successful relationships get very difficult to keep. The moment that the user progresses – from being an occasional user to an addict – all energy and priorities will be shifted to acquiring the addictive substance.

As relationships can seldom compete with a euphoric high, users generally put in less time and effort maintaining those causing tremendous damages in emotions.


Users of alcohol and drugs often resort to feelings of guilt, shame, and fear of being judged. Thus they tend to be secretive about their condition and will lie about:

  • Their whereabouts.
  • Their companions.
  • What transpired in their day.
  • Why their behavior has changed.
  • Why a lot of money is missing.


Sooner, your partner may notice the differences and can tell that you are lying. They may develop trust issues because of your lack of honesty, loyalty, and respect. They may also show feelings of jealousy, fear, anger, and resentment that can damage your relationships.

Anger and Abuse

The user may begin to show violent behaviors as the relationship further deteriorates. Both partners may become increasingly frustrated and the substance user may become aggressive. Remember that drugs have the capacity to increase feelings of violence, anger, and irritability.

If you are living with an alcoholic or an addict, you could be at risk of becoming a victim to the user’s increasing frustrations and will violently act when on drugs.


Anger is not the only way abusers impact their loved ones. There will be times that a loved one will enable the addicted user in an attempt to help them out. Enabling can come in the form of:

  • Making excuses
  • Accepting blame
  • Working hard to reduce negative impact
  • Taking on responsibility for the feelings and behaviors of the user.
  • Working hard to minimize their negative consequences.
  • Accepting blame.
  • Making excuses.

An example of an enabler is one that gives money regularly to the user to obtain the drugs. The person may ask money for groceries or gas, for instance, but does not really spend them for the intended purpose.

If you are looking for inpatient treatment centers you may check out your options by locating a proper drug addiction treatment program and asking if the program offers to counsel for couples or family therapy.

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