How an Addiction in a Family May Affect Individual Members

Addiction is the desire to consume a certain substance even if there are risks associated with it. (Holmes, 2006,  p. 47) “The people who are drug addicts separate themselves from their families thereby weakening the trust family members had for them before they became addicted”. The individual member in a family who is involved in addiction gets its side effects such as anxiety, mood swings, and defensiveness which are hard to be understood by an addict or even cope with them.

Addiction is a family causes financial instability if the abuser of drugs is able to access assets that belong to the family. Many families try to see that drug addicts do not have access to assets but that may result in family members trying to access assets by force or even stealing the asset. The individual member has his mind and body destroyed and later dies slowly if the family is not able to rehabilitate him or help him find a solution to his problems. If the addicted person refuses intervention, he can be treated as an outcast instead of allowing him to risk the lives of others. The ties that used to exist between family members and individual addicts are broken leading to conflicts because; the addicts become angry and feel that they are being betrayed (Holmes, 2006).

The Roles That They Play As Well As How It Influences the Family as a Whole

Families that live with people who are drug addicts are affected even if they do not use the drugs themselves. Most of the time, a victim of addiction are seen as if the problem is affecting them alone but in reality, it is a problem of the entire family. According to (Kaplan, 2007, p. 33), “Addiction causes stress, social deprivation, and results to poverty in the whole family”. Children believe that parents are their role models and there is a serious problem because; once children find that their parents are abusing drugs, they also abuse drugs and become addicts. Addiction has negative effects on the interaction among members of the family in homes of alcoholics because; the individual who is addicted is a problem to themselves and members of the family since they can be a threat to security.

When parents become addicts, their responsibility in the family and their roles are affected because; the money available for financing family needs is misused and no budgeting is done to balance the income and expenditure in the family. The result is a financial deficit due to having more expenses than the money available. Addiction causes low self-esteem when addicted members become dysfunctional and unable to find a solution for a crisis that might arise. Parents who are addicted are helpless, lose hope which hurts the children and makes them develop a feeling of grief (Kaplan, 2007, p. 33).

The basic needs of children are not catered for due to neglect by their parents, their parents have unpredictable behavior that suppresses the feeling of children. This makes children take roles that are not appropriate to their age and can not have a total concentration in their learning. (LaBrie, 2008) argues that, the children witness the violence of all forms, feel guilty, and develop disorders in their conduct. Parents fail to bring their children up in the right manner which makes them grow up on their own, work hard to make their life stable, and develop poor self-respect.

What Is Available To Help Addicted Individual As Well As Family Members?

Addiction affects both individuals and family members resulting in treating both of them altogether. The addicted individual is a threat to the entire family which requires them to develop a positive attitude and be educated to acquire coping skills for dealing with issues that may arise. When an addict is recovering, he should be provided with a healthy environment that is conducive for their recovery. Good communication skills, forgiveness, and trust help the addicted to recover quickly and remove the feeling of guilt (LaBrie, 2008).

In situations where emotional pain is high after an addiction, members of the family can assist the individual member by showing love and care to help him develop a sense of belonging. The counseling staff observes how family members behave towards the addict to know the treatment that is required. Family members learn the strategies to apply in coping with an addicted person through knowing how to take care of themselves. People who are addicted are encouraged to seek assistance without fear of being mistreated or discriminated against. The workshop is organized to help addicts in lessening the burden of taking care of addicts, decreasing criminal behaviors, and increasing constructive behaviors. Some sessions are semi structured to provide addicts and family members with information about how to recover from addiction. Educational videotapes provide information and discussions which are useful to help drug addicts to recover from the abuse of drugs. Educational materials are available for use by the family where they read about topics of addiction as well as recovery (Olson, 2007).

Why Methadone Is Sometimes Prescribed For Those Who Are Addicted?

Experts are concerned because many people have been given methadone in their prescription even if they are not willing to take it as a substitute for the addictive heroin. Offenders are told either to be imprisoned or follow methadone programmed where their failure to comply with the program causes them to be taken to prison. People who are experienced in drug treatment say that force has been applied to make users consume the drug even if the prescription is inappropriate (LaBrie, 2008).

According to (Olson, 2007), Methadone is believed to stabilize the lifestyles of the abusers of the drug, but it can be addictive more than heroin which makes the users not able to live a normal life. Methadone worsens the feelings of users but health care providers tell them that it cures everything. Initially, methadone was used to treat opiate addiction but it has since been used by a large number of people for different purposes. Methadone is believed to soothe chronic pain but those who use it for recreation purposes have overused it and later cause death. Patients who use methadone are advised to take it while in the hospital, but many clinics have changed and today, patient are given their doses to take at least once a week while in their homes.

Pros and Cons of Using Methadone

Since the Second World War, methadone has been used as a medication to relieve pain where many doctors prescribed it to the patients. This is because; the new consensus shows chronic pain should be treated so that the affected patient can be helped to lead a comfortable life. Methadone was made legal and every patient was able to access it freely without breaking the law. Methadone has helped people to stop using heroin because; it helps to treat addiction (Olson, 2007).

However, methadone has its disadvantages because; it is very difficult to prescribe since it settles in fatty tissues and accumulate there so that it can be released in the body slowly. Methadone is a killer drug and many doctors have almost killed patients who use it. If electronic monitoring is not applied in pharmacies, patients might end up getting prescription that is not identical. Large dose of methadone causes overdose and when it is taken together with alcohol, it becomes more harmful.


  1. Holmes, J. (2006): Making sense of heroin addiction: ProQuest publications company pp45-46
  2. Kaplan, D. (2007): ProQuest Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Elsevier, 33(3), 32-34
  3. LaBrie, J. (2008): journal on Addictive Behaviors: ProQuest publications company, 21(2), 11-14
  4. Olson, V. (2007): Female Athletes And Performance-Enhancer Usage: ProQuest Journal of College Teaching & Learning: UMI Proquest Publications, 33(3), 23-26
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