Whether you know someone who has an addiction or not, you and your family can be impacted by it yourself. For instance, those who abuse drugs and/or alcohol negatively affect crime rates in communities, among many other things. Instead of ignoring the massive problem of addiction, you can help improve it by gaining a better understanding of why it needs to be addressed.
Addiction Can Severely Harm Individuals
Being dependent on drugs or alcohol can take the worst toll on an individual’s health and well-being. Long-term drug use has damaging effects that may be revealed with blood tests, chest X-rays, or imaging scans. For example, you or your loved one may experience one or more health problems such as cancer, heart disease, mental health issues, or lung disease. In addition, there are social consequences for individuals to consider such as hospitalizations, quitting school, and job loss.
Legal issues may also become out of control. For instance, a person may be charged with DUIs, possession, or have another legal issue. Your friend or family member, or even yourself, may have relationship issues, become abusive, or be the victim of abuse. Besides this, an addict may be forced to go to jail.
How Addiction Affects Families
If you’re an addict, you may completely lose touch with friends and/or family. For one thing, when you become dependent on alcohol, you can start hanging out with people who aren’t good for you. This can cause you to ignore your real friends so you can spend time drinking with these other people who are too much fun for you. On the other hand, you may become abusive towards your family members. With addiction, the risk for violence increases, and this can lead to sexual, emotional, or physical abuse.
Drugs and alcohol can put a strain on parents, children, and spouses. For one, communication can become a serious challenge because of trust issues, conflict, and secrets. Relatives may be deeply affected by seeing how drugs and alcohol devastate an addicted loved one’s life. This can traumatize relatives to the point where they rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with their own personal issues. Here are a few other problems due to addiction that may affect a family:
- Parental grief
- Financial difficulties
- Running away from home
Ways Addiction Impacts Communities
Addicts can negatively influence people in the community. In particular, when an addict attends school he can encourage those around him to drink or do drugs too. Teens and adults may see how exciting substance abuse can seem and join the popular crowd. Similarly, addicts are more likely to lose their jobs. And this makes it more difficult for communities to function in a healthy and positive way. Further, these problems in the community are highly likely to lead to crime. Not only can the addict himself become a criminal but so can any and all of the people he influenced. Indeed, addiction contributes to unsafe neighborhoods where parents are afraid to leave their children alone on the playground or even to send them to school at all.
One Person Affects the Group
Although it can be difficult to see how one addict could have such a harsh impact on family, friends, and society, it’s important to take notice of this issue. After all, if we all take a logical approach to figuring out the problem, we can come to the same conclusion. This can help us take the necessary steps to deal with addiction and improve how our families and communities function.
Plus, we can understand just how much one person affects entire groups of people. One person matters a lot because groups simply can’t function in a healthy way without them. In light of this information, by informing ourselves about addiction, we can gain the knowledge we need to deal with it more effectively. In fact, you and your family can be safer from the negative influence of addicts and so can your community. Ready to get started? Call us today at 772-266-5320.