How Drug Addiction Affects Relationships

Drug Addiction and Relationships
Dominic Nicosia

Written By

Dominic Nicosia
Dr. Po-Chang Hsu -

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

Last Medically Reviewed on January 30, 2024

After living through an experience and looking back at it, we always see where we made mistakes. When you’re in recovery, it’s easy to look back and see how addiction and substance abuse dictated your life. It’s hard to see how drug addiction affects relationships during active abuse, even if you subconsciously know that it does.

While most people spend February thinking about romancing their partners, we want to look at other relationships too. While some might say that romantic relationships are the most commonly impacted by addiction, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Addiction affects every aspect of life, not just romantic relationships or partners. There’s a reason why addiction is called a family disease.

If a member of your family or someone you love falls into addiction, the dynamic changes. When addiction enters the equation, it’s like the person they were before has been replaced with someone you don’t know.

You Push Those You Love Away

When you’re using, the harsh reality of the situation is that you only care about scoring more drugs. Addiction can affect your brain and thinking process in ways that you don’t consider what’s best for yourself or others. Instead, you become an emotionally abusive individual who disregards others’ well-being to get what you want.

Watching you break down and turn into someone selfish and self-centered can destroy your family. The truth is that they might not want to be around to watch it happen. Your behavior can make them feel ashamed to be around or reluctant to bring or invite you places.

Friendships that existed prior to addiction become strained because you’re constantly crossing boundaries and disrespecting their wishes. These friendships and old relationships often end because they are brushed off when they can’t be manipulated anymore.

Those struggling with active addiction can be unbearable because they are constantly making those you love feel terrible about themselves. Putting people down so that they won’t look at your flaws or issues with addiction only drives them away.

Nobody Trusts You

If you’re in recovery, you can understand the process of convincing your friends and family to trust you again. This is because, during active addiction, an addict will consistently make promises to do things or to change. However, someone in the throes of addiction will be known for breaking promises, which can cast doubt on their recovery.

Because addiction encourages reckless actions, family and friends are constantly worried that you’re going to get caught in dangerous situations. Unfortunately, because trust wears away over time, this worry never completely leaves and can cause people to distance themselves.

Those struggling with active addiction lie, steal, and manipulate to get what they want. When confronted about these behaviors, family members will often be met with constant apologies but no real changes in lifestyle. These repeated apologies and promises can cause relationships to deteriorate and all trust to be lost.

People Don’t Understand You

Depending on what you’re using and how long you’ve been using it, the chemistry of your brain can be permanently changed. This, along with the immediate effects of the substances, can cause you to make a number of irrational decisions. These decisions can be hard to understand, especially when you see a loved one doing things that don’t make sense.

Many people struggling with substance abuse are running away from or covering up underlying issues and emotions. These emotions can include insecurity and feelings of worthlessness.

What many people don’t understand is that addiction becomes more than just using drugs. Everything can become a manipulation game, and it becomes difficult to maintain regular relationships because you’re in a committed relationship with drugs.

More often than not, people with good intentions will get caught in the crossfire of this manipulation. This can be confusing for friends and family who can’t understand why their loved one continues to hurt themselves and others.

Rebuilding Relationships That Have Been Broken

It usually isn’t until undergoing a treatment program that an addict can see how drug addiction has affected their relationships. During group and one-on-one counseling sessions, those on the journey toward life in recovery should have the chance to make amends.

At Recovery Unplugged, one of our main goals is to repair and recreate the relationship between our clients and those they love. With intensive one-on-one therapy and our Family Program, we encourage patients to constantly improve and create healthy relationships with those they love.

We don’t just want to rebuild relationships- we want to support our clients in renewing and strengthening these important bonds. For many people, repairing relationships can be an exceedingly difficult but rewarding process.

If you’ve been struggling with addiction or substance abuse and feel like your addiction has ruined relationships, we’re here to help. With the power of music, we want to pinpoint the underlying causes of your addiction and help you overcome it. Reach out to us today to take the first steps on the journey towards a life in recovery.

We take our music-focused treatment for addiction very seriously, so we are going to hold our content to the same precision standards. Recovery Unplugged’s editorial process involves our editing safeguard and our ideals. Read our Editorial Process.

Dominic Nicosia

Dominic, a seasoned content writer at Recovery Unplugged, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the realm of healthcare writing, particularly in the addiction and recovery field.

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