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Substance Abuse Affects Your Family- Take Back Control

Written by Seth Fletcher on May 1, 2015
Last update: May 15, 2024
Drug abuse can seem like a good escape from the stress of everyday life, but there are many consequences to abusing drugs that are sometimes looked over. Substance abuse can have many horrible effects on your loved ones and can ruin your relationships with them. Here are 5 ways substance abuse can affect you and your family and why you should seek treatment.

The Effect Substance Abuse Has On Children

Substance abuse can have a severe effect on children that live in or are around the abuser for long periods of time. People who abuse drugs and/or alcohol are more likely to be combative, abusive and can act irrationally. This behavior will not only affect the abuser but also the children themselves. Some ways that substance abuse can impact children are:
  • Lack of feeling- Children will find that “shutting off” their feelings in order to find an escape from a mentally and/or abusive household. With the substance abuser not properly expressing themselves, the children will believe that showing any expression will just lead to trouble.
  • Afraid of communication- Children can feel afraid to talk for fear of drawing attention to themselves. People whom abuse drugs can be aggressive, and in that case, children will avoid drawing unwanted attention, which can lead to poor communication skills.
  • Trust issues- Forgetfulness or uncaring attitudes shown by drug abusers can lead to trust issues in children and they can carry their trust issues into adulthood.

It Can Hurt Loved Ones

Despite what substance is being abused, one fact is true: substance abuse will not only affect you, but will also have a negative effect on your loved ones as well. Substance abuse will make you and your loved ones lives seem chaotic and inconsistent. Relationships with people can fall apart easily, especially if physical or mental violence is involved. Substance abuse can quickly take over everybody’s lives, and not for the better.

Substance Abuse Can Ruin Your Professional Life

Trying to maintain a substance abuse problem and a career is not as easy as you might think. By allowing your substance abuse problem to run rampant, your professional life will suffer. Relationships with coworkers can deteriorate or you may simply just not care enough to go to work, or forget. Heavy dependence on drugs can easily take over a life, so you may find yourself out of work quickly with no paycheck to help support yourself or your family.


The longer substance abuse goes on, the further away family and friends may seem to you. This may be due to the change of behavior drugs can cause, refusal to seek help for your drug habits or associating with other people whom have substance abuse problems. Being around other people with similar substance abuse problems can lead to reinforcing the abusive behavior, which can spiral out of control. In addition, being isolated from loved ones can make it difficult for you to seek help in combating your drug problem and also could have lasting effects on your relationships with your loved ones.

Health Issues

Every drug has horrible side effects on your body and their severity will depend on how much you take and how long you have been abusing the drug. The health issues can range from psychological issues to temporary symptoms to long term, life altering illnesses. Many drugs can also kill with little amount of use. These health issues can lead to expensive medical bills and a lot of stress for both you and your loved ones. With the threat of permanent damage that could be done, seeking help for substance abuse as soon as possible would save you and your family a lot of grief.
Certified Addiction Counsellor

Seth brings many years of professional experience working the front lines of addiction in both the government and privatized sectors.

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