Drug addiction can be a devastating experience for the addict, affecting family and friends. The person who is addicted may neglect their relationships or take advantage of them, while the people around them are left to deal with the fallout. Here are six effects of drug addiction on family and friends:

1. Divorces and Broken Relationships

Drug addiction can put a lot of strain on relationships, and it often leads to divorce or the breaking up of relationships. This is especially true if one partner is addicted and the other is not. The addict may neglect their partner or spouse and spend all their time and money on drugs instead.

Additionally, the non-addicted person may have to pay for or neglect their needs to care for the addict. Divorce and relationship breakdown can be very damaging, causing children and loved ones to lose support and emotional connection.

2. Broken Trust

Addiction breaks trust because it is a deceptive disease. Addicts may lie, cheat, and steal to get money for drugs. They often become very secretive and isolate themselves from loved ones to hide their addiction. It can lead to a loss of trust that is difficult to regain.

3. Financial Struggles

Drug addiction often leads to financial struggles because addicts spend all their money on drugs. It causes tremendous stress for family and friends who pick up the slack.

They may have to pay for rehab or other treatment and cover everyday living costs. It can be challenging, especially if the addict is unwilling to get help. Thankfully, in 2019, Infinite Recovery announced its partnership with Aetna, one of its many health insurance companies, to promote affordability.

4. Emotional Distress

It is difficult to watch a loved one struggle with addiction, and family members may feel helpless or emotionally taxed by their struggle. They may feel like they are constantly worrying about the addict’s well-being, endlessly searching for ways to help them.

They may face problems at work and have trouble concentrating on their own lives due to time spent worrying and caring for the addict. This can lead to a great deal of emotional distress and even depression.

5. Risk of Disease

Addicts often engage in risky behavior that puts their health at risk. They may spend time with other addicts who are more likely to share needles or engage in unprotected sex. They may also be exposed to new diseases since they tend not to worry about their overall well-being. This can lead to illness, particularly among people who share needles.

Some diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis C, will not present symptoms until long after being contracted and can be very difficult to treat. Later, they can bring these diseases to their friends and family, causing them great harm.

6. Loss of Children’s Custody

Parents who are addicts may lose custody of their children due to neglect. Family courts expect parents to be responsible and caring towards their children, and an addict is more likely to miss visits or appear intoxicated. This can also lead to a loss of rights that would impact them later on if they choose to seek custody of their children again in the future.

Though addiction can be devastating to family and friends, there are ways to cope. Talking with others who have had similar experiences, finding ways to relax, and seeking counseling may help reduce the stress loved ones of addicts feel. The most important thing is that addicts get the help they need to recover and build healthy relationships with those around them.