Healing the Wounds of Addiction in the Family


shutterstock_211900291Addiction causes so much more pain than many people realize, as it affects not only the addict but everyone they’re directly involved with, including family and friends. Growing up with parents who struggle with addiction can cause major damage in children, especially when left untreated. Emotional pain can wreak havoc on our lives, and it must be acknowledged in order to heal.


When someone has an addiction, they are struggling with a disease that can hurt their family members and friends. Addiction can cause fighting between other family members that wouldn’t normally argue. When a family member is an addict, it is important to learn more about addiction and what to expect.


  • The addict cannot be relied on, as they won’t always follow through with what they’ve promised they’ll do
  • The addict might lie or steal money in order to support their habit
  • The addict might lose their job
  • The addict might not come home at night
  • The addict may do bad things—things they’d never do if they weren’t abusing drugs or alcohol


Common psychological injuries on our emotional well-being include rejection, guilt, failure, loneliness, loss, rumination, and low self-esteem. All of these emotions can be experienced when one must deal with an addict in their life. In order to take the first step to relieve emotional pain is to actively heal.


If the addict doesn’t accept they have a problem, it will be tough to get them help. However, sometimes this could be due to how a family member or friend, or multiple people, support their habit by enabling them. This could be in the form of giving them money, helping them obtain the substance they abuse, giving them somewhere to stay, or doing anything else the addict should be able to do on their own. Because addicts are comfortable being taken care of, they likely won’t seek treatment on their own. Many families will reach a tipping point where they decide to make an ultimatum, and cut off the addict should they not accept treatment the family is willing to offer. In some cases, this is done via an intervention.


If the addict has caused emotional pain in their family and friends enough to the point where they are having trouble dealing with it, they can attend rehab or therapy as well. This won’t be the same type of therapy the addict goes through, but it will be tailored to loved ones and help them recover as well.


Dealing with addiction is difficult. LEAD has a staff of recovery experts who are available to answer any questions, so call today at 800-380-0012.