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Families and Addiction

 / Addiction Information / Familes And Addiction

Families and Addiction

Family is where we expect a caring, supportive and nurturing environment. You will be suitable to expect accommodative and social responsiveness from those you consider family. Sometimes addiction happens, and your expectations are shattered. Habit is using or taking something even though it could damage you. You can end up dependent on anything from shopping, social media, working, gambling, or technological gadgets. Usually, addiction is associated with drugs, including prescribed medication, alcohol, and nicotine.

Why Do People Get Addicted?

Social Influence

You are at a party, and everyone there is taking a stimulant. You experiment with a puff out of curiosity or the need to fit in. You feel euphoric, and you keep going back for more. Within no time, you cannot seem to function without the drug. You see nothing wrong because 'everyone' is doing it. You also have a source to quench the urge.


The same happens to social media addiction. You get pleasure every time you are on a social media site. Your moods are boosted every time you get a like, share, retweet, or viewing. The feel-good neurotransmitter called dopamine is triggered whenever you are on the internet. You constantly engage on social media at the expense of socializing in real life.

Family Life

Biological or genetic factors also predispose a person's likelihood of getting addicted. Some genes determine antisocial behavior in adults, alcohol, and illicit drug abuse, and the genes also determine the body's metabolism of alcohol or drugs. People with the G Allele in the DNA code have more urge to drink alcohol and find it hard to repel alcohol.


Some factors are brought about by childhood development and adolescence. Child abuse and parental practices influence the behavior a child will likely adopt in the future. Traumatic events in early childhood expose a child to drugs and alcohol as an adolescent. Adolescents will probably be addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or social media to escape the reality of their life or numb their feelings.

Environmental Influence

The surroundings that one is exposed to can determine the likelihood of addiction. A stressful environment will lead a person to seek ways to find relief. An environment that embraces alcohol or drugs will encourage the person to seek relief by partaking in the drugs or alcohol. If your family members take drugs, they can influence you to engage.

Friends on social media often post photos of alcohol and smoking at parties and homes. If you live in a neighborhood where taking drugs is normal, you will not see any harm in engaging in the same. Many young adults begin taking drugs and alcohol in college because of availability and normalization.

There are other causes of addiction. A quest to lose weight, increase performance, or do away with pain, can result in addiction. A sick person may be prescribed opioids for pain relief or stimulants for ADHD but misusing the medication results in a dependency. The intention is never to be addicted, but it happens.

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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Families and addiction
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Signs of Addiction

Signs of addiction

You may think your fix is within your control, and you can stop anytime. However, a person close to you may be observing a different person. The following are some of the behaviors that indicate an addiction;

  • Changes in behavior and moods can range from extreme happiness to sadness, irritability, and interest.

  • Fatigue or hyperactiveness, red eyes, lack of sleep, and difficulty focusing.

  • Lack of interest in family, withdrawal, and lack of cooperation and alienation from members.

  • Change in dressing, and sometimes a person ignores their body hygiene.

  • Lack of control prevents you from staying away from the substance.

  • It was becoming careless even to yourself, for instance, drinking while drunk or sharing needles.

Effects of Addiction

Effects of addiction
  • Will insurance cover drug and alcohol rehab?
    Private insurance is the most common and effective payment method for addiction treatment. It can pay for a significant number, if not all, of your rehabilitation appointments. Thanks to the efforts by private lobbyists and the government, rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction is now a mandatory benefit under insurance after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Paying for addiction treatment
    Ways to Pay for Addiction Treatment Here are the five points for financing that might be helpful for your treatment: ​ 1. Insurance 2. Self-Pay or Payment plan 3. Loan or second mortgage 4. Funding or Scholarships 5. Family Insurance ​ If a person has some benefits, they can use them for treatment and take advantage of insurance. If you use health insurance providers so that you can recover yourself from addiction because they collect payment regularly or they have scheduled their income as well. Self-Pay ​ The second method is self-pay, and in this method, you can pay for treatment in lump sums or months and create a payment plan so that you can pay weekly, monthly, or whatever you choose the way to treat. Loan ​ The third method to pay is a loan. You can take a loan or a second mortgage from those homeowners. Funding or Scholarships ​ If you do some research, then you can find a lot of funding or scholarships for you that are available to you there. Family The last method to pay is family. Your family can help you financially with your treatment. There are many options available for you as a key for financial assistance so that you can choose one of these methods for addiction treatment.
  • Will I lose my job if I go to rehab?
    Employees who get treatment for addiction while still at work are protected by the ADA and other laws like the MHPAEA, the ACA, and the Family Medical Leave Act, which all work together to make them eligible to return to work after the treatment.
  • How much does addiction treatment cost?
    Depending on your needs, treatment options for addiction vary from extensive medical detox to inpatient (or residential) care plans to less intensive outpatient ones. If your addiction is chronic or you are also grappling with a dual diagnosis, then long-term care at a residential facility is often the best option; but it is more costly. It's even more expensive when your situation necessitates the consultation of many specialists and the administration of costly drugs.
  • When is it time to go to rehab?
    Many believe that a person does not need to go to rehab, even if they struggle with the most severe addiction withdrawal symptoms. Still, studies show that last year almost 100,000 people died in the United States due to substance use disorder or overdoses. As 22 million people are suffering from addiction to either drugs or alcohol, there is a need to talk about this subject more casually. Many people don’t go to rehab because they feel ashamed of being addicted. There is a need to make them realize that no one can judge them if they see any symptoms; they should decide to visit a rehab as soon as possible.

Having a loved one with a drug or alcohol addiction impacts negatively on the members. The repercussions affect the addict and the innocent bystanders.

How to help family

How to Help a Family Member Fight Addiction?

  • Addiction is a chronic illness. You cannot sit back and fold your hands when a family member gets diagnosed with cancer, for example. The main help for an addict is to get their control back. To help a family member, you must acknowledge and confront a problem without judging or labeling the person. Sometimes you may need to distance yourself from the addict to avoid trouble. Please do these instead.

  • Point out the need for help to the addicted person. Most often, addicted people do not notice that they need help. Talk to your kin while they are sober, and explain why you think they need help. Guide your relatives somewhere to find the right tools for their healing. Unless you are a qualified psychologist, do not take on that role.

  • Help find the correct treatment. Recovery is a journey; each patient has their path; some need therapy, others need rehabilitation or hospitalization. You can help your loved one fight through withdrawal symptoms, attend family therapies together and support them when they feel it is too complicated and cannot do it anymore.

  • Stop enabling the behavior. Sometimes in an attempt to help, you may end up allowing the behavior to continue. You may be encouraged by covering up for the person, lying about their whereabouts, or giving them cash for something while you know they will end up buying the substance. Set limits and confront the addict with love and understanding. You may need to make tough decisions and stand by them.

  • Help the patient stay in treatment. Change the environment, or avoid anything that can activate or set off the behavior again. If it is an addiction to social media, find out why the person prefers social media contact. Please encourage them to stay away from gadgets and devices. If it requires behavioral change, support your family. Minimize exposure to items that enable the addiction.

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There is no denying that addiction profoundly impacts an individual's family. Sometimes when the patient is on a recovery journey, relapse happens. It does not mean the person failed and you should give up. Recovery means that the person now changes from what they are used to and adopts a new lifestyle. Change is not easy. Healing does not happen at once. Supporting the patient to stay on the course requires compassion and patience. It is essential to change the person from a user to a willing non-user. A person who feels forced or denied to use will change temporarily and will sooner look for a way to reward themselves in secret.


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