How Drug and Alcohol Use Impacts Families

articleProblem drug and alcohol use affects all those who care about the person, especially the family. Problem drug and alcohol use can affect all aspects of family life, including social life, finances, family roles, relationships and communication.

It is common for families living with substance misuse to experience a range of emotions including guilt, shame, fear and isolation. Living with addiction can put family members under unusual stress. Alcohol/drug users can have very erratic and unpredictable behaviour and it can be difficult to know how they are going to act. Normal routines may often be interrupted by unexpected or frightening events. Family members may witness aggressive, angry and violent behaviour.

Each family copes with substance use in their own unique way. However, there are recognised stages that families tend to go through when there is serious alcohol or drug use:

  • Denying – ignoring the problem, hoping it will go away
  • Enabling – inadvertently enabling drug/alcohol use to continue by paying debts, lying to cover up for the user, tolerating very difficult behaviour, buying drugs/alcohol for the user, etc
  • Controlling – taking control of the user’s life and drug/alcohol use in an attempt to make them stop using
  • Apathy – withdrawing, casting the user out of the family home, giving up.
  • Getting Support

Often, a family cannot cope with the impact of addiction on their own. Family support services can help you to acknowledge some of the problems and feelings you may be experiencing. A drug/alcohol user can only stop if they want to. If they are dependent on the drug, then it may be difficult for them to stop on their own. Finding help is the best thing you can do for you and your family member

Davina’s Ark provide assistance with intervention for families, in relation to their loved one, the person in addiction. We train and provide specialised support with families to undertake a successful intervention.

We guide and coach the family through the process by educating the family about addiction, co dependency and its impact on the family as a whole. This invites family members to make life changes and to create healthy boundaries which may initiate changes in the individual in addiction.

If you would like to get in touch with us at Davina’s Ark you can contact us on 02830279407 or at info@davina’ You can also use our contact page by clicking here.