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How the Addiction Affects Family And Loved Ones

woman looking anxiously at man drinking beer on the couch

Pain. Shame. Guilt. Grief. Devastation.

The addiction wreaks havoc on a person’s mind, body and spirit. On dignity and self-worth. Addiction promotes isolation and secrecy.

With so much focus on the addict, the effects on parents, children, spouses and friends may slip to the wayside.

Let’s explore three ways addiction impacts family and loved ones.

1. The Addiction Trap

The Addiction Trap, also known as the Drama Triangle, is a pattern of interacting that demonstrates how parents, siblings, children, and friends all become trapped in this cycle of pain.

The Trap is comprised of three roles: Rescuer, Persecutor, and Victim. And this trap holds every player in a painful cycle of fear and suffering.

The Rescuer

This role is commonly known as the Enabler. The Rescuer wants to help however he can. And this can mean keeping the addicted person from facing consequences.

The healing of this role involves learning and enforcing healthy boundaries and becoming comfortable saying “no.” The Rescuer needs to give others’ back responsibility for their own lives.

The Persecutor

The Persecutor is the person who blames and judges others for situations. It’s very easy to fall into this role when living with addiction.

Overcoming this role involves the person’s willingness to forgive self and others and eliminate blame.

The Victim

The Victim is the one who feels helpless and hopeless. The addict typically falls into this role or the Persecutor role most of the time.

The healing of this role involves a willingness to take complete responsibility for their lives, the addiction, and all the pain and suffering it has caused. And responsibility to amend the situation.

A few things to remember about these dynamics:

  • Every role is driven by fear and the solution is becoming motivated by love
  • Mindfulness and meditation work wonders in healing this Addiction Trap
  • Healthy boundaries and responsibility are key to healing these dynamics
  • Love the addict, not the addiction

2. Finances and Betrayal

Addiction consumes a person’s whole being. They appear checked-out, hopeless and lacking a conscience.

Addiction takes a considerable toll on finances as the person spends, lies and hides spending exorbitant amounts of money on the addictive behavior.

Feelings of betrayal and helpless soon set in for those surrounding the addict. And it can feel as if there’s no way out.

3. Relationships and Isolation

A person in active addiction will push everyone away. The addict will appear to not care whether he has any friends or family at all.

This is a heavy burden for loved ones to bear. You feel taken advantage of, unimportant and disposable.

The only relationship an active addict can have is with her drug of choice. All other relationships are neglected and abused.

This is why Alcoholics Anonymous can be so healing. These community meetings can help an addict begin to reconnect with others.

Intensive Outpatient Program in Cumming Georgia

Addiction is hard on everyone. The whole family is caught in the seemingly endless cycle of pain and suffering. So much heartache.

But there is hope.

If you’re looking for an outpatient treatment center offering compassion and support for you or your loved one, check us out at The Carter Treatment Center located in northern Georgia.

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