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How Substance Use Disorder Affects the Whole Family

Approximately 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, and each day, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose. We know the effects that substance use disorder have on chronic substance abusers, from deteriorated physical health to impaired mental functioning. However, we don’t often consider the fact that addiction does not exist within a vacuum. The negative impacts associated with substance use disorders almost always extend to the affected individual’s family members and children. 

In this brief article, Phoenix House Florida, a drug addiction treatment center in Tampa, dives more deeply into this topic as well as what actions you can take if you or a loved one is suffering from substance use disorder.

Related: The Path to Recovery: Opioid Abuse Treatment in Tampa

Addiction Changes Roles Within the Family

From caregiver to joker, everyone has their role in the family unit. But when substance abuse enters the picture, family members of the addicted individual will naturally try to adjust their roles to make room for new behaviors. This shift in familial roles can be incredibly damaging for all parties involved. 

First and foremost, likely either your spouse or one of your children will attempt to play the role of the caregiver. Since substance use disorder requires constant attention, it can take a great toll on the mental and physical health of the caretaker as they begin to neglect their own needs in favor of yours. Additionally, one of your family members (often the same family member who assumed the role of the caretaker) will play the role of the enabler. The enabler is likely to make excuses for your behavior and deny the severity of your problem while taking care of anything that you’ve left undone, such as getting the children to school on time, rather than seeking to get them professional drug addiction treatment in Tampa

Related: What Are the Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction?

Addiction and Young Children

One in five children will grow up with a parent with a substance use disorder. Early exposure to a home divided by drug addiction can play a serious role in the development of your child. Not only are these children significantly more likely to develop substance use disorders in their adulthood, but they are also more likely to be neglected. They may become emotionally unstable and develop extreme guilt and self-blame for their parent’s substance use. If these distressing experiences weren’t reason enough, it can also create delays in learning and emotional development. 

You may care for your child greatly, but when you’re addicted, you’re distracted from all responsibilities, including meeting the needs of your child. You won’t be able to perform basic tasks, such as providing meals or taking them to school, nor fulfill secondary needs, such as attending parent-teacher conferences. Furthermore, your child runs the risk of repeating any aggressive or negative behavior they have experienced in their household later in life.

Get Help Today

If anything previously discussed in this article rings true of your family, or if you’re concerned about how your loved one’s substance use disorder may someday affect your family, it’s time to seek addiction treatment in Tampa with Phoenix House Florida. We understand the toll that substance use disorders can have on the affected individual as well as his or her family members, which is why we focus on rebuilding relationships and family reintegration as part of our treatment plans. We can help break through any resistance blocking the path to treatment and work to heal the damaged family dynamic throughout treatment as soon as you reach out to our team of healthcare providers. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, speak with a treatment specialist about drug addiction treatment in Tampa. To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Phoenix House Florida. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Phoenix House Florida is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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At Phoenix House Florida, we have a passion for healing. If you or your loved one are in need of subtance use treatment, we are here to help. Give us a call or submit our appointment request form today.

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How Can We Help?

At Our House

For some patients, stepping away from the buzz of everyday life is the only way to make a full recovery. Inpatient treatments help patients refocus their recovery efforts to achieve positive, long-lasting outcomes.

At Your House

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Outpatient treatment must follow a continuum of care that starts with a thorough needs assessment and ends with recovery monitoring.

The Derek Jeter Center

The Derek Jeter Center Adolescent program in Brandon, FL provides comprehensive outpatient services that help families deal with teen substance use and related mental health conditions.