How drug abuse affects families
Thesis: All family members alike are affected by the problems that drug and alcohol addiction causes.
Introduction: Drug and alcohol abuse is a large problem for today’s society.
1. The problem gets bigger for the children since;
I. They are being raised by alcohol- and drug-using parents
II. The children go through a tough chaotic and unpredictable family life that may lead to
a) Irresponsible behavior by the children later in their life
b) Abuse of drugs by the children themselves later in life due to improper disciplinary action at home
III. They are neglected by their parents; parents forget important dates like birthdays and other dates in a child’s life and due to divorce
IV. They become hesitant to open up leading to anxiety and depression
2. The home institution is filled with violence due to drugs and alcohol; the violent behavior involves
I) Slapping and hitting of the children, the wife or the husband,
II) Smashing and throwing of objects.
3. The family also experiences many marital conflicts between the spouses. These include;
I) Frequent and unnecessary arguments
II) The spouses grow apart and the love fades away
III) There is a lot of silent treatment around the house and less talking is done everyday
4. The family experiences a lot of infidelity between the spouses. The infidelity usually occurs when the spouses are looking for;
I) Other people to understand them, especially those with the same abuse patterns
II) Prostituting that mostly occurs in the drug dens
III) Sex from the internet
5. There is also a lot of jealousy that is experienced in the family due to;
I) Friends interference in the affairs of the family
II) The introduction of third parties that offer comfort
III) Partner lacking trust for each other
6. Economic problems are also a key feature of the family that has drug and alcohol abusers
I) The drug and alcohol abusers lose their jobs
II) They make poor decisions financially
III) They waste a lot of money in their abuse of drugs
7. Divorce is a most likely occurrence in most marriages or families due to the isolation.
8. Conflicts arise between the parents and the children and may have the effect of having disregard for the parent’s authority or have a lot of fear for them
9. There are enormous health risks associated with drugs and alcohol. These include;
I) If the mother is pregnant, the fetus might suffer brain damage
II. Cigarette smoke can cause health problems for all family members due to second hand smoking. These include;
a) Lung cancer
b) Heightened cases of asthma among the children
c) Poor development of the fetus for a pregnant mother
III. Impairment of judgment
IV. Spread of blood related ailments like HIV due to the sharing of needles
10. Different family structures are affected differently by the drug and alcohol addiction;
I. A person living alone or with their partner will suffer from co-dependence
II. A couple with children leaves the load on the children and one parent, usually the non-addict, is left to take care of the children. However, a case where both parents are addicts ends in devastation for the kids and the older one always assumes responsibility.
III. A case where one has a step family, one impedes the stability of the family
IV. An old family with grown up children experiences elder maltreatment
V. Children who abuse drugs are prone to dangers of family physical and emotional conflicts.
11. Most families live in denial and protect the drug addict form the society denying that they are involved in such behavior.
12. Drug users and abusers usually view their families as their enemies and the causes of their problems thus blame is highly on them.
13. Common characteristics among the non-abusers in the family include:
I. Low self-esteem
II. Lack of ambition
III. Antisocial behaviors
V. Hot temper
VI. Emotional Strength
Conclusion: Families with drug users and abusers suffer a great deal, however they need counseling to help solve these problems.
Ashery, et al. Drug Abuse Prevention Through Family Interventions. New York, NY: DIANE Publishing, 2000. Print.
Straussner, Shulamith Lala Ashenberg, and Christine Huff Fewell. Impact of substance abuse on children and families: research and practice implications. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006. Print.