Many people believe that addiction only affects the person with the problem, but the truth is that addiction affects many others. When one person becomes addicted to substances such as drugs or alcohol or an activity such as gambling, it is estimated that another five people will become affected. In addition, the wider community may also be affected. Addiction can devastate the lives of so many people and more needs to be done to tackle this growing problem.
Addiction is an illness that causes the sufferer to engage in compulsive behaviour despite the fact that his or her actions may cause harm to themselves or others. The person with the addiction will often have an uncontrollable urge to take a particular substance or engage in a given activity with no regard for the consequences.
How Addiction Affects the Sufferer
Once a person has become addicted to a substance or activity, he or she will develop an obsession, which will in turn cause them to neglect other aspects of their life. This could include family members, relationships, work, or personal hygiene. Physical and mental health can also be affected, depending on the addiction. Those who are addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs may suffer a particular illness, and mental health conditions are common among addicts. Paranoia, depression, anxiety, and psychosis are often conditions that affect those suffering an addiction.
Many addicts suffer financial hardship because their addiction may affect their ability to work and earn money. Those with a gambling addiction may find that every penny they earn is spent on gambling, resulting in them losing everything they have, including their home.
How Addiction Affects Families
When a loved one develops an addiction, it can have a devastating impact on their family members. Living with an addict is extremely stressful and may lead to physical and mental health problems. Some addicts can be aggressive or violent towards their loved ones and, in many cases, family members will suffer abuse at the hands of their addicted loved one.
Financial hardship also affects the family. When the addict becomes deeply embroiled in his or her addiction, it may become impossible for them to continue with work; the family will often suffer as a result.
Addicts frequently find it difficult to care for their children, often leading to the children being taken into care, which can be extremely traumatic.
Addicts habitually lie and cheat, and family members may be left feeling hurt and disappointed. It is heart-breaking to see someone change from a caring, loving person into an entirely different person, and many family members will suffer extreme pain and sadness at seeing their loved one descend deeper and deeper into addiction.
How Addiction Affects the Wider Community
Addiction is not always a personal or family problem. In some cases, those with addiction will resort to criminal activity to fund their habits. Many gamblers will turn to theft or fraud to enable them to get their hands on the funds they need to continue gambling.
Alcoholics and drug addicts may get to a point at which they are living on the streets and have no option but to steal in order to find the cash they need to buy the substance they crave. There are often many innocent victims of addiction.
If addiction is negatively affecting your life, call Rehab Helper today. We can provide information on treatments available for all types of addiction. We can also offer a listening ear and support to addicts and their families to help them get through this terrible time. Call Rehab Helper today for more information.