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How does addiction affect the family?


July 17, 2019

According to the definition of mental disorders and behavioral disorders, addiction is defined as ” A cluster of physiological, behavioral and cognitive phenomena of variable intensity, in which the use of a psychoactive drug (or drugs) takes on a high priority. ”

Addiction has been known since ancient times. The Sumerians left records on clay tablets about growing poppy and making opium. The Arabs considered hashish a sacred plant that opens the “door of Heaven,” while the Indians used opium to perform religious ceremonies.

The abuse of psychoactive substances has been particularly pronounced over the last ten years. The devastating data indicate that the age limit is continuously moved, so younger generations have their first contact with drugs or alcohol earlier. About 16 percent of fifteen-year-olds had experience with some drug. Almost half of the young people know where or from whom they can buy.

Unfortunately, such a situation in society is contributed by not only to the availability of psychoactive substances but also to the development of new addictions. Tablet abuse, Internet and social networks addiction, gambling addiction, are just some of the addictive disorders brought about by the modern age and the rapid development of technology.


Considering that this is a serious problem that does not affect only individuals, but also their closest ones, Dr Vorobjev clinic reveals how addiction affects the family.

How to recognize addiction?

The motives for addiction are numerous. With young people, everything usually begins from curiosity and a desire to be accepted, which means that peers have a great influence, and everything that older family members and advised on gradually disappears. It is for this reason that parents must know who their children spend time with to prevent the development of addictive disorders.

However, addiction is not associated only with young people. Namely, the habit of using a substance, certain behaviors or situations can develop even after the adolescence period. Most often, it is developed from the desire to avoid coping with difficulties and dissatisfactions in life, but also the need to relax.

Although each addiction is different, there are stereotypical behaviors that indicate that a problem arose. First of all, these are extreme mood swings, sleep problems, varying from fatigue to excess energy, new friends, as well as mysterious calls and sudden going outs.

Does addiction ruin the family?

Alcoholism in the family is most common among older members. That is, the consequences are suffered by their children. Looking at the constant fighting of parents, their dissatisfaction and tension in relationships, the child develops an unhealthy picture of the way in a family functions, which can exert a negative effect later in life. Often these children are neglected, as problem-occupied adults do not have enough time to take care of them.

On the other hand, parents often deny that their child has a problem with addiction. In this way, they unconsciously become accomplices in addiction. By taking on the responsibility and obligations of their loved ones, the family actually adjusts to the problem instead of solving it, even when children go along the path to crime.

Addiction, of course, changes the family, and what extent of the consequences depends on the intensity of addiction. It also depends on the strength family members have to face the challenges before them.

Addiction should not be ignored

As there are still prejudices with this problem, when they accept the fact that their child is an addict, parents try to cure it on their own. This is a big mistake because even if you successfully overcome detoxification, the next step is more difficult – to treat the psyche.


Support for the loved one during and after rehabilitation is the main motivation for the patient, but only professional help can lead to complete healing.

If you notice that someone in your family has a problem with addiction, visit Dr Vorobjev Clinic. Our professional team of doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists will help not only the patient but also his close ones, to overcome this difficult period of life with joined forces.

Published on July 17, 2019
Dr Vorobjev Clinic team

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