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Drug Abuse, How it Affects Families

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Drug abuse is using drugs in the wrong manner. Drug Abuse is the use of substance in a maladaptive pattern but not dependent. Drug abuse changes the mood of the users or causes the users to be psychoactive. Using drugs inappropriately to enhance performance in sports is also drug abuse. Drug abuse ranges from the use of alcohol to use of hard drugs. Hard drugs include cocaine, heroin, and marijuana among others. Drug abuse has numerous effects. Drug abuse affects the abusers and the people around them as well. Drug abuse affects the friends of the abuser, work mates, family members and all the people that are in direct and indirect association with the drug abuser. There are many effects that drug abuse has on the family members ranging from economic to psychological effects. The aim of this paper is to discuss the psychological effects drug abuse has on the family of the abuser.

All the effects of Drug abuse on the individual are related. For example, if a family member has financial problems, it will also affect the financial status of the family. Financial problems on the family affect both the drug abuser and the family members psychologically too. Problems a family member has in the work place translate to the family members too. If any of the family members has psychological problems, the whole family is concerned. The concern the family members have will most likely affect them psychologically (Prieto, 1).

A person who indulges in substance use eventually develops an addiction. Addiction means drug dependency. A person who has a drug dependency will not function properly before taking the drug. The person may not be able to work if he has not taken the drugs. People addicted to drugs will go all their way to use the drugs. The addiction pushes people to do everything to get the drug. A drug addicted family member might fail to attend to his or her duties in the family in order to get the drug. For example, a teenager who is addicted to a certain drug will fail to do his or her household chores, including cleaning his or her own body in search of the drug. The parents will develop stress if their children fail to maintain their own cleanliness (Lowinson, Joyce & John, 39).

Drug addiction leads to financial constraints. Most of the drugs that people abuse are very expensive. Once people develop drug dependency, they will do anything to get the drug. A person who is working will result to using most of his income on the drugs; sometimes the income is not even enough to purchase the expensive drugs. If a parent is involved, he or she will not be able to attend to his financial duties in the family. The financial duties include putting food on the table for the family members and paying school fees for the children. When family members lack these basic commodities, they will suffer psychologically too (Prieto, 1).

Substance abusers result into many unlikeable behaviors.  One of the unlikeable behaviors that drug abusers develop is becoming violent. Drug abusers will be violent to everyone in association with them. The people include the people in the work place and the family members. Such a behavior results to spouse battering and beating children for no good reason. Battering a spouse causes him or her stress. Beating children causes fear in them. Children will always live with fear. Children living in fear will not perform well in school if they live in fear. Children who live in fear will continue to adulthood posing serious psychologically (Lowinson, Joyce & John, 39).

Drug abusers have high stress levels. The stress later develops into depression. A person who is suffering depression does not have maximum output at the work place. The person suffers from low self-esteem, which may compromise on his or her self-respect. A person develops a don’t-care attitude and may fail to maintain his or her personal hygiene. The person will lack joy always and will not be able to relate to the family members properly. If a person in a family is not able to relate to the others, communication in the family will not be efficient. Lack of communication in a family has major negative effects because no one will know the problems of the other. A minor problem in one of the family members might develop to a major problem just because the person did not solve it early. Family members find solutions to problems by discussing with the other family members. Discussing the problems is not possible where there is no efficient communication between family members (Copeman, 1).

Drug abuse may result into health problems. Health problems may develop in both the drug abusers and the other people in association with him. For example, tobacco smoking poses risks to dangerous diseases to both the smokers and passive smokers. A person who smokes at home exposes the other family members. Mothers consuming alcohol expose their unborn to risks of diseases as well as exposing themselves. Mothers who abuse other substance may expose their children to risks of infection through breastfeeding too. Diseases in a family bring many problems.  Smoking tobacco may result into anxiety. Family members of a person who smoke hence engage in passive smoking are prone to anxiety hence anxiety attacks (Barker, 297).

Apart from draining the resources of a family, the sick members of the family are a burden to the family too. The family has to attend to the sick members of the family. The situation might force some family members to abandon their work to attend to the family members. The situation drains the finances of the family further. Insufficient finances in the family bring psychological problems too. Sick members of the family make the other family members remain in worry (Copeman, 1).

Drug abusers often result in embarrassing behaviors even in public. For example, a drunken man might go urinating everywhere, even in public places. A family member who does the embarrassing acts poses problems to other family members too. People will see the drunken man and will associate him with the family members. If the person performing these embarrassing acts is a father, the children might suffer psychologically. The children may face ridicule from school from the other children who saw the father performing these acts. The wife to the husband who goes misbehaving in public will feel embarrassed by the acts too. The work mates of the wife might ridicule her too (Barker, 297).

Abuse of drugs may result to divorce due to lack of communication and absconding of duties from family members. Divorce causes a feeling of betrayal, insecurity, vulnerability, and helplessness. Divorce is itself a traumatic event leaving the family members traumatized (Lowinson, Joyce & John, 39).

Drug abuse may cause death. The many drugs expose the abusers to great health risks and diseases. Most of the diseases are fatal and may result in death. Death of a family member will leave the other members of the family with grief. The loss of the family members leaves the other members with a feeling of guilt, anger, and surprising emotions (Copeman, 1).

Conclusion

Drug abuse has many psychological effects on an individual and other people in association with him or her. The family of drug abusers is the most affected psychologically. The psychological problems a family of a drug abuser experiences include constant anger, grief, depression, trauma, stress, anxiety among others.

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