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When someone becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol in a family, the family can often end up spending a lot of time and energy thinking about the person and their drug and alcohol use. When this happens, it may impact on the family in a bad way. Family members may be hurt when the addict refuses their help and care. This will often cause the family to try even harder to get the addict to recognise that they have a problem. But the harder they try, the worse it often gets.
Communication at this stage often becomes impossible and everybody will start to feel alone with their own ‘secret pain’. The effects of an addict’s behaviour on those around him or her are often to cause embarrassment and upset. You might start to lose friends, or forget about your interests and hobbies as well as relationships becoming strained or difficult. Addiction often soaks up the majority of your emotional energy. Family members may feel resentful and low a lot of the time. You may also feel helpless, angry, confused, guilty, desperate and frustrated and may have difficulty trusting others around you.
It might be helpful to make some time in your day or week to think about something else other than the person’s drug and/or alcohol problem.
If you have advice for other COAP users, please contribute to the discussions in the forums: