Addiction: A Family Disease

Addiction Affects Those Who Are Closest to The Individual

When it comes to drug or alcohol addiction, we often think that it is only the individual sufferer that is struggling. Addiction is classified as a family disease which means that it negatively affects every member of the family, despite the fact that they themselves are not addicts. When one individual in the family is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it takes a toll on family members in ways that they sufferer may not truly realize until they seek treatment and reach sobriety.

Not only do family members worry on a non-stop basis about their loved one’s safety and wellbeing, but it is also always a constant battle of trying to convince them to get help. The best way for the family to get the individual into treatment is to stage an intervention.

Family Therapy and Counseling

When all members of the family are willing to partake in treatment, the better chance that there will be a successful recovery. Although we may not realize it, our family operates as a unit and when there is an addict in the family, the functionality of the family malfunctions. This can throw everybody off kilter which inevitably hinders the wellbeing of everyone involved.

In order to re-stabilize the family, treatment is required for both the individual who is struggling with addiction as well as the family members. For the addict, either inpatient or outpatient treatment is needed. During their time in treatment, individuals will go through a series of intense treatment programming and counseling in order to work toward overcoming their addiction.

Addiction is a disease that no one is immune from. It is a chronic and progressive disease that will continue to worsen the longer that you wait to seek help. This is why it is so important to get the appropriate help as soon as it is necessary.

Confronting the Situation

While confronting a loved one about their addiction can be challenging and may not be reciprocated very well, it is absolutely necessary. This is the only way that individuals will understand the gravity of the situation at hand.

Some of the emotions that family members may experience are:

  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Confusion

When an individual struggles with an addiction, the entire family struggles as well, this is simply the nature of the disease.

While the disease of addiction is not a treatable one, it is manageable. Just as other diseases require proper management and diligence, so does the disease of addiction. Without constant management and control, the disease can easily creep back into your life.

The impact of substance abuse on the family is large but the good news is that help, support, care, and treatment are available. If you or someone close to you is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, it’s important that they reach out for help right away. The sooner you get help for your addiction, the sooner you will be able to lead a more content and fulfilled life and this goes for the family of the addict as well. The time to get help is now.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.