On Drug Addiction

          When Drug Addiction Becomes a Threat to a Relationship

Question: When is drug addiction a threat to a relationship? Answer: Always!

This has to be the opening position when evaluating a situation where one party in a relationship is involved with drugs. Evaluating is the key. Emotion makes hash of good judgement when it comes to people about whom we deeply care. When emotion is substituted for rational evaluation of the situation, it breeds a number of unfortunate possibilities:

          Gambling Addiction Risks More than the College Fund

One of the worst kinds of addictions is gambling addiction. That is because many consider it, to be less serious than drug addiction. As a result, it often goes untreated. But an addiction does not have to involve drugs to have a deleterious effect on relationships and families. On the contrary, gambling addiction effects families beyond the obvious. According to netplaces.com on addiction and recovery:

The emotional trauma a family may experience can also be devastating. A family member other than the addict may be the one confronted and harassed by debt collectors and creditors. Dealing with divorce, separation, or being the only parent trying to manage the home front while the gambling addict is gone can feel overwhelming.

That feeling of being overwhelmed can, itself, lead to the declining physical and emotional health of the one left to pick up the pieces. Insufficient finances and mounting family responsibilities make for a bad combination that the responsible party may not be able to handle. In this situation, the addict is not the only one who needs counseling. If the relationship is to be saved, intervention needs to happen long before it comes to this.

          Drug and Alcohol Addiction Destroys Trust

No matter how well they present themselves, a drug addict is always acting on the narcissistic impulse to acquire more drugs for the next high. Believing anything else is self-delusion. An addict is not necessarily a bad person. But they are not the person you think you know. The bank account will get emptied. The TV and other consumables will go missing. Such a person develops dangerous friendships with people you don’t want near your family.

Drug addiction is less a problem and more a crisis. It is Red Alert, General Quarter, all hands on deck! For a relationship to survive drug addiction, it has to be treated as such from the beginning. The relationships that survive drug addiction pretty much all go through professional treatment.

          Flirting with the Joneses

Seeing how close to the edge you can get is usually a prelude to falling off the cliff. But that is exactly what many people do with dangerous vices. How many cigarettes can you smoke before you can’t quit? How many drinks can you take before you are an alcoholic? How much cocaine or heroin can you handle before you can no longer handle it? Some people can experiment with all of these things and function perfectly well, while others need complete abstinence. Which kind is your loved one? It can be hard to tell before it is too late.

          Warning Signs

Fortunately, drug addiction does not happen all of a sudden, or in a vacuum. There are signs both subtle and obvious. Some of those signs as listed by Axis Recovery are:

  • Increased Tolerance
  • Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Drug Cravings
  • Social Isolation and Relationship Breakdown

Combine these signs with the following risk factors, and you stand a fighting chance of saving your relationship before the problem gets out of hand:

  • Addiction runs in your family, giving you a genetic predisposition.
  • You’re a man, doubling your risk.
  • You have another psychiatric condition.
  • You are subject to peer pressure.
  • Family and strong support systems are lacking.
  • You are troubled with depression and/or anxiety or feel alone.
  • The drug you’re abusing is known to be very addictive.

Drug addiction is always a threat to a relationship. But that does not mean that the relationship is over. It means that there is a threat that has to be taken seriously. There is no end-around professional help in these cases. It is a medical condition that must be treated as such. The real threat is doing nothing.





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