How Substance Abuse Can Affect Your Relationships

July 22, 2019
Nova Vitae Treatment Center

Many times, people concentrate on the psychological and physical effects of substance abuse, and many times they are not talking about the social aspect and how substance abuse affects relationships.

Substance abuse can unapologetically take control and destroy everything in someone’s life, including the relationships they have with friends, loved ones, and simple everyday encounters with people.

How Substance Abuse Affects Relationships

Substance abuse affects relationships in a number of ways.

Violence and Abuse

An incredibly traumatic effect that addiction can have on relationships is domestic violence

Those living with people who are addicted to drugs that can lead to wildly volatile behavior are at severe risk for victimization, along with any other family members or children living in the home.

Displaced anger and growing resentment in a relationship where drugs are involved can bubble up and explode in violent ways, leading to potentially fatal consequences. 

If someone is using substances that can cause aggressive behavior, small fights can quickly ignite and turn into uncontrollable rage. 

In turn, the violence can also be exhibited by the person in the relationship who is not using drugs. 

They are angry at the person with addiction and are acting out their anger in abusive ways. Both situations are unfortunately common and are not always dealt with properly, causing many to suffer in silence due to shame and fear.

Loss of Trust

Trust is an essential part of any relationship, whether it is romantic or not. Once trust is lost, it’s challenging for someone with an addiction to maintain relationships without seeking treatment.

Romantic relationships can be most damaged by addiction for reasons of distrust, especially when issues of jealousy, possessiveness, and fear are not discussed productively. 

A natural result of dealing with someone’s constant lies is a loss of trust. 

Deception, secrecy, and unexplainable distancing from someone who may be dealing with addiction can quickly rob the relationship of trust. 

These issues are mostly felt along with things like loss of respect, resentment, and disloyalty. 

When these feelings fester, they can begin to erode a relationship from the inside out. 

Often, people who are in the grip of addiction don’t have the energy or desire to spend on relationships or people who are not related to their drug use. 

Many spouses and significant others fall into second place to drugs, and the people their addicted loved one is spending time with while participating in their use. 

The Emotional Roller Coaster

Emotionally, an addicted person is just not the same anymore. As a person uses drugs, the intensity of their emotions will fluctuate drastically, and this alone can severely damage a relationship. 

The addicted person’s perceptions become dull and life does not provide much true pleasure outside of their drug use.

Because they are consumed by their substance of choice, they are unable to see how their behavior is affecting their loved one. This can leave their loved one feeling underappreciated, unimportant, and unloved.

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, treatment is available at Nova Vitae. We offer detox for alcohol, opiates, and a variety of harmful substances.