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Why Addiction Damages Families

argumentIn the descent into the trap of addiction, much suffering is caused along the way.  The addict suffers, physically, mentally and emotionally.  And in the addict’s abandonment of control of self, and abandonment of personal values and the sense of right and wrong, loved ones and family members suffer the consequences.  An integral part of truly recovering from addiction and maintaining a drug-free life is repairing and restoring the addict’s damaged relationships.

The Damage Caused

The immediate family is a group of people who live together and are related, usually parents and their children.  The extended family encompasses all the people who are related to one another.   Historically, it is an ancient word that dates back to the 1500’s, and in the English language of the times implied a sense  a collective group of persons who formed one household under one head, including parents, children, and servants, and as sometimes used even lodgers or boarders.  By 1660, family had come to mean more specifically, parents with their children, whether they dwelled together or not.

Since time immemorial, the family has been and continues to be a vital part of our lives, and our survival.  It is the most immediate and closely knit group we first experience as a child, and it remains so even as we go through life and become members of various groups of different size and purpose.  It is this tightly knit group of people who are most damaged by a member who becomes an addict.

It is members of the family and those in close relationships with the addict who are the most vulnerable to damage, because they care the most and will endure the travail and hardship and emotional pain, never truly giving-up hope that one day the addict whom they love or loved, will get help.

It is the lying, stealing, the potential violence, the unfaithfulness, the breaking of the law, the financial disasters, the inability to work or hold a job, the abandonment of responsibility—any and all of the very far from desirable aspects a human being can exhibit—that cause the damage.  For the persons on the receiving end of this rather wide swath of destruction and non-survival conduct on the part of the addict, it generates anger, fear, lack of trust, problems in communication, and enormous strain on the relationship.

Repairing the Damage

Yes.  It is possible to repair the damage, and restore the addict’s relationships with loved ones.  One young woman who completed the Narconon Arrowhead  rehabilitation treatment program says it best:


Before Narconon, my life was miserable.  I was miserable.  I didn’t have a relationship with my family at all.  Nobody trusted me.  I was screwing people over that I cared about, all day every day.  And I was just…it was horrible.  Right before I came to Narconon, I didn’t have a relationship at all with my family.  My Mom had disowned me.  I didn’t spend Christmas with them…pretty much the last three Christmases with them.  I was constantly lying to my Mom and my sister, and they didn’t trust me or like me at all.  I mean, they didn’t want anything to do with me. 

When I first got here it wasn’t what I expected at all.  It was…I wasn’t happy at first, but the staff and everybody working in Withdraw, I felt like they really cared and they knew what I was going through.  And they knew how to help me get through it without using drugs, which was a new thing for me.  And…just everybody was great, and I felt really comfortable. 

The Sauna part of the program was definitely one of my favorite parts of the program.  It helped me the most.  It was one of the things that helped me the most.  I wasn’t’…I was still feeling really sick going into Sauna, just not myself quite yet.  And about midway through Sauna I started feeling a LOT better.  Like back to myself again, in ways I hadn’t felt since I was a lot younger.  I had more energy.  I was able to do more. I was definitely happier.  And I could see that difference in myself. 

There is no particular part of the program I feel benefited me the most.  But I do know that towards the end of the program, I saw the most change in myself.  My responsibility level went up.  And I was really able to mend things with my family, and just become more focused on my future.

I would definitely recommend the Narconon program to someone else.  This program worked for me.  I didn’t think it would.  And no other program was able to change me the way this program did.  ~Amy

For help with addiction, and repairing damaged relationships, call us now at Narconon Arrowhead at 800-468-6933.