There is a common misconception that substance abusers believe. They often think “I am only hurting myself.” This is not a true belief. In fact, dependency upon chemicals causes one to behave in ways that hurt the people closest to them. It:

  1. Dominates the user’s thoughts and priorities.
  2. Occupies the user’s time, money, and attention.
  3. Deteriorates the user’s values and behaviour.

What impact does this behaviour have on a family? It creates constant unpredictability. Family members struggle to adapt to the unstable ways of the user:

  1. The non-user begins to develop emotional and physical problems.
  2. Family member becomes filled with anger, guilt, shame, hurt, fear, and loneliness.
  3. They can suffer from rejection, abandonment, and other forms of abuse.