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:
- Dominates the user’s thoughts and priorities.
- Occupies the user’s time, money, and attention.
- 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:
- The non-user begins to develop emotional and physical problems.
- Family member becomes filled with anger, guilt, shame, hurt, fear, and loneliness.
- They can suffer from rejection, abandonment, and other forms of abuse.