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Opiate Abuse Affects The Whole Family

When someone is an opiate addict, they tend to become very selfish. The only thing that matters to the addict is the ability to get more opiates. Family, friends, jobs and even cleanliness takes a back seat to the drugs. They are the first thought in the morning when you wake up and the last thing you think about before going to sleep. Addiction causes stress every minute of the day. Your life becomes a vicious cycle of worrying if you will have enough money for your next fix or if you will run out of your medications before your next refill is ready. We become so addicted to our drugs that we lose sight of what really matters in our lives and the people around us.

Addiction does not affect just the user, it affects their entire family and everyone around them. I speak with many families of addicts every year. I've been invited into their homes to talk to them about their loved ones. Usually, the addict is not present, but when I look around the room at all of the family and friends who attend these little meetings, I am always heartbroken by the looks in their eyes. They are desperate and powerless over what is happening to their friend and or family member. They have no idea where to go, what to say and in many instances afraid to even be around the addict.

Differences in the users personality and extreme mood swings usually turn people away from being around them, but it does not stop them from caring for them. The stress involved in addiction is very much present in these meetings. The tears start to come down the cheeks of the parents or significant others because they want so badly for the user to get better but don't know if they will or if they will lose their life due to their addiction.

I have sat down with brothers and sisters of a user and listened to young teens plead with me to help their family member. It is hard to be comforting but also honest with them. One thing many family members don't understand is that the user has to want the help or it won't work. You can send an addict to the best rehabilitation centers in the world, but if they don't want to be there and they aren't listening to what is being said, they will return to addiction exactly where they left off.

If you are thinking about taking your life back and are researching a life without opiates, don't give up. Life without opiates is amazing, fun, energetic and most of all happy. Getting clean should be done for yourself. But it's also important to take a long hard look at your family and friends. The people who care about you more than anything in the world, want you to live a happy and healthy life. If you have children, look them in the eye and promise them without saying a word that you will be there for them with everything you have. Take your life back and do it for yourself and those that support you. You can do it!


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