2. Impact of Substance Use Problems on Families

Effects of substance use on families


The losses related to a person’s substance use problem are far reaching. They extend beyond the person to the person’s partner, parents, children, siblings, other relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours and others.

Some effects of substance use on families may include:

    denying or minimizing the problem
    focusing mainly on the person using substances
    changing and unpredictable roles within relationships
    trying to rescue and protect the person using substances
    difficulties performing regular responsibilities (e.g., work)
    deteriorating family relationships and conflict
    trying to monitor, control and change the person using substances
    losing trust in the person using substances
    withdrawing and social isolation
    losing security or safety (e.g., financial security or physical safety)
    abuse and manipulation by the person using substances
    neglecting yourself and burnout.