Drug Abuse and Its Effects on Families


The problem of drug addiction has been discussed multiple times, yet it still affects communities all over the world. While substance abuse affects primarily the person that develops the specified dependency, the family members of a patient with substance misuse issues also face significant psychological and physical threats. Because of the lack of control that a substance abuse patient has over their actions, families of the people that develop chemical dependency are under constant threat.

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In addition, there is a significant risk for family members of people with drug abuse issues to join patients in their drug abuse problem. Therefore, a framework for assisting families of patients with substance misuse issues should be created to control the observed problem and reduce the influence of negative factors on families of patients with substance abuse problems.

Observations and Models

Drug abuse is a serious social and health-related issue that has to be addressed properly in order to ensure the safety and well-being of both the global community and local ones. Apart from people that develop chemical addiction, a range of other community members suffers from the specified problem, including possible victims of drug-induced violence, family members of drug addicts, and other stakeholders. Therefore, a description and analysis of the effects that a chemical dependency produces on families have to be performed to evaluate the extent of the problem. By defining the scale of the issue, one will inform the selection of strategies for the further management of drug-related concerns. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to examine the issues that the families of patients with drug misuse issues face on a regular basis, as well as the tools for counteracting these negative influences. In the course of the review, the models such as the Biochemical Model of Health will be utilized.

Findings and Results

An overview of the research papers that analyze the problem under consideration shows that the effects that drug addiction has on families are beyond devastating. Due to the loss of connection with the family member that has succumbed to consuming drugs and developed a dependency, a family starts to disintegrate. Being unable to help a relative that suffers from an addiction, a family member may acquire a serious mental health problem (Smith & Wilson, 2016). The latter ranges from a mild anxiety disorder to severe depression that may eventually lead to suicidal attempts (Epstein et al, 2017). Research indicates that the specified mental health issues are not the only ones that people may acquire once finding themselves in a situation in which a family member succumbs to substance abuse (Smith & Wilson, 2016). Therefore, it is essential to design the interventions that will allow reducing the negative impact of maintaining communication with a family member that has developed an addiction.

In addition, the probability of family violence and physical abuse increases exponentially with the development of an addiction. According to a study published lately by Epstein et al. (2017), the identified problem may lead to both serious physical injuries and severe mental traumas that may take years of therapy and recovery. The specified assumptions are based on the Biochemical Model of Health Model, which implies that the issues associated with a mental health need to be linked to social factors as the key issues (Iudici, Castelnuovo, & Faccio, 2015).

The issue of confrontations between the spouses and the negative emotional implications that it has on children needs to be addressed as well. While the drastic outcomes of a divorce on families where a parent succumbs to drug abuse are often rendered in studies, the outcomes of the unceasing conflict and the strenuous family environment also have to be mentioned a san emotionally crippling setting for children (Kelley, Lawrence, Milletich, Hollis, & Henson, 2015). Research states that in families with a parent that abuses drugs, the confrontations, and conflicts between parents affect the emotional well-being of children extensively (Kelley et al., 2015). Therefore, it is critical to managing the specified issue by creating interventions aimed at families, in general. Restoring familial ties is crucial to the successful recovery of people that have developed a drug misuse issue (Kelley et al., 2015). Thus, opportunities for addressing the emotional issues that family members have received can be pursued.

Finally, there is a probability that a family of a person that abuses drugs may also succumb to the specified type of chemical dependency. The threat rises increasingly once family members are exposed to the harmful environment that perpetuates the problem of drug misuse (Epstein et al, 2017). The problem is particularly critical when children whose parent or parents abuse drugs tend to follow the example that their adult authorities set. The described setting represents a perpetual crisis that is highly unlikely to be resolved due to the lack of support that children will receive from their parents when attempting at rehabilitating (Epstein et al, 2017). Therefore, handling the issue in question should remain the point of discussion within the modern healthcare environment.

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The issue of restricting the influence that a person with substance misuse issue has on their family members might seem problematic since the active support of the family is strongly required during the treatment process. Specifically, research indicates that patients with drug misuse issues, whose family members show consistent support, develop significantly higher resilience rates than those without the emotional support of their families (Megiddo et al, 2016). To manage the dilemma under analysis, one should construct the framework in the context of which the healing process for both a drug addict and their family members could occur simultaneously at a natural pace (Megiddo et al, 2016).

For the purpose of managing the negative effects that the issue in question has on family members of patients with drug misuse issues, one will need to design an intervention aimed at promoting family bonding. The proposed approach will allow relieving the tension that builds within the specified settings and makes participants explore their emotions, beginning the process of mental healing. The specified suggestion is based on the Simulation Model, which implies that a comprehensive approach toward treating patients with drug misuse issues is required (Megiddo et al, 2016). Due to the focus on reintegrating the specified type of patients into society and especially their families, the proposed model should be deployed in healthcare settings. Applying the selected models to the management of the needs of patients and their families is crucial to the promotion of well-being for all stakeholders involved. Without the focus on the needs of family members, not only is the complete recovery of a patient is impossible but also the lives of numerous people that belong to the target community are threatened. Therefore, a strategy that helps to shield families from the detrimental effects of drug abuse of their members is strongly needed.


Epstein, M., Hill, K. G., Roe, S. S., Bailey, J. A., Iacono, W. G., McGue, M.,… Haggerty, K. P. (2017). Time-varying effects of families and peers on adolescent marijuana use: Person–environment interactions across development. Development and Psychopathology, 29(3), 887-900.

Iudici, A., Castelnuovo, G., & Faccio, E. (2015). New drugs and polydrug use: Implications for clinical psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 267-269.

Kelley, M. L., Lawrence, H. R., Milletich, R. J., Hollis, B. F., & Henson, J. M. (2015). Modeling risk for child abuse and harsh parenting in families with depressed and substance-abusing parents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 43, 42-52.

Megiddo, I., Colson, A., Chisholm, D., Dua, T., Nandi, A., & Laxminarayan, R. (2016). Health and economic benefits of public financing of epilepsy treatment in India: An agent‐based simulation model. Epilepsia, 57(3), 464-474.

Smith, V. C., & Wilson, C. R. (2016). Families affected by parental substance use. Pediatrics, 138(2), 1-7.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, July 8). Drug Abuse and Its Effects on Families. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/drug-abuse-and-its-effects-on-families/

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1. StudyCorgi. "Drug Abuse and Its Effects on Families." July 8, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/drug-abuse-and-its-effects-on-families/.


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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Drug Abuse and Its Effects on Families." July 8, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/drug-abuse-and-its-effects-on-families/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Drug Abuse and Its Effects on Families'. 8 July.

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