How Drug Abuse Affects Relationships

man leaving after argument with woman

Drugs and a loving relationship mix about as well as dynamite and a match – the combination can be explosive. And the destruction can be widespread, reaching far beyond immediate family.

It may not have seemed so serious when drugs use first started. It looked like everyone was having so much fun or maybe they seemed mellow and untroubled. Maybe it was beer and marijuana in the garage of a teenaged friend while his parents were away. Maybe it was Ecstasy at a music festival. Or shots on one’s twenty-first birthday. Just because everyone else was doing it, it was hard to be the only one to refuse. And so it started.

For some people, that was their very first step toward a downward spiral that would steal everything they value, including their loving relationships. Why does this happen?

Drugs Move In and Take Over

When recreational drug use marches forward into addiction, the drug user starts to be driven by cravings for a continued diet of those drugs. Increasingly, getting the drugs he (or she) needs becomes the most compelling thing in his life. Of course, this means that his relationships are going to go on the back burner.

couple with strained relationship due to drug use

For many addicts, the first thing they think about when they wake up isn’t the welfare of their children or how their spouse or aging parents are doing. It’s whether or not they have the drugs they need for the day.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

How do these relationships get destroyed as addiction takes hold? It’s not possible for an addicted person to care for his relationships with others. Now he is going to have secrets like the fact that he spent rent or food money on drugs or he was not where he said he was the other night. Maybe he has to run out to get drugs in the middle of the night and doesn’t dare admit where he was going. Lie after lie – he becomes uncomfortable and defensive. If he’s questioned about any of these things, he is likely to go on a verbal attack, just to cover his own tracks. He will often criticize others in an attempt to remove attention from himself and his drug use.

And emotionally, an addicted person is just not the same anymore. As a person uses drugs, emotional tone continues to go lower and lower, and this alone will drain much of the life out of a relationship. Perceptions become dull and life will not provide much true pleasure anymore. She may be afraid of being rejected if she admits she’s using drugs so she keeps her secret. If her husband, boyfriend or parent starts to question her on what’s wrong, she could very well blow up in anger.

Some addicts don’t just become defensive, they become abusive. This goes for any drugs. Many people become mean, angry drunks and drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine often make users paranoid, which easily leads to anger and abuse. Any addict who feels threatened may feel compelled to fight back to protect the supply of drugs that hold him prisoner.

Is There Any Hope?

loving happy couple

The good news is that an effective recovery program can bring that person you really are. If it’s your loved one who was stolen away, they can come back into the light. When the effects of drugs are eliminated, when the person has a way to regain a bright outlook on life, and when he regains his self-respect and integrity, then that loving person can once again take control of his life and his relationships. The Narconon drug rehab program has been the start of a whole new life for many people who thought their relationships were gone forever.

The father of one person who completed the Narconon program said that when he attended his son’s graduation, “It was like seeing a whole new person. The Narconon program has changed my son’s life – it’s like night and day.”

A mother got her son to a Narconon center after discovering his crack cocaine addiction. After he returned home, she said, “I was so grateful that he completed the program and was in a different place. I am so delighted when I see my son with his brother and they have a relationship – when I see Josh with his cousins and they have a relationship – he would never have had these relationships with his friends and family without Narconon.”

You can have that loving person back in your life again. Call Narconon today to start the healing process for someone you love—or for yourself.