Aspects of Substance Abuse

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Aspects of Substance Abuse

14 April, 2021Articles, News

The effects of substance abuse are far-reaching, especially where relationships are concerned. It can be argued that everyone who comes into contact with an addict is affected by his/her behaviour, whether indirectly or directly. In this article we look at some of the ways in which substance abuse affects everyone around the addict.


One consequence of substance abuse that many addicts can attest to, is isolation. A number of addicts share the common experience of having rejected the friends who showed the most love and support. For an addict, drugs are a number one priority and real friends simply do not form part of this equation. As a result, addicts often become completely isolated from the friends who truly do care about their wellbeing.


Familial relationships, especially very close ones, are a threat to an addict’s using routine. This is why these relationships often become strained, emotionally charged and sometimes enmeshed. Manipulation, aggression, dishonesty and pride go hand-in-hand with addiction. In a family setting, these negative behaviours can wreak havoc on the people who are often the most invested in the health and happiness of the addict.

Romantic Relationships

The very nature of substance abuse means that for those who are in the grips of addiction, romantic partners often seem like liabilities. Being accountable to someone else in a relationship becomes difficult when you are maintaining a habit that demands absolute secrecy. Partners of drug abusers can often relate to being rejected, abandoned and in many cases, abused.


It is not uncommon for substance abusers to experience problems in the workplace. As their addiction progresses, it becomes increasingly more difficult to concentrate, work consistently and be a responsible and reliable member of a team. This may have a knock-on effect in the workplace when deadlines and standards are not been met and the addict’s colleagues end up bearing the brunt of these consequences.

Acquaintances and Strangers

Consider the victimised party in a car accident that is caused by an addict, or the neighbour who feels that his/her safety is being compromised by the criminal lifestyle of an addict. These are examples of how absolute strangers or general acquaintances can be affected by drug abuse. When you consider the consequences of drug abuse from all these angles, it is clear that an addict’s sphere of influence is wide, and the effects of their addiction have an impact on everyone around them.

Whether an addict accepts it or not, people are connected and behaviour impacts others around an addict. If you or a loved one needs assistance with substane abuse – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s just a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.

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