Addiction, Health & Wellbeing, Relationships

My addiction is affecting my relationships

My addiction is affecting my relationships

Why don’t you try? : Work on the relationships which have been affected by addiction

Many of the discussions surrounding addiction tend to focus on the physical and psychological effects of substance use. The effects of drug addiction, however, expand beyond these issues and further encompass one’s social health and well-being. Social health refers to one’s relationships and the ability to maintain healthy, rewarding connections. Social health and a healthy support system are correlated strongly with individual’s success, self-esteem, and happiness in life.
Unfortunately, substance abuse and addiction can damage social health. All types of relationships & family, friendships, and romantic relationships — can be put under enormous strain when someone becomes addicted.


Even without the presence of an addiction, relationships are complex issues that take work to maintain. Successful relationships:

  • Use honest, assertive communication based on respect.
  • Are fun and rewarding.
  • Have the goal of compromise, trust, and understanding.
  • Have an absence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, violence, and aggression.
  • Can thrive with times of individuality and times of togetherness.
  • Allow for all members to feel good about themselves.


  • End the current dysfunctional habits.
  • Acknowledge the damage of the past and develop strategies to better deal with these issues in the future.
  • Reinvest time and energy towards a healthy, successful relationship.


Individual therapy for the addicted individual. Ending substance use is the first key element in repairing the relationship. It will be very difficult to begin or maintain a functional relationship during a period of active addiction. Addiction counselling and psychotherapy will allow the individual to gain a better understanding of the impact of substance use on their mental, physical, and social health — in addition to learning coping mechanisms for substance use and developing healthier interpersonal skills.
Individual therapy for the significant other. The non-addicted person in the relationship can also benefit from therapy by:
* Gaining education surrounding the nature of substance abuse and addiction.
* Understanding their role in relationship struggles and patterns.
* Addressing their own mental health and “self-care” needs related and unrelated to the addiction.
Family/couples counselling for both. Family/couples counselling can be very helpful as both partners can simultaneously learn and practice skills that promote a more desirable relationship by learning healthier ways to interact with each other.
Support group meetings for both individuals. People in healthy relationships are able to function well together and apart. Support groups are a good way to spend time apart while still being in an inviting, empathetic environment. For the person in recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and SMART Recovery are good options. For the loved one, Al-Anon, Co?Dependents Anonymous, Families Anonymous, and others are available.

Regardless of the form of treatment, several relevant themes will be crucial to the future of the relationship, including:

  • Communication. Certain care must be made to engage in productive communication that shows a level of respect. The communication should be encouraging, clear, and concise. A reciprocal exchange of thoughts and feelings is the goal. Active listening with good eye contact in a calm, distraction-free environment will increase the productivity of the conversation.
  • Limit-Setting. Unhealthy relationships frequently involve poor or absent limit-setting. Limit-setting includes a clear description of expectations paired with the consequences of specific actions. Equally important is follow-through and consistency. If a loved one says that continued substance use is unacceptable but continues to tolerate the actions, the limit is negated. Limits require consequences to be effective.

Source: Drug Abuse
Source: Pexels

Here’s a tip for you to try this week :

Take steps to overcome your addiction by seeking help from your GP or a dedicated organisation, Talk to people involved in your relationships and explain as much as you feel you can.,

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