5 Ways Opioids Impact Relationships With Loved Ones

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Addiction is a careless disease that can take control and destroy everything you hold dear — especially friendships, family ties and romantic relationships. When someone struggles with substance use, their life revolves around obtaining and using that drug, and relationships often pay the highest price. Lies and betrayal can leave loved ones feeling confused, devastated and angry.

While drug addiction has many destructive effects, we’ll explore how opioids impact relationships in five ways.

1. Deception

Drug addiction is a condition characterized by lies. Those addicted to opioids often require secrecy to continue using. While a loved one may not be fully aware of how far this issue has spiraled out of control, they undoubtedly feel the change. There are countless red flags associated with drug use, and the further down the path someone goes, the more lies they must tell to cover up the truth.

It may start with lying about their behavior, saying they have to work late, covering up when money disappears or avoiding questions. Each white lie seems harmless at first but can escalate into bigger deceptions until trust falls apart and your relationship suffers.

2. Loss of Trust

The natural result of constant lying is a loss of trust. Secrecy, distance and deception have no place in a close relationship, whether it’s with a family member or romantic partner. Loved ones of those who deal with a drug problem can feel a loss of respect, resentment and disloyalty. These feelings escalate the longer someone struggles with addiction until the relationship erodes. Once trust is gone, it’s extremely hard to regain.

3. Violence and Abuse

Sadly, one of the most traumatic impacts of drug addiction on relationships is domestic violence. Addiction impacts everyone differently, and for some, it spurs aggressive behavior. Small fights can ignite and evolve into uncontrollable rage. If you live with someone addicted to opioids, you may be at risk of becoming the victim of wildly volatile behavior and abuse.

4. Enabling

Enabling is any behavior that allows or encourages your loved one to continue their opioid misuse. People fall into a cycle of enabling because they’re trying to help an addicted loved one. However, until you stop these behaviors, your loved one will never be able to see the depth of their addiction. Common enabling behaviors include:

  • Taking over responsibilities at home.
  • Minimizing the negative consequences of drug use.
  • Blaming yourself for your loved one’s addiction.
  • Making excuses for their poor behavior.
  • Picking up their prescriptions.
  • Paying for groceries or bills.

5. Codependency

One of the hallmarks of relationships and drug addiction is codependency. While most people suffer from the effects of their loved one’s drug use, others relish taking on the role of caretaker and enjoy the feeling of being needed. A codependent relationship often stems from a need for closeness. Sadly, when it’s with someone addicted to drugs, the attachment is for all the wrong reasons. Codependency can lead to toxic friendships, romances and even family relationships.

Reestablish Healthy Relationships in Recovery

If you or a loved one struggles with opioid addiction that is damaging your relationships and ruining your life, it’s time to get help. BAART Programs specializes in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) along with compassionate counseling for opioid use disorder. As you walk the road of recovery, you’ll learn how to heal and maintain healthy relationships. Please contact us today to learn more.

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