When we think of drug addiction, the primary focus is on the addict. While the addict needs to put in the work to address their substance abuse, they aren’t alone in the recovery process. The addict’s family is also essential in the addict’s journey toward lasting sobriety. It is often said that addiction is a family disease because the actions of the addict create a strong ripple effect within the family and throw it into chaos. To help the addict overcome addiction, the family must be involved in their recovery.

This article will further explain why is addiction called a family disease. You will also learn how addiction affects the family and how My Recovery Source can help your loved one and family heal from the devastating impacts of addiction. My Recovery Source is the leading resource to find help from our wide network of top-tier rehabs. Contact us today and receive personalized treatment recommendations for your loved one and family.

Can Helping An Addicted Loved One Hurt the Family?

If a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, the immediate instinct is to try and help that loved one. Family members may act with the best of intentions, but their attempts to help often worsen the situation. Whether it is helping to pay the rent and bills, or covering for their bad behavior, these behaviors cause resentment, anger, and guilt among family members.

This phenomenon is a classic example of the family disease model where addiction is viewed as a disease that impacts the family as a whole and affects each family member in unique ways. If left unchecked, these feelings can cause irreparable rifts within the family. These rifts can tear families apart for good even after an addicted loved one gets clean and sober.

In What Ways Is Addiction a Family Disease?

When answering the question of why is addiction a family disease, you need to take a look at the ways family members are affected by a loved one’s substance abuse. Using the addiction family disease model, the following are ways in which addiction is a family disease that requires family therapy and treatment:


Addiction is a family disease because the addict becomes the major focus of attention. Because the addict is the primary focus of concern, there may be family members who feel jealous or resentful of that attention. This is especially true of younger family members. If not addressed, these resentments can cause some family members to turn to substances or engage in high-risk behavior to deflect that attention back to themselves.

Financial Issues

Enabling behaviors such as helping an addicted loved one with their rent, mortgage, groceries, and other financial obligations can put a heavy burden on family finances. While family members may think they are helping their loved ones, taking care of these obligations enables the addict to continue their behavior and causes financial stress to other family members.

Emotional Issues

The focus on an addicted loved one can be an intense affair that consumes family members around the clock. This constant attention and focus often cause emotional burnout. Some family members may lash out at each other under this stress, and some may start engaging in manipulative behavior just like the addict to get attention.

Health Issues

The emotional and physical health of family members can significantly decline when a loved one is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Family members can experience the onset of mental health such as depression and anxiety, which can lead them to substance use. A loved one’s substance abuse can result in a host of physical ailments because of poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and lack of hygiene.

Help Your Loved One and Family Take Back Control Of Their Lives

Indeed, addiction is a family disease that can cause permanent damage to the family as a whole. To help both the addict and the family overcome the burdens of addiction, they need to find professional help from a reputable drug treatment facility. My Recovery Source is the #1 destination for finding the perfect rehab that suits the addict’s and family’s specific needs. No matter where you live in the United States, we feature a vast network of top-tier rehabs that feature the evidence-based programs and services needed for the whole family to heal and recover.Don’t delay; contact My Recovery Source today and begin the recovery process starting today. Find the best rehab near you and start your path toward recovery.

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