01 Nov How Addiction Affects Friends

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This series is a continuation of the previous article “Addiction: A Family Affair.”   The symptoms of addiction affect far more than just the addict, themselves. There are clear indications that the people around them, the people who care about them, feel the pain that is caused by that addiction. Addiction can lead to other destructive behavior, both to themselves and others. This slippery slope will eventually cause the meaningful relationships that addicts have to erode, making it harder to recover. This series is about the different people who are affected in the life of an addict. Here’s how friendship affects friends…   Peer pressure   The friends of an addict may often feel like they are pressured to take part in similar behavior as their friend. In the case of an addict, it may mean that they feel the pressure to take part in the same drug abuse. This is because friends want to be able to relate to their other friends, naturally. However, this pressure towards substance abuse can lead them down the path of addiction, as well, which will make recovery more difficult for both parties. This is one of the more contagious qualities of addiction.   Not wanting to be around you   Hopefully, your friends will be able to resist the pressure of drug abuse. However, this may lead to the adverse affect of them not wanting to be around you. Addiction changes the personality of the addict. It makes that person different from the person that your friends all came to know and love in the first place. This makes the dynamic of your friendship a lot different. Instead of just hanging out with friends, it will place the subtext of time together on those changes that addiction did to the addict. To some, this added struggle will be too much to cope with.   Changes your friend circle   As addiction takes hold of your life, it’s very possible that the group of people who you call your friends will begin to change. The danger of this situation, in the case of an addict, is that this new circle of friends may be a result of bad drug habits. New friends may be a part of the drug culture that got you addicted in the first place, which would be disastrous for recovery, as it makes it much more difficult to create new, more meaningful relationships that could actually help you.
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