Renaissance Ranch

How Your Addiction Affects Others

Oct 20, 2022

When you think about what matters most in life, what comes to mind? Is it your job? Maybe you really value your home or your vehicle. For many, it is the people we love and care about that mean the most. Everything else is replaceable, after all. If you are struggling with addiction, those people who mean the most to you can be heavily impacted. 

While you may not realize it, your behavior and choices affect others in a variety of ways. This can be difficult to identify amidst addiction as you are likely distracted by the consuming nature of the disease. You may not consciously consider the tension you are causing with family members or friends. Addiction has a way of creating tension in relationships and, sometimes, resulting in the loss of friendships and relationships altogether.

As mentioned, addiction affects those close to you in many different ways. A few common examples can include breaking trust, creating financial burdens, and jeopardizing safety. 


Trust is crucial. It is a fundamental component of any relationship and is often one of the first areas of impact when it comes to addiction affecting those you care about. How might trust be affected by addiction? Think about it. If you are attempting to hide your addiction to alcohol, benzos, opioids, or anything else, you are likely to tell some lies in order to keep your battle a secret. 

Lying is just the beginning. It can be very common for small lies to become larger lies as your addiction progresses and you become more desperate to hide your problem. You may find yourself stealing from loved ones in order to fund your habit. 

As you can imagine, lying or stealing from someone usually leads to broken trust. Even the closest bond can be broken as a result. Family members or close friends may be forgiving and offer second, third, and fourth chances, but even they will reach a point where they feel trust has been lost. 

Financial Burdens

Addiction can also impact others financially. Think about the cost of substances. Depending on what you use, addiction can be an extremely expensive habit. Some may find themselves spending hundreds of dollars per day to support their addiction. 

Even for someone with a well-paying job, this cost adds up. As your addiction progresses and you find yourself needing more and more of a substance, you may start to slack when it comes to paying bills. This is where the financial burden begins to fall on others. You may find yourself asking others for money to help you make ends meet.

Holding down a job can often be difficult when you have an addiction. This may result in job hopping or unemployment, which creates even more financial distress. Those who care about you may offer or feel obligated to help you financially when they see you struggling. This can create financial hardships for your loved ones and often results in resentment. 


Safety is something that you may not always consider when it comes to the ways in which addiction can affect those around you. The truth is, when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are less likely to think and behave as you normally would. Your processing time is affected along with your judgment. 

An example of someone’s safety being jeopardized could involve you driving a vehicle under substance influence, or being responsible for someone’s care or well-being after taking drugs or drinking alcohol. While you may think you would never put someone else in harm’s way, you may be underestimating the power of your addiction. 

People who are battling addiction often spend time with others who also use substances. They are also more likely to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior and take more risks. Taking extra risks often puts your safety in jeopardy along with the safety of those around you.

It is important to recognize the ways in which your addiction has affected those you care about, and involve them in the treatment process. Often, they need to develop tools for healing and moving forward just as you do. Part of the treatment process involves mending relationships. While this is critical, it can also be very helpful to provide loved ones with resources and information so they can better understand what you are going through and receive support. 

Family education classes can be an excellent way to involve family members and loved ones in your recovery. In learning how your addiction has affected others, you can feel more confident in your ability to repair broken relationships by getting them the help they need to support you. 

Our actions and behavior often affect those around us. When it comes to substance abuse, there can be many negative impacts experienced by those we love and care about. These can include issues with trust, financial burdens, and safety risks to name a few. Because addiction has such a significant impact on those around you, it is important to involve loved ones in the treatment and recovery process. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer educational groups and resources to help family members and loved ones join you in your journey to recovery. We help them better understand addiction and provide tools and strategies for working to mend the relationship, rebuild trust, and heal. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. To begin your journey to recovery, give Renaissance Ranch a call today at (801) 308-8898