Addiction is defined as the chronic and excessive use of certain drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, painkillers, or heroin. Addiction to any of these drugs can not only impact a person’s mental and physical health, but it can impact several areas of their life as well.
When someone is addicted to any substance, the addiction may take a toll on their professional and social lives. For example, dependence on alcohol, which can trigger risky behavior, may cause someone to lose their job. Addiction can also have a serious impact on a person’s relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. Drug addiction, especially, can damage even the strongest of companionships and relationships.
Signs of Drug Addiction
Everyone with a drug addiction has a unique experience. However, there are some universal signs that may point to someone using or abusing drugs. Here are some patterns or behaviors that people with drug addictions may display:
- Prioritizing taking their drug of choice over other activities
- Finding less pleasure in things they once enjoyed
- Being flaky or less reliable than usual
- Starting risky or illegal habits such as stealing
- Losing a job or running into financial troubles
- Denying or hiding drug use
- Missing important milestones to use drugs
These behaviors can affect one’s relationships with their family and friends. If someone stops coming to events and starts putting drugs first, many people in their support network may get frustrated and leave. However, when it comes to romantic partners, the relationship may be a little more complicated than that.
The Effects of Drugs on A Relationship
When it comes to romantic relationships, drug addiction can be destructive. This is because drugs impact the part of the brain that controls motivations, behavior, and emotions; and we all know that emotions play a huge role in relationships. If someone’s emotions are altered, there may be negative consequences for both individuals involved. Below are some effects that drugs may have on a relationship.
- Lying & deceit. Someone who is addicted to drugs may lie excessively or deceive their significant other. This deceit may involve sneaking around or cheating.
- Lack of communication. When someone has an addiction, their mind is typically too cloudy to properly communicate. This may result in arguments or manipulation.
- Enabling. Some people unintentionally enable their partners by covering for them in social situations or giving them extra money to purchase more substances.
- Putting others down. People with addictions tend to get aggressive, which may result in physical, mental, or emotional degradation as well as violent incidents.
- Fight or flight. Those with addictions tend to have a fight or flight attitude. If they get into an argument with their partner, they may feel the need to leave and use drugs.
These complications, as well as many others, make it very difficult to maintain a relationship with someone who is addicted to drugs.
Can You Maintain A Relationship With An Addict?
It is possible to stay in a relationship with someone who is addicted to drugs, but it won’t be easy. Both parties must be willing to address and fight the addiction in order to have a healthy and communicative relationship. Problems will not go away on their own, so facing the problem is the only way to fix it.
Unfortunately, drugs frequently get in the way of the longevity of romantic relationships. Relationships need honesty and trust, which are not common traits in drug users. The stress and conflict that typically comes with substance abuse may spark a cycle that is not enjoyable or healthy for either party.
If someone is in a relationship with a drug user, their main priority should be taking care of themselves. Seeking therapy may help them decide whether or not maintaining this relationship is the best choice for their overall health.
Moving On From Relationships Impacted By Drugs
In some cases, people can come back from relationships that were impacted by drugs. In other circumstances, however, ending the relationships may be the best choice. If a relationship with someone who is using drugs escalates to any type of domestic violence, the victim should leave the situation as soon as possible.
To learn more about what may come from being in a relationship with someone who is addicted to drugs, contact our substance abuse specialists at your earliest convenience.