5 Ways Addicts Neglect Their Families
“Because of the Narconon program,” begins a recent testimonial shared by a student at a Narconon center, “I now fully recognize the fact that I have neglected my family in each and every way possible. I have lied to my mother, my ex-wife and my children about my drug problem. Since I have been in the program, I am in constant communication with my mother, ex-wife and children on the frets of my drug use.” The man who shares his personal story in this testimonial has lived through an experience that is all too common for a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Addiction and Neglect
In fact, there are five ways in particular in which addicts tend to neglect their families, including:
An addict will normally go to great lengths to keep his or her substance abuse a secret. Nowhere is this more true than in the home. The spouse, children or parents of a drug addict may know that something is wrong from the outset, or they may be kept in the dark for a long time. In keeping with the saying about what tangled webs we weave, the dishonesty soon spreads from lying to cover up the drug use, to telling lies about other things related to that subject until finally there is a near total breakdown of honesty in the relationship.
Getting drunk or high on a regular basis is a time consuming proposition. The addict usually has to schedule the day so that he or she has time to drink or use drugs in secret, or alternatively the person may be out at bars or at friends’ houses all of the time. If the lying was already serving to poison the relationship, the time spent away has the effect of degrading the foundation of the relationship because the addict is simply never there.
- Lack of Participation
Even when a drug addict is spending time with the family, he or she is usually just not as alive or as engaged as in the past. That is one of the effects of long-term drug use. When high, the person is not really being himself or herself, and at other times the person’s vitality is diminished by the fact that he or she is coming down from being high or may even be experiencing the beginnings of withdrawal. The addict just won’t be able to get into the spirit of things or genuinely engage with the rest of the family.
- Little or No Contribution
As a person continues to live as a drug addict, life becomes increasingly focused on the individual. This could be considered a natural consequence of the amount of time that the person’s attention is focused on the sensations of the body. Whatever the reason, the addict will do less and less to help the family, whether in terms of helping with household chores, earning income or even simply giving a cheerful smile or a hug when it is needed.
- No Thought of the Consequences
When a person drinks or uses drugs, he or she may admit that it is not a healthy behavior, but this admission nearly always comes with the provision that at least they are not harming anyone else. Drug use is supposed to be a victimless crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. A drug addict tends to get in more accidents and is more likely to be sick. He or she may incur thousands of dollars in legal expenses after an arrest for DUI, or may begin stealing from the rest of the family in order to support the habit. An addict will often become a major burden on his or her family, dragging them down emotionally and financially.
Fortunately, something can be done about the problem of drug addiction, and a person whose substance abuse has caused him or her to neglect family relationships can turn the situation around. The conclusion to the success story at the beginning of this article reads:
“I got here a few months ago after seeing the Narconon ad, and at that time I felt as though I had no hope of ever being free from drugs. Through the technology used in this program, I now have the knowledge that I am fully responsible for my actions and my family. On the phone last night my ex-wife stated that she is very proud of me for getting help and has stated that she would stand by me if there was anything I needed. Thank you Narconon for all your help.”
This story is only one example of the many times that Narconon has helped to repair a family broken by drug or alcohol addiction. The fact that it happens on a routine basis, however, does not at all diminish the value of it. Fathers and mothers get their children back from the brink of disaster, children get their parents back after nearly losing them to substance abuse, and families are given a fresh start and the opportunity to share a bright future together.