When it is said that “addiction is a family problem,” this isn’t necessarily because addiction can sometimes strike multiple people in the same family (though it can) – but more because it tends to have effects on everyone in the family.
Families are the foundation on which the individuals in that family can grow. But if that foundation is weakened by addiction or problematic drug use, that growth can be slowed, stopped or even reversed.
Family drug use can start affecting the lives of youth before they are even born. Because of parent drug use, some children are born already physically addicted to drugs and must go into detox and withdrawal soon after taking their first breaths.
In other families drug addiction can cause great instability:
- Family members may not be able to keep jobs or may be subject to eviction from their homes for financial or safety reasons.
- Family members may get involved in crime directly or may be more likely to invite criminals into their homes.
- Family members may disappear for hours, days, weeks, months or they may never be heard from again.
- Family members may fight abruptly and violently and then, just as abruptly, kiss and make up.
To a youth who grows up in an environment like this, chaos may come to seem normal. It’s not.
If you live in the Abbotsford and Mission communities, are between the ages of 12 and 24, and have a family member that uses drugs, even if you may think it’s not having a significant effect on you, come by and meet with one of IMPACT’s counsellors for a quick, confidential assessment.