“I was the only one who suffered the consequences of my drinking.” “I never hurt anyone else while I was using.” These are phrases that are uttered in treatment centers all across the world. The strongest misconception individuals in active addiction have is that they are only hurting themselves.
Drug addiction and alcoholism are two of the most corrosive ailments to a family system. One of the most toxic aspects of these conditions is the lying that comes with them. Drug addicts and alcoholics lead double lives. They hide their drinking and using from spouses, children, and employers. In most cases, everyone is aware of the problem long before the truth surfaces. Some alcoholics and addicts steal money from their job or home to finance their drinking and using. The details will look different for everyone, but nearly all lead some form of a double life. This wears heavily on the family.
Due to the powerful nature of alcoholism and drug addiction, many individuals do not realize the damage they are causing others until it is too late. Their addiction costs them their relationships, and people begin to leave as the user sinks deeper into addiction. The isolation is dark and deep, perpetuating the cycle of more intense use and further isolation.
However, there is always hope, and millions of recovered people have repaired relationships with those they once hurt. Individuals in recovery are afforded the opportunity to rebuild these relationships on a foundation of a new way of living. Drug and alcohol treatment, individual therapy, and family systems therapy provide the individual with a new set of tools so that they can build a beautiful life.