How is the Opioid Epidemic Affecting Families?

How is the Opioid Epidemic Affecting Families?

Opioids are claiming lives every day due to the impact it has on families. People closest to those who suffer often struggle in silence until loved ones step in to help them notice the challenges they face. Family and friends may watch their loved ones struggle and want to help but feel lost inside the challenges of navigating their recovery. Support groups are key, but so is finding help for a loved one with an addiction.

Support System

Family members whose loved ones struggle with opioid addiction need support groups to check in with so they don’t feel so alone or angry. They may feel they have failed as parents and seek help through the suffering. Support is essential to understanding substance use disorder. Addiction is often referred to as a family disease. One family member’s addiction impacts the whole family. When the family attends support groups, they create an impact across the board. This may also increase opportunities to find help. Support groups allow parents to be vulnerable and talk about loss, grief, hope, and other issues they may struggle with while a loved one has an addiction.

How to Find Support

One of the key ways to find support is in the community. This can be grouped for families with loved ones who struggle but also through hospitals, online, or other means. Family members need somewhere to share stories and feel uplifted. The opioid epidemic is taking away family members, sometimes more than one, and creating huge gaps in family ecosystems which are going to take a lot of time to heal. When the family finds time to set aside for themselves, they begin to see the cycle of abuse that has continued and work to find ways of healing this experience.  

Addicted Parents

Quite often, the opioid epidemic is taking parents away from children and young adults as they wrestle with addiction. The number of children in foster care is growing but, for those with whom the kids stay in the family, grandparents, cousins, and others often share the burden of parenting while the loved one battles addiction. Approximately 8 million children under age 18 live with at least one adult with the disorder. The home may become unstable as children are exposed to negative consequences of their actions. One risk factor that increases the likelihood of abuse of drugs is a previous family history of it in the home. This can lead to trauma, abuse, and neglect which further keep the opioid epidemic raging on. In order to cope, it is in a family’s best interest to find ways of getting the person’s help so they can start the healing journey forward. When the family system is ruptured due to opioid abuse, children are the ones who suffer most. They may grow into adults who struggle with addiction or mental health issues as a result. Older children who live with parents addicted may struggle more than younger ones, at first. The epidemic is a crisis that must be addressed one person at a time, supported by a family who loves and cares for their wellbeing. 

Oceanfront cares about your journey to healing from addiction. We are here to support you no matter what you struggle with. Our program provides time for family support and therapeutic intervention to weave family into recovery. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295