When a person has a drug problem, they have a disease that can hurt the family.

Drug abuse puts a lot of stress on parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents—anyone who is part of the home.

When family members take drugs:

  • You can't count on them to do what they say they will do.
  • They may forget or get distracted because their focus is on getting and taking drugs.
  • They might lie or steal money to buy drugs.
  • They might get fired from their jobs.
  • They might not come home at night.
  • They may do bad things they would never do if they weren't abusing drugs.

Family members might fight a lot because of the problems the drug abuse is causing. The drug user might do and say things that upset neighbors and friends, and make the family ashamed.

Some people who are addicted don't believe that they are sick and out of control, so they don't look for treatment. They don't see the problems they are causing themselves and those around them. Other people who are addicted are aware of the problem, but may be so upset and confused that they do not know how to ask for or get help.