Effects of drug use affect families  

Drugs have become a scourge in our society. Drugs destroy individuals, couples and families. Drugs have no beneficial effects at all, but serve as a time bomb waiting to explode and destroy the users. The only beneficiaries are the drug dealers who make millions from the ignorance of users.

The National Institute of Health (NIH), (USA) lists problems that drug use can cause. These include:

  • Fighting and violence at home and outside.
  • Money problems.
  • Trouble at school or college.
  • Trouble at work, losing a job.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Child abuse and neglect.
  • Motor vehicle accidents.
  • Arrests and imprisonment.

Family members, brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents become stressed and their lives are disrupted when a member is a drug user.

The NIH show the following consequences when family members take drugs:

  • You cannot trust them to do what they say they would do.
  • They get distracted or forget because they are focused on getting and taking drugs.
  • They will lie and steal from home and outside to buy drugs.
  • They might get fired from their jobs.
  • They might not come home at night.
  • They might commit acts that they would never do if they were not taking drugs.

Drug use, including smoking cigarettes can lead to diseases such as stroke, heart disease, cancer, HIV/Aids, liver disease and lung disease.

Research indicates that more than half of those who have drug problems also have mental health problems such as:

  • Depression which makes them feel sad and tired.
  • Anxiety which makes them feel nervous, worried and afraid.
  • Bipolar disorder which bring about mood changes. They might feel full of energy, excited or angry, and then feel sad, tired, and hopeless.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which makes it hard for them to pay attention, sit still and not act out.
  • Antisocial personality disorder which makes it difficult to have good relationships and to care about other people’s feelings.

If you have a family member who is a drug user, get treatment or admission to a rehabilitation centre as soon as possible. If the member is not helped early as possible, the entire family will be adversely affected.

Dr Guru Kistnasamy

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