Have you been impacted by a loved ones substance use?

High-risk substance use and substance use disorders impact families and friends, too. If you have ever experienced any of the following, it may be helpful to seek support:

  • Made decisions based upon your loved one’s needs or wants rather than based upon your own needs or wants
  • Avoided interactions with your loved one due to unpredictability caused by their substance use
  • Noticed your moods are influenced by your loved one’s moods
  • Avoided expressing your needs or emotions to maintain peace and balance in your family or social circle
  • Confronted or argued with your loved one because of their substance use and/or consequences stemming from substance use
  • Compromised your own values to support your loved one or to protect your loved one from harm or consequences
  • Failed to develop or maintain relationships with others due to fears about the impact it may have on your loved one
  • Avoided talking with others about your experiences or worries for your loved one for fear of getting them in trouble
  • Avoided seeking support for yourself due to fears of how your loved one might react
  • Felt like you hide or minimize parts of yourself in order to maintain peace and stability in your relationship with your loved one
  • Noticed yourself using substances or other behaviors such as shopping, sex, or food to cope with emotions stemming from your experiences

Because substance use disorders impact the whole family, recovery is also a family affair.

You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. This is a slogan often repeated in the rooms of Al-Anon, a peer support group for families and friends impacted by a loved one’s substance use. For many friends and family members, these can be difficult truths to accept.

Your recovery matters. Your recovery matters whether or not your loved one also chooses to engage in treatment or the recovery process. Recovery from the impact of a loved one’s substance use on your life benefits not only you, but also those you care about and those who care about you.

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. It is a journey that unfolds one step at a time and has good days and not-so-good days. Seeking a support system outside of your family may be a valuable first In order to support your loved one, you must first take care of yourself.

For More Information or Support:

Al-Anon Family Groups: https://al-anon.org/
SAMHSA Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: https://www.samhsa.gov/families
YSU Student Counseling Services: 330-941-3737

Student Counseling Services