The month of February we focus on how Substance Abuse and Love.

This week we discuss how substance abuse affects relationships.

Family relationships
Substance Abuse affects relationships in many ways; it can have direct and indirect impact on any member in any area of their lives.

The member of the family who abuses a substance develops a love relationship with their substance which affects how the whole family functions.

This “love relationship” affects how family members meet each other’s needs and how members assume roles and meet the demands of those roles within the family.

Substance abuse can lead to significant financial challenges which affect the running of the home, if you are currently facing money issues, visit this website for more information.

This may lead to unpaid rent, or schools fees, lack of food and many others.

Duties and responsibilities are usually not met and things are never steady for any period of time.

Family life
Substance abuse can also impact how family members communicate, relate to each other and even how they deal with problems and conflicts.

The substance abuser might keep other people at arm’s length because he/she may feel people will not understand him/her.

People around the abuser may blame themselves for the abuser’s behavior thinking they must be doing something wrong that triggers the substance abuse.

This can lead to relationships being strained. Partners might not be able to express themselves or their needs which further leads to lack of trust which can lead to separation or divorce for those who are married.

Social life
Family members and/or partners live in fear as they struggle to cope with substance abuser’s sudden mood changes, which sometimes might become violent.

They sometimes fear that something might happen to the substance abuser when they have gone out.

The family members may feel embarrassed by the substance abuser’s behavior which may result in friends not being invited to the house; social events being cancelled and everyone avoiding to talk about the problem.

If you are concerned that you, a family member, or a friend might have a substance use problem, and would like support and advice to help you or them cut down or quit, speak to one of our Counsellors in confidence.

Call or SMS BOSASNet on 72659891 or 395 9119. You can also visit our website ( or find us on Facebook.

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