Family Impacts of Addiction

My moms been an addict for a while and i had faith it might get better, but it hurts me to see her go through this. I don’t really have anyone I can talk to about this, but i have a fear that every time i talk to her it might be the last. I just feel like my entire family knows about it and chose to ignore it and doesn’t understand how bad it can get sometimes or how much it affects me to watch. I could spend as much time with her as possible but then i fall into the thought process of everything is fixed and i ignore the real problem because it becomes normal to me.
Is anyone else going through this? I feel like there is a lack of support to family members of addicts who struggle watching them go through it. Not that my struggle is anywhere near as hard as hers but she will never admit to the problem, and especially not to her kids. If anyone knows of services to help people like that let me know.
Basically im struggling to decide if i cut her off for my own well being or spend the time with her i have left.


Hey friend. I grew up in a family of alcoholics, addicts and mental illness.

I witnessed and experienced on a daily basis the impact that these things can have on your family. You know, and it’s hard.

It made it hard to carry a relationship with my mother. We fought a lot. She was very physically and verbally abusive. She overlooked things like the fact that I was autistic and had ADHD and battled with learning disabilities. And instead just saw me as a problematic child that made her life miserable. It was a hard place to grow up in. Later in life she doesn’t even know how to grasp the hurt she has inflicted. Either because she can’t remember it properly due to the substance abuse or she’s in extreme denial. And blames myself and the world for her being unhappy, single and alone.

My sister has fallen down that same path and has a completely unstable life. She bounces from relationship to relationship, has children she lost custody of. One born with fetal alcohol syndrome and addicted to heroin and constantly in and out of jail.

I fear for my sisters life every single day. Her addictions have far passed my mothers. She is a lot more violent and has gotten so bad she’s out of touch with reality.

Drug and alcohol abuse is scary. It’s so hard to watch and deal with. In so many ways. It can feel hopeless. It can feel helpless.

I cannot associate with my mother. She is simply not in a good place mentally and is not a nice person. She gets extremely manipulative and angry. She stalks me on the internet even though I block her. Repeatedly making media accounts and messaging people that interact with me. I just can’t associate with her due to my mental health.

My sister I love dearly and haven’t seen for many years. I rarely know where she is. I try to keep tabs on her through our dad. I try to send letters sometimes. I try to send small gifts that can’t be sold or used for drugs. But I can’t be close to her. I couldn’t give her my phone number. There is a healthy distance. But she’s in her own world so it’s impossible to talk to her anyway.

I think it’s extremely important that we watch our own mental health. If someone in your life is an addict and they are causing you negative impact on your life and mental health, you should absolutely distance from them. You cannot help an addict until they want help. It’s impossible. I’ve learned that the hard way. And sitting in their abuse is just a miserable trap. You should never feel guilty for needing to distance from them. So what is healthy for you. Set healthy boundaries and don’t let anyone guilt you for that.

Sadly guilt is a shitty thing that comes with it. So having a therapist, friends or family that is supportive to talk to during the process is in important. Because more often than not the drug user will manipulate and guilt you for pushing away. They’ll do anything to make you feel like a bad person. I’ve been there

There are groups out there that are support for family members with other family members that battle drug abuse and addiction. Right now it may be hard to find with the covid 19 issue. But when things begin to die down I’d see if you can call around for resources. Places that have AA meetings or maybe rehab centers. See if they have information for places you could go to.

Or maybe one of these could offer some information or help.

National Drug Helpline:
24/7 drug and alcohol help


National Addiction Hotline:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

I’m really sorry for what you are having to deal with. I totally understand. As I have my own struggles with it. It’s so hard.

You aren’t alone

  • Kitty

I’m sorry for what you going through, try your best be there for your mom and do what you to do. Sadly you can’t change people most of time( however I do hope you mom will change for the better.) but it important to take your self much as possible. Your health and mental health is important. Addition is hard thing to over come, I know cause I struggle with it. Overall I feel for you and your mom. Stay strong for both you and do the best you can for you and your mom.


Gives lovely pats and a Wolf stuff toy

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Hey FallenHeart - welcome to heartsupport.

The best resource I ever found as a family member of an addict was AlAnon - it’s a partner program to AA/NA/SA, etc. but meant for family members. I was able to attend few meetings in person, but there are some chapters that have online groups (through yahoo is where mine was), which I guess is good for the situation a lot of us are in right now!

Also, I’m so sorry you’re going through this at all. The struggle I went through isn’t one I’d wish on others, addiction is truly a monster. Know that her addiction is not your fault, nor is it your responsibility to “fix” her. I fell into that trap a lot before AlAnon.


Thank you all, reading through these replies has helped me a lot.

Knowing i’m not alone in this is very comforting and i plan to look into the services some of you have suggested.

You all are so kind