How to Get Perspective on Your Addiction

How to Get Perspective on Your Addiction

Most people who abuse drugs are unaware of how their destructive habits affect other people, such as family, friends, co-workers and intimate partners. In some cases, the addict is unaware even of how her substance abuse damages her own health and wellbeing. Ergo, it is essential for addicts to gain perspective on substance abuse and addiction if they wish to recover.

There are various types of addiction, such as drug and alcohol addiction and addictions to behaviors like gambling and shopping. All addictions damage not only the addict, but also his loved ones. The effects extend even further than one’s friends and family members, as one’s addiction can ripple outward to a small community and even society at large. With so many people that can suffer from one person’s addiction, it is important to try and gain all perspectives possible to see how destructive substance abuse can be.

Addicts can gain perspective in any of the following ways:

  • Ask trusted, non-drug using friends and family how they are affected
  • Consult a medical doctor on how drugs affect the body and brain
  • Talk with a supervisor at work to review your recent performance
  • Research online how drug addiction affects society
  • Ask children if they have been affected by drug and alcohol use
  • Research how drug and alcohol abuse affects unborn children
  • Consult an addiction specialist about the link between mental health disorders and addiction

You can gain considerable perspective by asking other people how they view the addiction and in what ways they are affected. For instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains some of the many ways that substance abuse affects addicts and others1.

The Family’s Perspective on Substance Abuse and Addiction

Substance abuse damages anyone who is part of the addict’s home, so a family meeting can help an addict gain a new perspective on how her drug problems actually affect everyone. In fact, the NIDA explains how family members cannot count on a loved one who struggles with substance abuse. For instance, he typically does not do what he says he will. Furthermore, he may steal or borrow money from family members to spend on his substance abuse. Many addicts are often let go from their jobs, which can be especially detrimental to a family if they were a household provider. Lastly, they typically engage in unusual behavior because of the influence of their drug abuse.

Many times, a parent or guardian who struggles with substance abuse may not come home at night, which leaves the children unprotected and neglected. An adolescent may stay out all night abusing drugs and alcohol without telling the parents, which can leave them worried sick. Gaining the perspective of the family can help an addict understand the consequences of her actions and realize her need for help.

The Child’s Perspective on Substance Abuse and Addiction

The children of an addict may not always understand what is happening, which makes it incredibly difficult to gain perspective, but they are always hurt by a parent’s substance abuse and addiction. Addicted parents often forget to take care of their kids. They may forget to make meals, disregard a child’s hygiene, leave laundry dirty or never buy new ones, avoid the doctor for check-ups and disregard homework. The neglect that children experience from addicts can vary based upon the severity of the addiction, but even the smallest amount of neglect can have long-term effects on children. Neglect can devastate a child’s development. The child may grow up with social problems, mental health problems or simply be far behind in his education. One neglectful moment in childhood can cause lasting negative emotions in adulthood. Additionally, continued problems with substance abuse and addiction can cause children to be taken away from the addicted parent. Lastly, the addicted parent may also face jail time for neglect. Unfortunately, the children of addicts are more likely to suffer drug abuse and drug problems of their own in the future.

The Doctor’s Perspective on Substance Abuse and Addiction

Consult a medical professional on how substance abuse or addiction affects the brain and body, as these conversations can be more than enough to help someone overcome addiction. Substance abuse can cause serious health problems that do not always go away even after substance abuse has ended. Continued substance abuse can lead to serious, life-threatening medical issues, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and lung disease. Addicts are more likely to experience harmful accidents from being under the influence, violent or dangerous behavioral problems, worsened depressive symptoms that lead to suicide and fatal overdoses. Finally, NIDA has extensive treatment resources for people who struggle with substance abuse or addiction; they can help people find places to get help2.

Find Treatment for Substance Abuse or Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse or addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a professional treatment program that will work for you. Call us today and get help now.


1 National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drug Abuse Hurts Families,”,, (Cited December 6, 2015).

2 National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Patients and Families,”,, (Cited December 6, 2015).