Blog
Jul
30
2008

What Do Family Members Know About Addiction And Its Impact?

Categories: Addiction, Friends & Family, Research, Substance Abuse

HBO’s Addiction website has tons of information on the topics of addiction, treatment and aftercare for adolescents and adults. There is also information and resources for family members and friends to help them understand addiction.

In May of 2006, HBO teamed up with USA Today and The Gallup Poll to survey American adults with an immediate family member who has had an alcohol or drug addiction on addiction in general and the impact of addiction on their own lives. Here are a few of the findings:

  • Three-quarters of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think addiction is a disease.
  • Only a third of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction think that there are medications available to treat alcoholism.
  • Emotional and Devastating/Horrible are the words that most often asked to describe the effects of a family member’s addition.
  • Almost half of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say they have felt a sense of shame about that family member’s addiction.
  • 7 out of 10 U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say that a family member’s addiction has had a major or minor effect on their emotional or mental health.
  • Almost 1 out 10 of those who say a family member’s addiction has had a major negative impact on their financial situation say they have had to take out a loan or run up credit card bills as a direct result of this addiction.
  • One third of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say the addiction has caused estrangement among family members.
  • Almost half of U.S. adults who have a family member suffering from the disease of drug or alcohol addiction say their family member has never sought treatment. Of those whose family member has sought treatment, three out of ten only sought treatment after intervention.
  • Family support/ pressure was most often cited as the primary reason the family member was able to overcome addiction.
  • Three quarters of the respondents say their family member is/was addicted to alcohol. The remaining quarter are/were addicted to a variety of drugs.
  • Over half of the respondents say their addicted family member was never evaluated for psychological illness.
  • 7 out of 10 of the respondents whose addicted family member does have insurance think their insurance will provide adequate treatment of drug or alcohol addiction.

View the complete results of the survey

If you are affected by addiction, you are not alone. Crossroads for Women will begin its next 4-week educational series, “The Effects of Addiction on Friends & Family,” starting on Tuesday, September 9th at Crossroads for Women’s outpatient office on 66 Pearl Street, Suite 202 in Portland, Maine. The series helps people learn about addiction, the effects it has on their lives and how to be supportive of an addicted loved one while also taking care of themselves. For more information or to register, call 207.773.9931, email or visit Crossroads for Women’s website.

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This was definitely a life changing experience. The staff was wonderful and I am leaving here sober, happy and healthy. I thank everyone for their love and care.”
– Back Cove Women’s Residential Program Client

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