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Don't overlook the impact of addiction on your family

Is your spouse addicted to drugs or alcohol?

If so, you aren't alone. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that there are at least 24.6 million people in marriages where addiction is an issue.

Even though you married your spouse for better or worse, the reality is that your spouse's addiction affects your entire family in negative ways. Addiction is often called "a family disease" because of the way that one person's addiction can affect the entire family's physical health, psychological health and financial well-being.

Addiction could easily drive your spouse to:

  • Act irresponsibly, putting his or her needs or wants ahead of responsibilities toward the home or children
  • Steal, in order to support his or her drug habit
  • Take the household grocery money or empty out the bank account in order to finance his or her addiction
  • Miss work or get fired because of job performance issues
  • Become aggressive or violent, particularly when high or when in withdrawal
  • Expose the family to severe financial distress because of his or her addiction and general lack of concern for others
  • Damage the self-esteem of the children through verbal abuse or turn them into his or her caretakers
  • Blame you or the children for his or her lack of control or "need" for the drugs or alcohol and make you feel guilty

None of that is healthy, and all of it creates an unstable environment in which to live and raise your children.

Ultimately, you may have to distance yourself and your children from your addicted spouse in order to put some measure of stability and order into your lives. While your spouse's addiction is a disease, it's a disease like no other: Your spouse has to commit to changing his or her situation in order to be cured. Many people simply lack the motivation as long as they can convince others to put up with their behavior.

If you're considering a divorce due to your spouse's addiction, find out more about your legal options. Our attorneys have experience with these issues and understand the complex problems you may face when your spouse is an addict.

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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