One person’s addiction can have a devastating ripple effect. For each person with an addiction, an estimated five others are affected.


Graham Beech, CEO of Action on Addiction, spoke to the Sunday Telegraph earlier this week to discuss the impact of addiction on loved ones: “One of the words that is most often associated with addiction is “chaos” because of the maelstrom it creates within families, work places, social networks and, in some cases, whole communities.


“When an individual is in the grip of addiction, this becomes their primary relationship and, as a result, family members and significant others are relegated to second place on the person’s list of priorities. Linked to this, at Action on Addiction, we calculate that for every person the charity helps to move their lives on in recovery, another five people benefit indirectly (and this is probably an underestimate). This includes children growing up with an addicted parent, family members who feel they have to take on extra responsibilities amid the chaos of their loved one’s addiction, friends who have been shut out by the addict’s withdrawal from normal life, and employers who have to bear the cost of employee’s absenteeism.


“At Action on Addiction, our experts talk about the pain and shame of addiction and this, together with the stigma that is associated with this life-stopping condition, can stand in the way of people getting the help they need to rebuild their relationships and move forward in their lives. Set against this, time and again we see that with the right treatment and support people can be very successful at both establishing and maintaining a fulfilled life in recovery.”


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