Now, the rate of substance abuse in our society and families today is alarming. I want you to note that alcohol and drug addiction affects the abusers. In Nigeria today, people from all walks of life can have problems with drug use, despite the age, tribe, background. So, It deteriorates a person’s physical health, impairs his or her mental reasoning and behavior.

I want you to note that in Nigeria substance abuse costs the government over 15,000 USD every year. So, it affects society at large and leads to an economic meltdown.

Now, substance abuse can be seen as taking drugs that are not legal. On the other hand, it can be seen as taking too much alcohol, prescription medicine, and other illicit drugs in the wrong way. So, it doesn’t affect the user only. It can have an effect on family coupled with society at large.

Now, in our society, some people abuse drugs out of curiosity, in other to have a good time, they do it because friends are doing it, or to ease problems like depression, stress, and anxiety. On the other hand, taking illegal drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, can lead to addiction.

Study shows that aggressive behavior and crime are linked to substance abuse. For instance, when addicts are trying to obtain money in other to buy drugs if they didn’t succeed he or she can be violent. Now, the families of those that abuse drug goes through a lot.

So, substance abuse has effects on the abuser as well as the family and society at large. On the other hand, couples in which a partner, children, parents that are struggling with addiction experience social, and emotional damage.

10 Proven Ways Substance Abuse Affects Families And Society

Here are 10 Proven Ways In Which Substance Abuse Affects Families and Society

1. Negative Impact On Children

Do you know that 1 out of every 5 children lives in a home with parents that are into substance abuse? Parents who engage themselves in drug use don’t know that their actions do not only affect them but also their children. Because they are already addicts it prevents them from taking care of their family.

Now, parents that raise their children in a home where addiction is seen as a normal thing can end up harming their kids. So, lack of care towards those that depend on them has a negative impact on their children.

I want you to note that children look up to their parents for guidance, but when both parents are affected by alcohol or drug abuse, it hinders the child’s development in all stages of life. So if it is not properly handled substance abuse leads to aggression, mental health as well as destroys families and society at large.     

2. Loss Of Trust

Now, substance abuse affects every area of life, both the person’s relationship with the loved ones, friends, and society at large. On the other hand, drug addicts don’t keep to their promises that is why people lose trust in them. So, they find it difficult to maintain trust, respect, and communication.

Married couples that are addicted to the drug cannot dedicate their time to relationships due to substance use that makes them unable to. This can make them forget the promises they made to their children. If this continues, the child will find it difficult to relate with other people’s reasons being that they don’t know how to trust. So, loss of trust if not properly handled can lead to divorce.

The studies show that loss of trust leads to broken marriages and causes the children to malnourished. So, addiction makes it hard to trust people and neglecting the responsibilities or the needs of their loved ones.

3. It Causes Domestic Violence

Now, domestic violence can be seen as behavior or the purpose of which to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, or family and society at large. On the other hand, it can lead to various types of abuse such as physical, sexual, emotional, and child abuse.

In our society, more than 80 percent of domestic violence is linked to drug abuse. Studies show that some of the violence at home is caused by substance abuse. I want you to note that some household abusers have addiction issues or reliance on substances.

Despite the social and government efforts to reduce substance abuse, it is still a major problem. So, addiction is one of the main causes of domestic violence at home and society at large.

Now, a person who is into substance abuse is eager to display a behavior that leads to domestic violence. So, abusive conditions are hard to cope with; the victim finds it difficult to adapt and turns to drug use in other to clam down.

So, if domestic violence is not properly handled it can lead to substance abuse and affects family and society at large.

4. It Creates Blame and Shame

Now, blame and shame are linked with drug use in our society at large but an understanding of the link with shame is limited.

Blame can be seen as a feeling that someone is responsible for a fault or wrong. On the other hand, shame is an act of isolating, debilitating emotion that causes us feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness.

I want you to note that when it comes to substance abuse, family, and society are quick to put the blame on addicts or their parents. So, it causes many parents who have a child with an addiction to feel shame. These attitudes cause the addict to live in isolation and can reduce a person’s willingness to be open and seek help.

Now, society tends to lay the blame on the family for a child’s addiction, a parent’s efforts and successes sometimes can not be noticed.

If you are into substance abuse, feelings of shame can be so unbearable. So, the feeling of unworthiness and inferiority makes you blame yourself and believe that you are not worthy of love, respect, and happiness. You become ashamed of who you are which leads to depression, and hopelessness.

I want you to note that blame and shame are a barrier to self-help, as you feel that you don’t deserve help or attention. And it can cause you to go into addiction, it can as well keep you in the midst of addiction.

In many ways, drug abuse can have a negative impact on the addict and who they become in the future. So, if it is not properly handled it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and disgust.

5. It Creates fear And Confusion

In the families and society at large fear and confusion can develop as a result of substance abuse. Now, chemicals in opioids, alcohol, amphetamine, and other substances can cause anxiety, constant worry, and nervousness. So, it affects millions of people all over the world.

I want you to note that fear and confusion leads to worry, dread, or stress, one of the major problems with substance abuse is that the affected person is negatively impacted. So, in order to manage these symptoms, they attempt to use drugs and alcohol to calm down. On the other hand, when it can not be controlled the only coping mechanism is substance abuse, an addiction can develop.

Why do people who are into substance abuse or addiction to drugs fear and confused? Now, in the moment of panic, the need to escape the feelings and fear the person turns to the thing that they believe will give them instant relief.

Now, when a person takes, too much drug it becomes a problem, the behavior while under the influence due to substance abuse can be affected. So, if it is not properly handled it causes the user to take a large amount in order to be relieved from fear and confusion.

6. It Leads To Financial hardship

I want you to note that anyone who is into substance use knows that addiction leads to financial hardship. Now, money problems come up in ways they did not expect when they start using addictive drugs.

On the other hand, addiction leads to career setbacks, which lead an addict to borrow money in other to get the desired effect. So, it creates poverty if you are a substance abuser, you can spend half of your monthly earning on drugs.

Now, addiction imposes a financial hardship that can cause families to lose their homes, or find it difficult to provide the basic needs of their children. People that have money issues abuse substances in order to avoid the problems they are facing in their lives. So, if you are living paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet, drugs can provide the instant gratification that is absent in all other areas of your life.

So, If you are into substance addiction, paying for it can be expensive, regardless of the substance. I want you to know that drugs can empty your bank account when you need to use more in other to get the desired effect.

Now, the study shows that 14.3 million people in Nigeria use drugs outside prescription, addiction cost on society is high. So, if substance abuse is not properly handled it leads to financial hardship.

7. It Causes Loss Of Intimacy

I want you to know that drug abuse affects not only those that are addicted to it, but their families, friends, and it causes loss of intimacy as well. It can affect strangers and society at large.

Now, one of the major problems of addiction is the lack of intimacy between spouses. So, It can lead to the breakdown of relationships between a parent and child and, if not properly handled can lead to marriage failure.

I want you to note that addicts find it difficult to keep a good relationship with anyone when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. On the other hand, when addiction takes over a person’s life, it can ruin the relationships with people around them, and intimacy can be affected.

Now, if substance abuse turns into addiction, it makes a person not to have an interest in sex. So, drug use causes people to become selfish and cause them not to have emotions in an intimate relationship. On the other hand, the partner of an addict can lose interest in sex because each of them has lost trust in their addicted spouse.

8. It Causes Stress

I want you to note that one of the major reasons why people become addicted to drugs and alcohol is stress. Now, in our family and society at large, we experience stress as a result of substance abuse, in our day to day lives, and how we deal with it is important. So, for some people, in other to cope with the problem it leads them to drug use or alcohol.

On the other hand, stress can be seen as a feeling of emotional or physical tension. So, It can result from an event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.

In our society, today addiction appears to be a solution to deal with stress in a way that doesn’t work out for the people. On the other hand, you can get relief from stress through the substance use that you become addicted to, it is temporary, so you need more doses in order to cope with stress.

Now, it is clear that some people are vulnerable to addictions due to stress. So, if it is not properly handled it leads one to addictive behavior which affects the family of the addict and becomes a problem to the society at large.

9. It Leads To Child Abuse And Neglect

Now, the rate of child abuse and neglect in Nigeria is quite alarming. I want you to note that millions of children suffer from child abuse and neglect every year due to drug use.

On the other hand, child abuse or child maltreatment can be seen as a physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect of a child or children, by a parent or a caregiver.

Now, substance abuse and addiction have a negative impact on the welfare of a child. So, drug use is linked to child abuse and neglect and it affects family and society at large.

Children in Nigeria are exposed to child labor, sexual exploitation, trafficking, conflict, and marriage. Now, physical abuse is one of the major forms of child abuse. It can subject a child to be kicked, bitten, slapped, or beaten up.

Children of parents with a substance use problem are at risk of sexual abuse and neglect. So, if you are sexually abused as a child there is a tendency to engage in drug abuse in the future.

So, it is clear that substance abuse can make a parent, the caregiver failed to provide for a child’s needs which lead to abuse and neglect.

10. It Causes Conflict

Now, substance abuse can affect a family and society at large in so many ways. So, it is clear that drug use can cause conflict in families and has a negative influence on day to day communication. 

I want you to note that drugs and alcohol can act on the brain that leads addicts to engage in aggressive and violent behavior to the family members. On the other hand, people who are addicted to heroin or cocaine can commit crimes in order to get money to buy 1kg of drugs.

Now, when addicts spend time together it can lead to anger and resentment which causes family members to shout at each other. So, it is clear that substance abuse leads to complaints, criticism, and quarrels which ends up in conflict.


Now, substance abuse is one of the major problems that affect families and society at large. So, these issues create challenges for people who are into drug use.

So, families are expected to look after and provide adequate care for their children. And for those who are already addicted to drugs, the affected people should help show them love and help them to recover.


  1. Powerful write up. Thanks the article is informative and interesting explained perfectly ways substance abuse affects families and society at large. I love it.


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