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How Crack And Drug Use Affects Relationships

how crack and drug use effects relationships

Drug use can destroy relationships

Although there are many debilitating conditions that can cause problems in an individual’s ability to lead a productive and positive life, crack and drug use can be particularly problematic. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that using illegal drugs and/or illicit drugs can complicate, and even destroy, an individual’s ability to maintain or cultivate healthy relationships.


To fully understand why the use of crack and other illicit drugs can be problematic, or even destroy, relationships one should first consider the profundity of the problem. Here are some relevant statistics:

  • According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 9.3% of people aged 12 or older required treatment for alcohol abuse or illicit drug abuse in 2009.
  • Over six million people 12 or older in America have used crack cocaine at least one time. This is 2.8% of the population.
  • In the year 2008, 8.1% of people admitted to publicly funded substance abuse programs went for the treatment of crack cocaine use.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use is on the rise. In 2011, around 7% of individuals aged 12 or older had used marijuana within the past month. This statistic marks a rise from the 5.8% that used marijuana in 2007.

Common Behaviors of Crack Addicts

As made plain by the statistics listed above, crack and drug use have been, and remain, a profound problem. In addition to considering the significance of these statistics, one should consider some of the risky behaviors that individuals who use and/or abuse crack engage in. Understanding these behaviors can help you gain a better understanding of how the drug use negatively affects relationships. Here are four:

  • Risky sexual encounters – This exhibitionist behavior is believed to be rooted in the notion that crack intensifies the individual’s sexual desires. People who are under the influence of crack may be more likely to have intercourse with more than one person. They may also be more likely to have sex with a stranger. Crack users may also be more likely to have unprotected sex. Additionally, some people who are under the influence of crack opt to engage in intercourse to obtain the drug.
  • Violent tendencies – As drug experts know, the use of crack cocaine intensifies the individual’s emotional experiences. This includes emotions such as rage and anger. For this reason, individuals who are under the influence of crack are more likely to commit suicide, commit murder, or subject a spouse or significant other to physical abuse.
  • Entering high risk situations – Because of the fact that crack wields intense power over the user or addict, individuals under its influence will often go into dangerous neighborhoods to obtain the drug. In many cases, an addict will do almost anything to attain the substance.
  • Breaking the law – In many cases, a crack user or addict will steal money to facilitate the purchase of drugs. An addict might commit a robbery or perform some other illegal action to obtain money that will then be used to buy the drug. In some cases, an addict will engage in illegal activity such as prostitution. Moreover, simply possessing crack constitutes an illegal activity, so addicts can fall into legal trouble for buying and using the drug even if they are not participating in any of the aforementioned behaviors.

How Crack Use Negatively Impacts Relationships

Once an individual grasps some of the common behaviors of crack addicts, the role that using or abusing the drug can play in negatively impacting relationships with others becomes plain. First, individuals who are under the influence of crack often experience emotional highs which generate a strong proclivity to physically abuse loved ones. This reality precludes the user or abuser from maintaining the type of healthy, beneficial relationship that is sustained through mutual respect. Additionally, individuals who use crack are often willing to engage in risky and/or illegal behavior to obtain the drug. Because this is the case, family members and other loved ones may dissociate from the user in order to avoid exposure to unhealthy environments or situations that could involve arrest.

In addition to negatively impacting relationships in the aforementioned ways, individuals who use or abuse crack problematize their ability to maintain healthy interaction with friends and family members because of their tendency to steal in order to obtain drugs. When such an event transpires, the user’s loved ones lose trust in her or him.

The effect that crack or illicit drug use can have on the user’s loved ones is not confined to the development of trust issues. Additionally, the user’s friends or family members may also be subject to the financial strain that results from attempting to attain professional help for her or him.

How Drug Use Negatively Impacts Relationships

Just as crack can have a profoundly negative impact on the user’s relationship with friends and families, the use or abuse of illicit drugs can generate turmoil and challenges. For example, babies that are born of women who abuse drugs have increased rates of brain damage and birth defects. Additionally, parents who abuse drugs frequently neglect vulnerable members of the family such as children.

In addition to making other members of their family vulnerable to neglect, long-term substance abusers can dramatically alter the structural dynamics of their families. Specifically, the family members of the drug abuser can take on dysfunctional roles. These unhealthy roles can evolve into lifelong patterns of dysfunctional relationships. These patterns are diverse and can include things such as family members feeling and expressing hostility towards the abuser. Additionally, family members often pour resources that would otherwise be used for the well-being of the family to get help for the addict. This activity can add to the physical and emotional deprivation of the family.

Assistance and Recovery

Although the use and abuse of crack and other illicit drugs can negatively impact her or his relationships, professional help is available. By seeking professional help in the form of things like detoxification or substance abuse counseling services, users can improve their mental and physical condition and subsequently repair and rebuild relationships with estranged loved ones.