How Misuse Impacts Relationships
Risky drug use can affect not only the individual but those around them too. The impacts may not be obvious, but it can put your loved ones, buddies and unit in uncomfortable and stressful situations.
How can risky drug use affect my military buddies?
Risky drug use can create challenges for military relationships. A key part of your duty is being trustworthy and reliable for your unit and being ready to deploy. A Service member who uses illicit or prohibited drugs like marijuana or misuses prescription drugs may make their buddies feel like they don’t have their backs. They might also make them feel torn between helping them or doing what’s best for the mission. It is difficult to stay unified when one member’s choices affect the unit.
How could risky drug use affect my family and friends?
The people you choose to surround yourself with often add meaning to your life. When someone uses illicit or prohibited drugs or misuses prescription drugs, that decision can negatively affect their loved ones in various ways. If the individual doesn’t tell their family or friends about their risky drug use, even those closest to them might not notice the warning signs. This doesn’t mean they don’t care. They simply may not know what to look for. In other cases, individuals might confide in their loved ones, but their family and friends may not know how to help them.
If someone engages in risky drug use, their loved ones or friends may also feel:
- Lonely because the person often removes themselves physically or emotionally from those around them.
- Nervous about facing the individual’s behavior or talking with them honestly about their use.
- Guilty about not being able to help them.
Any of these situations could put the people you love most in uncomfortable positions. Before you consider risky drug use, consider how it may affect your military buddies, family and friends.
What can I do?
Studies show that support from relationships can protect some people from risky drug use and may be a large factor in recovery. Talk to your family and close friends who play a positive and important role in your life. You can also speak to your chaplain or use the Peer-to-Peer Network to talk about improving your relationships. Or if you’re concerned about someone else’s risky drug use, find out how to support them. This conversation may seem like a huge task but speaking up and leaning on your support system will make it easier.