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(p. 72) How Substance Problems Affect the Family Unit 

(p. 72) How Substance Problems Affect the Family Unit
(p. 72) How Substance Problems Affect the Family Unit

Dennis C. Daley

, and Antoine Douaihy

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date: 20 January 2021

A family unit is a system in which various parts have an impact on other parts. This chapter looks at how families, concerned others, and friends are affected by a loved one’s SUD. Any family member may be hurt by a loved one with an SUD. The effects may vary among families and among members within the same family, but emotional pain and disruption of family life are common. Attention often centers on the member with the SUD, while overall family pain and distress are ignored. Individuals with SUDs often “underfunction,” which means that other members of the family have to pick up the slack and “overfunction.” This dynamic may change how family members communicate or relate to one another. The effects on families vary from mild to severe—in which a family is torn apart by an SUD.

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