Addiction And Toxic Relationships

Alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease whose negative effects can be felt on loving relationships. It can create dysfunction and trauma among the people in a relationship. And, dysfunctional relationships can also cause addiction. In some cases, people abuse substances trying to cope with relationships that have negativity.

Addiction and toxic relationships mostly go hand in hand. But, change can come if an addict or their family or even friends end the toxic influence of addiction on a relationship. A toxic relationship is harmful and unhealthy to the overall wellbeing of a person. In some cases, it can affect the physical health of an individual negatively.


Definition of a Toxic Relationship

A toxic relationship can be defined as a relationship that involves abuse, manipulation, selfishness, control patterns, and negative behavior. It can harm both or one of the involved people. Such a relationship can cause addiction because a person can turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with painful emotions.

In some cases, addiction can lead to a toxic relationship. That’s because alcohol and drugs can poison the bonds that loved ones share, lead to enabling or codependency. That’s why if a man in a relationship shows signs of addiction; he should seek help from men’s addiction treatment as soon as possible.


Signs of a Toxic Relationship

You can tell that a relationship is toxic if you mostly feel bad, manipulated, belittled, or incapable of having a life outside the relationship. Here are common signs of an unhealthy relationship:

  • Volatility – A common red flag is when the person you’re in a relationship with has over-the-top behaviors or extreme reactions that feel overwhelming. If you feel strained to prevent the unpredictable actions of the person, the relationship is unhealthy.
  • Jealousy – This experience is common. However, there should be a line that shouldn’t be crossed. The red flag to watch out for is when your partner feels threatened or lashes out on realizing that you relate with other people.
  • Isolation – Does your partner keep you away from family, friends, and other people? Or do they require you to choose between others and them? If yes, that’s a red flag.
  • Belittling – Name-calling and rude remarks are signs of belittling aimed at making a partner in a relationship feel bad. They are signs of an unhealthy relationship.
  • Manipulation – A partner may want to control the actions, emotions, and decisions of the other person. Manipulation can be at the core of interactions and one partner can even convince the other person to do things they are not comfortable with.
  • Betrayal – Lying, cheating, and two-faced behavior are signs of betrayal and an unhealthy relationship.
  • Unfair accusation- People should be responsible for their feelings and actions. If a partner in a relationship makes the other person feel like they are responsible for everything, the relationship is not healthy. In some cases, a partner can threaten to harm themselves if the other person doesn’t do give in to their demands.


The Role of Drug and Substance Abuse in Relationships

If in an unhealthy relationship with a man, knowing how their drug or substance abuse is hurting the union can help. You may even know how to guide them to seek help from a men’s rehabilitation center. An addiction cycle has two major styles of a relationship. These are as follows:

  • Enabling – This is a dysfunctional behavior that the family members or close friends of an addict exhibit. When trying to help an addict, loved ones can assist with or tolerate harmful behavior. Enabling behavior can be through the provision of emotional support and housing, giving money, and even providing alcohol or drugs to the addict.
  • Insecure or secure attachment style- An attachment style is created in infancy. This attachment defines the relationships a person has with others. An individual that is raised in an emotionally healthy home is more likely to trust others and establish healthy relationships in life. On the other hand, a person develops an insecure attachment when their caregiver becomes unresponsive to their emotional and physical needs. Individuals with an insecure attachment style have higher chances of becoming addicts or getting into toxic relationships.

A person that recognizes an insecure attachment or enabling behavior can change. But, understanding how a relationship leads to an addiction cycle is the most important step in seeking assistance.


Dealing with Addiction and a Toxic Relationship

Ending addiction or substance abuse is the first and most important element in the process of dealing with addiction and a toxic relationship. Starting and maintaining a functional relationship when one partner is in active addiction can be very difficult. Therefore, seeking help from women or men-only rehab should be the first step in the process of addressing the issue.

Other steps should be as follows:

  • Ending dysfunctional habits.
  • Acknowledging the damage caused by the addictive past.
  • Developing strategies for dealing with future issues
  • Reinvesting energy and time towards the development of a successful, healthy relationship.

The process of dealing with addiction and a toxic relationship should involve psychotherapy and counseling. This enables the involved partners to understand how substance abuse and addiction affects their physical, mental, and social health. It also teaches them coping mechanisms for addiction, substance use, as well as, the development of healthier interpersonal skills.

Even the non-addicted partner can benefit from this therapy. That’s because they can be educated on substance abuse, addiction, and toxicity in a relationship. They can also understand the role they need to play in relationship patterns and struggles. What’s more, they get the necessary assistance to address their self-care and mental health needs as far as addiction is concerned.

In some cases, attending family or couple counseling and support group meetings may be necessary for the partners. The chosen women or men drug rehab facilities can guide these steps.


The Bottom Line

A toxic relationship can be caused by addiction. And, addiction can lead to a toxic relationship. Luckily, both addiction and toxicity in a relationship can be ended by seeking the necessary assistance. The first and most important step is adhering to the principles of effective addiction treatment. That’s because dealing with toxicity in a relationship can be hard if one partner or both are struggling with addiction. But, with help from reliable women or men drug rehab facilities, addiction problems can be solved and toxic relationships made healthier.




HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

User Reviews


Your email address will not be published

twelve + eight =