BSHS 455 week2 effects of addiction paper

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Michael Elgersma

According to “Psychology Today” (1991-2015) “Addiction is a condition that’s results when a person ingest a substance or engages in an activity that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health”. Billions of people every day and all over the world suffer from addiction, which not only consumes then but causes death. Some people depend on drugs and other addictive substances to fill a void in their life. The addict does not even realize that not only are they hurting themselves from the use of drugs or other addictive substances but they are also hurting their family, friends, and their community. This is usually overlooked. Researchers focusing on the role of family relationships in the creation and maintenance of drug-related problems have identified a strong connection between disrupted family relationships and drug addiction (Schafer, 2011). In the intervention series #38 Anthony video, Anthony is struggling with a cocaine addiction while his family is struggling because they are attempting to deal with his addiction. In this paper I will give a description of Anthony and also discuss how his drug addiction affects his life, his family life, and the community he live in.


Anthony is a 21-year-old functioning addict. He started using marijuana at the age of 20, mainly to mask the pain of his sister’s death. After a while marijuana was not enough to get him high so he turned to another drug to give him the extra high that he needed. Cocaine eventually became the love of his life. He is addicted to shooting up cocaine. Even though he states that his family is important to him, he continued to intravenously shoot up coke after they have plead with him to stop and seek help. The dysfunctional relationship between his mother and father lead to his addiction. Anthony’s father was not around, and his mother suffered from depression after the death of his sister who overdosed. Anthony stated that he loves coke and the thought of it makes him smile. When he shoots coke, it’s like an orgasm in his head. His health declined and he had many near death experiences. Anthony’s addiction has caused him to hurt his family ad push his sister away. He has no life outside his drug use. One thing he did have through drug addiction is his father’s attention which he didn’t have as a child. According to the Roles in Addiction handoutAnthony takes on the survival role which makes him the family scapegoat. Anthony’s drug addiction deflects attention from the dysfunction that exists between his parents (McNeece & DiNitto, 2012) He came really close to losing families support but he decided to accept help during his first intervention. It was unsuccessful and he relapsed. After several tries he became successful in his recovery.


Anthony’s father was not around because he was busy focusing on his own addiction to gambling and also participating in extra martial affairs. Which means he did not give enough attention to Anthony. This caused Anthony to find another way to cope with his insecurities connected to the lack of attention from his father. By coincidence his coping mechanism of shooting coke gave Anthony the attention he desperately needed from his father which created a positive reinforcement to Anthony’s negative behavior. His father handled all of his finances. Anthony was set because he had everything taking care of for him. According to the Roles in Addiction handout Anthony’s father takes on the role of the caretaker (enabler). He avoided Anthony’s addiction but he also shield it. He took control of the situation by getting Anthony a job at his brother’s pizza shop and by catering to all of his needs. He was against Anthony’s addiction be he was also very accepting of it.

Anthony’s mother suffered from depression because he was consumed with grief after her daughter died from overdosing. She could not help but blame herself for the death of her daughter and felt that she would raise Anthony differently so he would not go down the same path. The things her husband chose to do added on to her stress. Because Anthony lacked emotional support and made bad decisions, he added on to his mother’s pain and suffering. Her fear of losing another child to a drug overdose caused her to allow Anthony to do whatever he wanted that unfortunately fed into his drug addiction. She dedicated all of her time worry about him. His addiction with drug became her addiction.

Anthony had many older brothers. They all also own their own pizza shop. Their father asked them to let Anthony work at their shops and they did just that. This allowed Anthony to work and earn money to feed his addiction. They had a hard time trying to understand why their father would want them to support Anthony’s bad habit. Even after he broke into one of their shops to steal money to pay back a drug dealer they still allowed him to work and earn money for his addiction. It was hard for them to understand their baby brothers addiction and the unpredictable behavior that’s comes alone with it. They wanted to help their brother but they didn’t know how it was very hard for them to witness him like that.

Anthony’s sister is the one who stood up and brought his addiction to the attention of the family. She did not allow Anthony to come around her family as long as he was still addicted to cocaine. She felt that the family was enabling Anthony and accepting that he was slowly killing his self though the usage of drugs. She too suffered from the dysfunctional relationship between her parents but she did not let that stop her from creating a good life for her and her family.


Even though the connection between Anthony and the community is less complex than with is family his drug addiction still affects the community negatively. His drug use is a criminal act and he is providing financial support to the drug dealers. Under the influence Anthony could cause great harm to the members of the community. He even damaged property to get money to support his habit. A community loses values when drugs invade the area.

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