Addiction is a complex and multifaceted disorder that affects not only the individual struggling with substances, but also people who love them. The answer to this question is not a simple one and varies from person to person.
On one hand, some addicts may be aware that their behavior is causing harm to those around them, but their disorder may make it difficult for them to stop. The compulsive nature of addiction can make it difficult for addicts to control their behavior and make healthy choices.
On the other hand, some addicts may not be aware of the full extent of the harm they are causing. Addiction can impair judgment and decision making, making it difficult for addicts to fully understand the impact of their behavior on others. Additionally, addiction can cause changes in the brain that can affect an individual's ability to empathize and understand the perspective of others.
Furthermore, addicts may also be in denial about the severity of their addiction, which can make it difficult for them to see how their behavior is impacting others. They may not want to acknowledge the fact that they have a problem and may be resistant to change.
It's also important to note that addiction is not a choice, it's a chronic disorder of the brain that affects the reward system and alters the way the brain processes information. Addiction is a disorder that can be treated with evidence-based practices such as therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and support groups.
It is not uncommon for loved ones of addicts to feel hurt, angry, and frustrated as a result of the addict's behavior. It can be difficult to understand why someone would continue to engage in behavior that causes harm to themselves and those around them. However, it's important to remember that addiction is not a choice and that addicts need help and support in order to overcome their addiction.
While it's understandable to want to distance oneself from an addicted loved one, it is important to remember that they need support and understanding, but boundaries are key.
Educating oneself on addiction, its causes and its treatment options can help loved ones understand the reality of addiction and the steps that can be taken to support an addict in recovery.