Nature has created men and women to share love and to fulfill commitments to each other. As mentioned in Sura Al-Baqara (2:228), "And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And All‚h is All-Mighty, All-Wise''.
Strong commitments strengthen marital relationship, promotes adaptive social comparison, relationship superiority and effective management of jealousy (Rusbult & Buunk, 1993). One also shows willingness to be with his/her partner. If one of them fails to fulfill commitment, then distress in marital relation appears. Researches reveal that chronic illness in one of the family members results in psychological problems( i.e, depression, chronic stress) in rest of the family member specifically who assumes a role of care giver, either s/he is a friend or relative of patient ( Schulz & Sherwood., 2008).
Drug abuse problems also affect the whole family. In Pakistan, the yearly estimated rate of increase of drug addicts is 100,000 that also seem to affect approximately 20 million family members psychologically, socially and economically as well (Muhammad, 2003). When an earning member of a family indulges in addictive behavior, his wife and children have to be dependent on others, such as their parents and grandparents, for the gratification of their basic needs. As a result, they feel deprived of food and good education (Dean, 1984).
Drug abuse problems result in destruction of marital relationship. Fals-Stewart and Birchler (1998) measured dyadic adjustment in couples. Among four groups of couples, 94 couples were having drug dependent husbands, 36 were having drug dependent wives, 87 were having drug dependent husband and wives and 70 couples were getting family therapy for their marital distress. Results showed that all groups appeared to be dissatisfied with their marital relationship, used maladaptive methods to resolve their conflicts, and took steps for relationship dissolution. They were having shortage in communication skills, problems solving skills, general relationship commitment and stability. Marital Satisfaction also appeared to be inversely related to socio-behavioral consequences of drinking (Zweben, 1986). Drug abuse problems also lead to violence. Women who were victim of physical violence during pregnancy reported that their husbands were either drug addicts or unemployed and were intolerable toward them as investigated by Rehman & Shahid (2008).
Thus, in the light of empirical studies, it is argued that drug abuse leads to destruction in marital life that further destroys the whole family. It is essential of address this problems in order to save not only a person but his immediate family too.
Dean, B. (1984). The physiological, socioeconomic and psychological factors of drug abuse. Reflection of drug abuse. In U. Farhat.(2003), Substance addicts Fathers and Psychological Problems of their Adult Children. Unpublished dissertation, Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi.
Fals-Stewart, W., & Birchler, G. R. (1998). Marital Interaction of Drug-Abusing Patients and their Partner: Comparison with distressed Couples and Relation to Drug Using Behavior. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 12(1), 28-38
Muhammad, G. (2003). A sociological study of drug abuse in Pakistani Society with special references to Heroin addicts, its courses and consequences. Retrieved on July 19, 2011 from http//:www.eprints.hec.gov.pk
Rehman, S. A., & Shahid, M. (2008). Over half of the pregnant wives are subjected to domestic violence in Pakistan. Retrieved on July 19, 2011 from http/:wwwthiaindian.com
Rusbult, C. E, & Buunk, B. P. (1993).Commitment Process in Close Relationship. An Interdependence Analysis. Journal of Personal and Social Relationship, 10(2), 175- 204
Schulz, R., & Sherwood, P. R. (2008). Physical and Mental Health Effects on Family Care giving. The American Journal of Nursing, 108(9), 23-7
Zweben, A. (1986). Problem drinking and Marital Adjustment. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 47(2), 167-72