Extraordinary Awakenings And The Disappearance Of Addiction
For those who need professional advice, it can be helpful to find a therapist in your community who specializes in addictive illness and recovery. If you have tried all other measures to change the addictive family system and nothing has worked, you may want to look into conducting an intervention. This is a powerful tool that friends and family can use to educate everyone on what addiction is, how the family system may be unconsciously helping the addict continue their negative behavior, and what type of treatment plan is recommended for the family .
When all else fails, you may have to look at getting a legal separation or even a divorce. A legal separation is a legal proceeding in which you maintain your marital status but you are no longer tied to your spouse financially. You would need to speak with a local attorney to know if this is a good or practical option for your particular situation.
Having to get a divorce is unfortunate, to say the least. It can be heartbreaking and devastating, but it sometimes is the only choice you have as the non-addict. This is especially true when there are children involved because they need a stable adult around. When addiction is present, both parents are unavailable and there is little or no stability and consistency.
Here are some questions you can answer that may help you get clarity on what steps, if any, you can or should take next:
When You Realize A Loved One Has A Problem
Sometimes you go into a relationship with someone who is an addict. You hear the classic “I can stop anytime,” or “I only on the weekends.” Sometimes you may not even be aware that they have a problem at first. Other times, you may not realize the depth of the problem at first, as sometimes addicts can hide their habits very well. Still, other times, you may be in a relationship with someone who develops a habit over time.
Once the addiction is discovered, many things will run through your mind. One of the biggest things that affects the loved ones of addicts is a sense of betrayal, as you realize that their word cannot be trusted. Knowing that there have been lies and things hidden from you is an enormous blow to the heart. There are some very important things to keep in mind as you process the reality of the addiction and begin to make choices in your own life.
Some Actions You Can Take:
- Read about the signs and symptoms of substance use.
- Observe the persons behavior closely over a period of days or weeks to understand what leads you to think there is a problem. This information will be good to have if you decide to talk with other family members about the situation, seek advice from a professional, or speak directly with the person. However, dont feel you need an exhaustive picture of the problem before.
- Contact a substance use professional, mental health professional, physician, employee assistance professional, guidance counselor, clergy or other helping professional to help you. Describe your family members substance use pattern to see whether the professional would deem it a problem. Provide details such as: type of alcohol or other drugs, how much the person is using, how often they are using, how long the pattern has continued, negative consequences, and the persons response to discussions or confrontations about substance use.
- Ensure that you and other family members are safe from potential physical or emotional harm. If there is a threat or possibility of physical violence, you should develop a safety plan.
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Surviving A Relationship With An Addict
Looking for more free resources? Follow our Colorado addiction local resources page here. Remember, if youre in a relationship with an alcoholic or drug addict, youre not alone. Data shows us that there are more than 24 million addicts and recovered addicts in America. A lot of those people are in relationships. So, there are a ton of people out there going through the same thing as you.
The most important thing is that you keep yourself safe. Do what you need to do to protect your physical and emotional well-being.
If you want to discuss rehab options and help your loved one get clean, please call anytime 24/7. Wed love to help you to figure out the best way to get them back on track.
How Can I Stop My Friend Taking Lots Of Drugs
You cant force your friend to do anything they dont want to do, but you still might be able to help.
Start by encouraging your friend to stay away from the places where theyd normally take drugs , and suggest other activities.
You can also remind your friend of the potential dangers involved in taking lots of drugs and tell them where they can get accurate information about what theyre using. Whatever happens, make sure your friend knows youre around and happy to talk that youre there to help and not judge.
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What To Say To A Friend Leaving For Rehab
If youve just learned that a friend is leaving for rehab or addiction treatment, heres a few lines you can use if you get tongue-tied:
- I hope you get better soon.
- Im thinking about you.
- Id be glad to check your house/apartment for you while youre gone.
- Please dont worry about work. Just focus on getting well.
- Ill be here when you get home.
These positive messages let the other person know that you care, offer helpful sympathy without forcing advice, and let them know theyre still loved.
The list of what not to say is long, but you should take care to avoid comments like these nonetheless:
- This seems like an awfully big step. Cant you just quit on your own? If they could, they would quit on their own. A diabetic cant order the pancreas to produce insulin. An addict cant order the brain to stop craving substances. It doesnt work that way.
- Hey, youre just like . Each person is an individual. Nobody wants to hear they are just like someone else. They arent. Their problems may be similar to someone elses, but when theyre suffering from them, it all feels very personal.
But Can A Drug Addict Love You
This isnt to say that addicts are incapable of love, however. In fact, some psychologists believe that love is the key to helping someone quit drugs. One psychologist is Beverly Engel. The most significant and beneficial strategies involve becoming more compassionate toward your loved one, Engel writes in Psychology Today, Compassion is the key to helping someone with an addiction problem.
She cites recent research that shows how love can motivate addicts to get clean. Specifically, she discusses an addiction treatment method called Community Reinforcement and Family Training .
This method helps the family members of drug addicts to create a positive environment for addicts in order to help them overcome their addiction. It teaches them how to take control of their lives, and to change their interactions with the substance abuser in ways that promote positive behavioral change, she says.
Ideally, showing compassion for the addict you love will help them to understand the effects of their addiction. It will remind them that they are loved and, hopefully, theyll have a moment of clarity when they understand that its time to love you back.
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Don’t Encourage Their Use
For a person working to overcome drug addiction, avoid encouraging any type of drug use with phrases such as:
- “Why can’t you just have one drink or hit”
- “It’s all about balance”
- “Let’s grab a drink”
If a person is recovering from a drug such as opiates, substitutes such as alcohol may replace their addiction. This is why it’s important they avoid using other substances, such as alcohol, during their recovery.
You should also avoid drinking or using drugs around them, says Leela R. Magavi, MD, a psychiatrist and regional medical director at Community Psychiatry in Newport Beach, California.
Instead, support them and suggest sober, fun activities for the two of you to do together by saying things, such as:
- “I’m proud of you for doing this”
- “Do you want to see this new movie, try this food, or play this game?”
- “Should we go for a walk?”
You Are Ruining Your Life And My Life And Your Kids Life
In most cases, addicts are acutely aware using is not the right thing to do. They know what they have to lose. But the disease is often stronger than the desire to stop, and telling someone they are ruining their life is just adding fuel to the flames. Instead, be supportive and encouraging, and focus on the positives of recovery.
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When Someone You Love Has An Addiction
The fallout from an addiction, for addicts and the people who love them, is devastating the manipulations, the guilt, the destruction of relationships and the breakage of people. When addicts know they are loved by someone who is invested in them, they immediately have fuel for their addiction. Your love and your need to bring them safely through their addiction might see you giving money you cant afford, saying yes when that yes will destroy you, lying to protect them, and having your body turn cold with fear from the midnight ring of the phone. You dread seeing them and you need to see them, all at once.
You might stop liking them, but you dont stop loving them. If youre waiting for the addict to stop the insanity the guilt trips, the lying, the manipulation its not going to happen. If you cant say no to the manipulations of their addiction in your unaddicted state, know that they wont say no from their addicted one. Not because they wont, but because they cant.
If you love an addict, it will be a long and excruciating road before you realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do. It will come when youre exhausted, heartbroken, and when you feel the pain of their self-destruction pressing relentlessly and permanently against you. The relationships and the world around you will start to break, and youll cut yourself on the jagged pieces. Thats when youll know, from the deepest and purest part of you, that you just cant live like this any more.
Acting Out Of Character & Personal Safety
Some people take drugs because it makes them less inhibited but this can have negative effects too. They might do things they wouldnt normally do that they later regret, like having unprotected sex. If your friend is out of it or having a bad experience on drugs, theyll be vulnerable and may need help and looking after.
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Can I Borrow Some Money Please What The Addict Is Really Borrowing Money For
Have you ever been asked this question? It may have crossed your mind that the money youre being asked for, is going to drugs. But then you look into the face of your loved one and meet their sincere gaze and Fall for it! Although the tale may sound convincing, know this. If youre being asked for money, its going to drugs. Even if the rent is paid from the money you gave or loaned, it is still going to drugs. Any money in an addicts pocket will always go to the drug first. IF theres any money left over, they might pay the bills. If not, they will call YOU to do it for them.
Put The Yourself As Priority
This is especially important when there are children involved – never allow yourself or your children to be abused or to be exposed to harmful chemicals, toxic smells, or any shifty people who may come around. Your safety and well being comes first. This is where the boundaries come in. Tell the addict that, if they insist on using, they must do it elsewhere.
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Develop An Understanding Of What Denial Is
In order to understand what goes on in the mind of someone battling substance abuse and in denial, it is important to understand exactly what denial is in a situation such as this.
According to Merriam-Webster, the psychological definition of denial is a condition in which someone will not admit that something sad, painful, etc., is true or real. Often it is difficult for addicts and alcoholics to reach out for help because they dont think any problem existsdenial is that powerful. Denial can also be a coping mechanism of sorts. Someone with a substance abuse disorder may have an inkling that something is wrong, but they may remain adamant in their denial of a problem in order to keep drinking or using.
Questions To Ask Your Loved One
Youve thought the whole situation through yourself and talked to other people who care about your family member or friend, but finding the right questions to ask a suspected addict still isnt easy. There is no single guide for how to confront a drug addict, nor should there be. Every person and situation is different. Here just a few questions you might find helpful or might serve as a starting point for you to brainstorm your own ideas.
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Common But Wrong Things To Say To A Recovering Addict In Rehab And Support That Will Be Appreciated
Talking to a person in addiction rehab can lead to Open Mouth, Insert Foot Disorder.
Ann Landers is quoted as saying: The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you havent thought of yet. When you are talking to a person who is in a drug and alcohol rehab treatment program, it is easy to do just that.
Why Talking to a Person in Addiction Rehab Is Tricky
Why are people prone to saying the wrong things to a recovering addict? There are a number of reasons. First, it may be the surprise when a recovering addict opens up to you about his or her struggle. Surprised people often blurt out the first thing that comes to their mind.
Second, you may be uncomfortable talking about another persons addiction. Since addiction recovery is a personal struggle, you may feel pressured to say something supportive, but have no idea what to say.
Third, you may have such a desire to help a recovering addict that you boldly rush in with unwanted, counterproductive advice. Your good intentions can sometimes go horribly astray.
What Not to Say
What can you do to prevent yourself from saying the wrong thing to a recovering addict in or fresh out of rehab? Here are some classic examples of things not to say:
1) Wow, I had no idea. Are you sure youre an addict?
2) How long have you been clean/sober?
Focus on the moment, not the history
3) So, what do you do when you want to party now?
4) I know what youre going through.
Were Here to Help
Do: Take Care Of Yourself
Indulging in self-care is not selfish, especially when youre helping someone dealing with addiction. You cannot let the addiction of your loved one derail your own life. Continue with healthy activities, like hobbies and social outings, and take care to look after yourself. Therapy or counseling is part of that process, but indulging in activities that arent centered around your loved one is necessary. Determine what it is that you need to keep yourself well and indulge in it.
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Change Wont Come Overnight Were All A Work In Progress
The reality is and will remain that people want to sweep this under the rug, says Joe, a landscaper and former heroin user. Its not like its going to change overnight, in a week, or in a month, he says.
But Joe also explains how quickly people can change, like his family did once he began treatment.
It may seem that after a person has overcome their substance use disorder, everything will be fine going forward. After all, theyre healthy now. What more could anyone want for a loved one? But the work doesnt stop for the former user.
As they say in some circles, recovery takes a lifetime. Loved ones need to realize this is the case for many people. Loved ones need to know they themselves need to continue to work to maintain a more empathetic understanding, too.
The aftermath of being a drug addict is sometimes the hardest part, explains Tori. To be honest, my parents still dont understand was just really technical, medical language, or that I had a disease, but to me, it was exhausting, she says.
Dr. Stalcup agrees that the language families use is absolutely critical. While its wonderful to show an interest in your loved ones recovery, he stresses that how you do it matters. Asking about their progress isnt the same as if your loved one has diabetes, for example.
Dont say this: Have any cravings lately?
Say this instead: What have you been up to, anything new? Wanna go on a hike this weekend?
If You Feel Sorry For Me I Can Get What I Want From You
Addicts love to play with your emotions, especially pity and guilt. You wouldnt believe some of the doozies I came up with! I always had a hard-luck story available, for anyone who would listen. In the bar it bought me a beer it bought me another month when facing an eviction notice it bought me pain medication with my doc and an extra cheque from the social worker. It even bought me more drugs, from my dealer. Poor me, poor me, poor me pour me another!
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