Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Adapting to the Reality that Your Loved One Is Addicted

Adapting to the Reality that Your Loved One Is Addicted

While you may suspect that drug use is a problem, accepting the reality is a difficult and painful process

No one is prepared for the news that a loved one is addicted. While you may have suspected that drug use was becoming a problem, accepting the reality is a difficult and painful process. Although it may be a challenge, there are some things you can do to help yourself adjust to this new reality.

  1. Educate yourself – You may not know anything about addiction, or the knowledge you have may be limited and come from secondhand sources. It is important to understand the facts about addiction. Addiction is not just a series of poor decisions, but rather a chronic disease, just like high blood pressure and diabetes. As such, your loved will need long-term help to maintain sobriety and to avoid relapse.
  1. Relinquish control – You cannot control your loved one’s behavior. You cannot manipulate, bargain, cajole, guilt, or force him or her to get help. One of the most helpful and healthy things you can do is to accept that you did not cause you loved one’s addiction, and you can do absolutely nothing to cure it. You cannot “fix” him, so stop trying.
  1. Get help for yourself – Some people use drugs to avoid dealing with their emotional difficulties and trauma. You may also be avoiding your own personal issues by focusing on your loved one’s behavior rather than your own. By enabling your loved one to stay in his addiction, you are also trying to fill a void or emotional need. You need to get help yourself. Many groups like Narcotics Anonymous not only help addicts, but they also help family members.
  1. Take care of yourself – One of the things that personal counseling or support groups will emphasize is taking care of yourself. As the loved one of an addict, you have likely put aside your own needs in order to take care of him. This needs to change. Practicing self-care means that you respect yourself enough to make sure that your own physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs are met.
  1. Consider an intervention – While you have realized that your loved one is addicted, he may still be in denial. If this is the case, you might want to consider organizing an intervention. This is simply a meeting in which you and other family and friends explain how your loved one’s actions have caused you physical and emotional harm. Then the addict is given the option of getting treatment or facing consequences, such as refusing to enable his addiction any more.

Adapting to the reality that someone you love is an addict can be difficult and painful. It is important to give yourself time and space to deal with your thoughts and emotions. There is no quick or easy solution.

Getting Help for a Loved One’s Addiction

If you have recently realized that a loved one is suffering from an addiction, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. One of our admissions coordinators can help you find treatment solutions for your loved one when he agrees to treatment. We can even recommend options for taking care of your own needs. Call us today so you and your loved one can start on the path of recovery.

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