It’s never easy to live with a family member who is actively suffering from addiction. Addiction is an ugly face of any person who struggles with substance use/abuse.
Addiction can change your loved one into a person you may not understand, and loving a person through their addiction is a monumental challenge. Your role in their recovery is also pivotal, and it helps to educate yourself.
Start now by reading through a few helpful tips that may offer some guidance as you continue living with an addicted family member.
Understand that addiction is a disease
Learn to understand the nature of addiction. Addiction is not simply a bad behavior that needs to be corrected. Addiction is a disease that cannot be eradicated by some sort of medical treatment. It’s a mental state.
Just like you cannot eat a whole cake when you have diabetes, an addict cannot indulge in drug/alcohol use every once in a while. Addiction is a lifelong battle, and recreational use is a door back to hell.
Don’t be a facilitator of their addiction
If you’re living life with an addicted family member, you have to be careful not to be a facilitator of their addiction. Enabling your loved one to use will never help them to get better.
You have to be cognizant of your actions, and make sure you are not simply helping your addicted family member to continue in their addiction.
Don’t allow yourself to be a victim
Addicts can be very abusive to the people in their closest circles. It’s important that you preserve your safety while handling the fallout of an addict.
Not all addicts will reply with venom, but it’s not an uncommon situation to experience when you’re living with someone who is actively using. Stand up for yourself, and don’t allow your loved one to verbally, mentally, or physically abuse you.
Offer help for your loved one
It’s okay to offer love, safety, nourishment, and shelter to your addicted loved one. It’s not okay to give them money or allow them to use in the house. Tough love isn’t always the right answer to save someone’s life, but it does often come down to “tough” love.
Expect recovery to take time
If your addicted loved one is seeking help for their issue, remind yourself that recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Making the decision to quit using is never a clear cut situation.
Most addicts relapse an average of seven times before they finally get serious about sobriety. You must decide whether or not you are able to stick it out.
Find a local Narconon or Al-Anon meeting
Narconon and Al-Anon are support groups that focus on helping the friends and family members of those who suffer from addiction. An addict is never the only one suffering, and it’s important that close friends and family learn how to cope.