Addiction is nearly ubiquitous in contemporary society. It seems that everyone knows someone with an inability to control their dependency on some substance or medication or alcohol. While the battle for overcoming addiction lies with the person afflicted with the addiction, there is also a battle that rages for the loved ones who must contend with life with an addict. Living successfully with an addict requires a certain amount of understanding but also the ability to maintain a level of standards as to what is acceptable in the household.
Maintain Your Own Personal Standards
Never allow the addict to draw you into their web of addiction by sharing in their drug or alcohol indulgence. You aren’t helping them by sinking down to their level of behavior. You only serve to validate their behavior.
Maintain A Secure Grip On Your Personal Finances
Addicts are notorious for stealing what they need to get their fix. Don’t loan money and never give access to account numbers or other information that could allow the addict to withdraw money without your knowledge.
Enroll In A Rehab Program
If you can’t convince the addict to go along with you to a rehab facility, this will at least give you a support system to help you cope with the stresses of an unsettled home life. This may be your best opportunity to gain knowledge about addiction.
Putting Loved Ones At Risk
Do not allow the addicted person to put you or other loved ones at physical risk. If there are children involved in the home situation make sure to have a safe place to go if there seems to be any chance of a threat of violence. Do not hesitate to involve law enforcement, if necessary.
Even if you do manage to get the addicted person into a rehab program, don’t be tricked into thinking your problems are solved. Successful rehabilitation often takes several efforts to produce a workable result. It is not uncommon for the addicted person to lie and deceive others into thinking they are making progress when, in fact, they are not fully engaged in their own recovery process.
Even though your life is being somewhat controlled by the addict in your home, it is essential that their problem does not become the total focus of the household. Make time for your own interests and activities. You cannot help another person if your personal life is completely consumed by the addiction.
Do not become an enabler. Don’t make excuses to yourself or to others to try to explain the dysfunctional behavior of the addict. Never let them think that any part of their addictive behavior is acceptable.
Addiction is a disease. As such, it must be dealt with medically. The first step towards getting the addicted person into rehabilitation may start with a family doctor. Get the addicted person to make, and keep, a doctor’s appointment under any pretense you need to use. Often, someone with more authority than you have may be able to convince the addict to consider rehab.
Relapse is a very real possibility for addicts. Even as you may be patting yourself on the back for the successful recovery of the addict living in your home, all of the hard work it took to get there may be falling through the cracks. Addiction is notoriously difficult to cure. Be prepared to face setbacks.
Addiction requires professional help to cure. While you do have to make an effort to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your life with an addict, you should never carry the burden of guilt for something you didn’t cause and you can’t control.