Having a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is never easy. Addiction means that they are beyond dependent on the substance and need an ever-increasing amount of it to function. If left untreated, it is often fatal. Addiction is hurtful to both the addict and everyone around them.
You probably feel very nervous and scared for your loved one. This is completely normal. In most cases, it is not that your loved one doesn’t love and care about you deep down as much as he or she feels driven to use because he or she believes that it’s the way to escape their problems, that he or she needs the drugs to get through life, and to prevent the unpleasantness of the withdrawal symptoms. Many addicts are believed to be undeserving of the good in life. Many also have mental and physical health issues. If the addict is a pregnant woman, it can lead to all sorts of birth defects. Even suboxone often leads to the baby being born underweight and other abnormalities, such as hydrocelphus (fluid build-up in the head).
As his or her loved one, you may feel responsible for him or her and even find yourself going along with his or her every request out of fear of losing him or her. This may even be a full-time job for you and it has come to a point at which you don’t even have time for yourself. While you may be well-intended, this is called co-dependency. This is actually enabling your loved one and it is not healthy for either you or him or her. Once someone is addicted, they will tend to do just about anything to get more drugs or alcohol and that could include exploiting you. For example, if they’ve been banned from a certain liquor store, he or she could coerce you into making the purchases for them or demand that you take him or her to his or her dealer.
The good news is that there are healthy ways in which you can help your loved one.
- The absolute best thing you can do is to remain non-judgmental of him or her. For example, don’t call him or her names like “junkie”, blame them for the problem, or talk to them in an angry tone. This is what drives them to use even more. Instead, let them know that you care about them and that you will be there if they need someone to talk to.
Care for Yourself
- Take care of yourself. This is not petty selfishness or a luxury. This is a necessity. If you absolutely have trouble thinking of yourself in this way, just think of it like this: how are you going to help your loved one with an addiction when you’re too tired to do anything?
- Rehab. This may be one of the hardest things you will ever do. There are plenty of professional interventionists from Gainesville rehab to help you. Court-ordered rehabs can be a lengthy process so it might be easier to hold an intervention. It doesn’t exactly coerce him or her into going but putting a lot of pressure on him or her socially has often been shown to be very persuasive.