Some people have said that addiction is a victimless crime … whatever that means. Supposedly addiction only affects the addict and other people around the addicted person can leave … or not. Hmmmm.
Those of us who have been involved with people grappling with addiction know better. People who work in the treatment arena know better. Addiction takes many victims, including children … remember?!
Using people create chaos and conflict. If you are a family member or close friend, you can get “sucked into” this chaos, as well. You can become mired into self-doubting (maybe I’m not a good enough spouse/partner/daughter/father…).
You may want to hide the problem from the rest of the family and community (sweep it under the rug) out of embarrassment or feeling ashamed.
Maybe you feel hurt, scared, and think of yourself as a failure. Maybe you end up giving the addict what he/she wants in order to quiet that person down (enabling), then you beat yourself up emotionally for doing it.
Stop and listen! If any of this sounds familiar, there are some very concrete steps you can take to start helping yourself.
If you are a family member or a friend, start learning that these situations are not always hopeless – although they may feel that way. In fact, about 75% of addicts turn themselves around and enter a path of recovery.
You may also need to recover from a family member’s or close friend’s addiction. You have to learn how to properly take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, so you won’t succumb to stress related diseases. In doing this, you create a positive role model for your loved one, too.
Learn how to do this by taking my course, Addiction: How Families and Friends Cope and also visit my website!
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.