An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Addiction is for Life

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by LostmySis, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I would like to point out that addiction is a lifelong condition. There is always a potential for relapse, the cravings are always there. Even after decades, a person and slip and need to start from the beginning again. Addicts need to choose to quit, and those around them need to choose whether or not to stay in the addict's life. Be sure to educate yourself before making such a choice. It is possible for addicts to get clean and stay clean, but it is also possible that the addiction will become what it once was. It is very hard for trust to be rebuilt during recovery. Although you may love the addict, convincing yourself he/she will always be clean can do some serious damage to your own mental health. If you choose to stay with an addict in recovery, then you must be willing to fully understand the situation and be prepared for what do do if a relapse should occur. Have an action plan if need be. If a relapse occurs, you have the right to feel mad, betrayed, disappointed---but at the same time, you need to understand that you chose to stay, knowing this is a possibility. Create limits, know what you are willing to accept or not accept. And do not set yourself up for a fall by believing it is "over".
    monsterific likes this.
  2. Parassd

    Parassd Active Contributor

    Yeah, I agre with everything you just said. The most important decision that you have to make is whether you want to stay in the life of the addict or not, because even though the addict might be your own parent, and they might love you and you might love them, but ultimately you have to see that their addiction and their ignorance and lack of will power is affecting your mental health and an addict can only be treated if he wants to be treated, it's his/her own decision. If they want to quit, they won't relapse. If they do, they never really wanted to quit. Accept, and move on. Make it clear that the addiction is the reason that you have to take this step.
  3. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    If you do not know God, and the person recovering does not know God, then you are right, but this perspective to me is incredibly discouraging. If I was an addict and was constantly told that I could never overcome, could never be recovered, that I would always have to view myself as in a process that could never be completed, I think it would not take long for me to decide that life is not worth living and just be done with it.

    Without God, there is no real hope, but I believe God can heal someone so deeply they never have the desire to go back to their old ways because they truly are not the same person anymore.
    monsterific and MrsJones like this.
  4. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I didn't mean for it to sounds discouraging or belittling. Addiction is medically considered a permanent disability. As I said, the addict has a choice to stay clean, just as you have a choice not to sin (since you mentioned God).

    Go equate being an addict to being a sinner. You will always be a sinner, although you have the choice to follow the correct path. The addict has the same choice, but the potential is always there. My point was for those who love the addicts. For them to understand that they have a choice. If they choose to stay, or go, they need to accept the consequences and everything that goes with those choices.
    MrsJones likes this.
  5. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Well it depends. From my opinion the addiction stops the second you put away your drug. If you haven't drink for two days, you became a non-alcoholic person and when you do drink again you chose to be addicted again. In reality there are very few addictions which are physically, their especially more mentally. It's not that we couldn't exist without addictions, it's that we chose to do so. Let's think about a smoker, does a smoker woke up in the middle of the night because he feels the needing for a cigarette? No, it isn't a physically matter. He only needs it when he is awake because he think he needs it. That what is with the addictions, they aren't for life, only that you think so.
  6. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Well there is a lot more to it than that. It of course is a mental state that causes irrational behavior. Somewhat stupid as well. A life long condition? I think it is more like a life long choice. The physical aspects of the body needing is the biggest battle. The awareness of this is the best way to see it through. I have been around many people with addictions and alcohol abuse. It is a choice. They consciously choose it. Personally I just see them as ridiculous that they have no control of themselves. Anyone who admits and goes back to it is just being spiteful to those around them and self-destructive. Essentially they have an issue with self-control and do not like to be told what to do. The label and the judgement pushes them further into their problem.
  7. ayywithemm

    ayywithemm Member

    Addiction can possibly be a lifelong condition most of the time. However, if you truly give it up with the firm intention that you won't go back to it, then it is possible to rid yourself of the addiction. If you forget about it and close that part of your life, then in the future when you do come accross that substance, the temptation won't be there.
  8. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Without suggesting I am any authority on the subject, I want to simply say I have a different opinion from some on this matter. While addiction for some might be a lifelong condition, there are of course those who have been able to rid themselves COMPLETELY of the addiction. Circumstances differ and invariably this will affect the persons dealing with addictions differently.

    I found this information which I thought might be useful to share. It speaks to 5 damaging myths about addictions.

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  9. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    This is very true. I had an ex boyfriend that had been addicted to drugs before I had met him. He had gone through rehab and got clean before I ever met him. We stayed together for about a year until he relapsed and I had to leave him. The sad part was that he had managed to steal some money from me before I could get away. Sad story, but lesson learned. That w as many years ago and I made the right choice by leaving.
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is right that it can be a lifelong battle cause there are temptations around. Better to be consistent and avoid being tempted again. But it is also possible for a person to fully recover and not be affected of temptations with strong mind setting and determination.
  11. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree. I think most people just don't understand it enough or just plain don't care but addiction really is more psychological than anything and like most other mentally based habits, it's a hard one to break. It's no less difficult to break the habit than to change your taste in food or lifestyle, and it's why I really don't understand why it's so hard for other people to comprehend when they themselves also have some habits of their own that they can't break away from, both good and bad ones.
  12. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Sadly I have a case in my life and I know that it's for life. I have a family member that at this point I am simply not sure if he's back consuming or not because drug addicts are totally deceiving.
  13. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    While I do believe addiction does not go away completely, even with treatment, it can be controlled to a point where you can live a happy and healthy life. It basically is up to the addict and how committed they are to the treatment and freeing themselves from that addiction.
  14. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Right. Just like someone I know who used to smoke on a daily basis. When she finally decided to quit, she never smoked again even some of her friends are smoking around her. It is really up to the person to have success on quitting.
  15. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I am the eternal optimist. I believe as long as their is life there is hope. Who knows? This person might turn their life around. Sometimes the impossible becomes possible. I keep telling myself that all the time and have dealt with a lot of disappointments I must confess.

    You are so right about the deception though, and that can be very unsettling. At the end of the day I still say keep hope alive.
  16. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    You are right, there is always that potential for relapsing. I just mentioned in another thread that during the last 21 years of being alcohol-free, I have had several moments in my life when I wanted to reach for a drink. But something inside me prevented me from it. I always knew that I could fall back into my old, destructive patterns again.
    These days, I know that I am not likely to relapse again. About two years ago, I had a zip of whisky from a glass of a friend, just to see what would happen. And nothing happened. It tasted disgusting to me. :)
  17. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    I am an optimist too, but if that person just lost the wife and kid and moved back to his parents place at early forties, that doesn't make much sense, something is certainly wrong.
  18. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Well you very well know more than I do in relation to this particular individual and can come to an informed conclusion you being much closer to the situation than I am. That said, I still think we should not give up. I read some years ago of a man who lived a life of addiction for more than 50 years. Eventually, he turned his life around.

    I know it doesn't always go that way but those are the kinds of stories that leave me optimistic of others.
  19. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Well, the sad part is that I gave up on him years ago, we had a close relation, but I tried to reach him so many times and he refused that the relation was broken on the spot. Either cases, I am still here for him if he needs me, that's what family is for.
    Winterybella likes this.
  20. btatro

    btatro Member

    I absolutely agree. A person that struggles with addiction is going struggle long term. It is their personality and inborn tendencies that create and intensify that struggle. This was important to say as so many seem to believe that once a person is sober that they are 'healed' or 'cured', which is so far from correct.