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Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Rainman, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    When I was younger and still living at home [with my parents], I could have helped my brother who was only three years older than me deal with his addiction but I didn't because I didn't like the stuff he did when he was high. Much later as I thought about the past I realized that his addiction affected everyone in the family.

    An addict's problem is a problem for the whole family. Like it or not unless you offer to help all of you will "suffer" [together] for as long as that person abuses drugs. Do whatever you can to help. The addict might not change but this is much better than doing nothing.
    MrsJones likes this.
  2. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    True, @Rainman. Helping each other as well through it all until there is a change, be it good or not.
    Rainman likes this.
  3. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    I totally agree with what you said @Rainman. It is a problem for the whole family and any kind or help and support can make a difference.
    Rainman likes this.
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I will never give up trying. I refuse to sit back and be quiet well he destroys his life and all those who care about him. He may not like what I have to say and he may even grow to hate me but that's ok. He doesn't like what I have to say but I know he hears me and maybe some day he will get it. Until then I will pray for him.
    deanokat likes this.
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    That's true. If you can do something to help your addicted loved one, don't ever hesitate to do so or you will somehow regret doing it sooner when it's already too late.
  6. DN02

    DN02 Member

    Addiction of any kind is called a family disease and I can say this is true from personal experience. It not only affects the abuser and his/her life, but also the lives of family members. It creates interpersonal problems for all family members, impacts overall family dynamics and often pushes the family to breaking point.

    Ignoring or denying the problem once the problem is identified will be more damaging to the abuser as well as the family. I found this set of tips online and thought it might be helpful for anyone trying to help a loved one.

    Some Things You Don’t Want To Do:
    • Don't Preach: Don’t lecture, threaten, bribe, preach or moralize.
    • Don't Be a Martyr: Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to drink or use other drugs.
    • Don't Cover Up, lie or make excuses for them and their behavior.
    • Don't Assume Their Responsibilities: Taking over their responsibilities protects them from the consequences of their behavior.
    • Don't Argue When Using: Arguing with the person when they are using alcohol or drugs is not helpful; at that point they can’t have a rational conversation.
    • Don’t Feel Guilty or responsible for their behavior, it’s not your fault.
    • Don't Join Them: Don’t try to keep up with them by drinking or using yourself.
    Momma9 likes this.
  7. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    I agree with everyone's views. Addiction has torn families apart and it is still tearing them apart. Support is key in helping an addicted person. We need to understand they cannot do it on their own, they need to be shown concern and care. They may look irritating to us but the future is what counts. Save an addict today and a life has been saved.
  8. Geeka

    Geeka Member

    That's right, Rainman. I can completely understand what you mean and I couldn't agree more to what you said. Doing nothing is perhaps more dangerous than anything I could think of because while we may think the person in trouble might not change, it is the very action of doing nothing that makes the other person feel more abandoned and alone and not to mention that huge sense of failure of someone you love giving up on you. So yes, I agree we must do whatever we can because as long as there is a will, there will be a way. A strong and loving support is definitely the right keyword phrase.

    At the end of the day, only you can know what you yourself have done to help.
  9. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    Those are excellent tips, DN02! It is hard to know how to respond to an addicted family member. I wish I would have had this list when first dealing with my addicted daughter. I have learned how to respond by trial and error.

    She will be getting out of prison in the fall and I want to be supportive, but not enabling. Everyone in the family loves her and wants the best for her, but will have a hard time trusting her. Addiction changes people into someone you don't know.
  10. Marylove

    Marylove Member

    Yes, helping is vital, because that person is still your own blood, and remember he could be anything great in future, who knows? Consider helping a big investment, because I've known many great people who were into drug addiction before, but upon recovery, they are now great people, immensely helping other people in the whole world. So take it that when you are helping someone that is into an addiction, you are not just helping that person put people in the world.
  11. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    I agree an addiction is a family illness. Everyone is affected in one way or another. Even though my fiancee and I are clean my soon to be brother in law is still a heavy weed smoker and CAT (Cheap cut up cocaine) user. He has been unemployed for nearly a year and is now living with his parents. His father cannot retire as he can not support three people on his pension and as such has continued working past his retirement to be able to provide for his son. My soon to be father in law has not seen his grandchild, that is 10 weeks old in two days, because he has to work all the time. Addicts do not realise how far reaching their addiction affects those around them.
  12. Jani_pikki

    Jani_pikki Member

    True! Addiction affects the whole family and sometimes you feel like giving up on them, but we just need to stay focus and try to help them in the best way we can! My brother was a CAT addict, and now after rehab and my support he is trying hard to fight it and wants to make something of his life.

    I think supporting an addict also helps them to trust you, so they will be able to come to you easier and with confidence that you will help and understand if they need the help, instead of saying nothing and doing something they wished they could rather talked about.
    Noreht likes this.
  13. Deeishere

    Deeishere Active Contributor

    The person who is addicted should also want to change his/her ways. When I lived at home and my brother was on drugs, he didn’t want to stop. I totally agree how it affects the whole family. My brother would steal and just cause a lot of drama in the house. Eventually he did leave and then there was peace in the home. I don’t know does he still take drugs or not because I live in a different state, but I know he still drinks. When he would call me, sometimes he would be drunk. Sometimes I wonder how much will one suffers before they really want to change for good.
  14. bluesnow

    bluesnow Member

    I agree, but at the same time sometimes it can be so hard to help the person who is addicted.
    My household growing up always, and to some extent still feels like we're held captive by that person.
    I grew up and moved far away from the situation, but the person in question is now dying from a bad liver that resulted from addiction. He certainly regrets his actions now, and of course is clean- it makes me regret not having the power when I was younger to somehow make them get help.
  15. Deeishere

    Deeishere Active Contributor

    It’s really hard. You really can’t make a person stop their addiction. They have to really want it bad enough to get help. Help is out there. There are so many people who been there/done that and is now clean. I think about my brother. He was given a place to stay, a job and support. Yes he had to work hard to earn money and was doing very good. But he just got tired and started to complain. Then when I spoke with the head person over the program, he told me that he just walked away. So now he had no job and no place to stay. He got into other places, but he was never satisfied. He has also been in and out of rehab and hospitals. The only thing I can think of is that he just is not that desperate enough to change.
  16. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    My biggest issue is that since my fiance and I are recovering I don't want an addict around me and certainly not around my baby, but I can't just refuse to have my brother in law over for a visit. His mother still believes he doesn't really have a problem or that the addiction is his fault and as such has not accepted her responsibility to reprimand him. So if I say anything regarding his addiction I get in trouble with the in laws