Deciding how to proceed with your friendship or relationship with someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol is tricky, and it often feels like all the pressure is on you to figure out a way to not only save your relationship but the person who is suffering. Unfortunately, this usually ends with both of you living in pain and perpetuating a never ending cycle of abusive behavior-the addict abusing him or herself and you.
Whether or not you share a home with the addict in your life, you are subject to the instability and unpredictable behavior that accompanies their drug addiction. Lies about their drug use and whereabouts, stealing from you to pay for their habit, abusive behavior when they’re under the influence or when they are recovering from a stint of using followed by profuse apologies and promises that everything will get better… It’s an endless cycle, and it’s one that can keep you in a whirlwind.
The only way to end this cycle is to guide your loved one to the help that they need to get better. They can’t do it alone and you can’t do it for them.
A codependent relationship occurs when you are involved with a drug addict or alcoholic and enable their behavior. That is, you lie for them or cover for them when they lie, make mistakes or don’t show up for work due to their addiction. You make excuses for their behavior, give them money or in other ways take care of them even though they can-and should-do it for themselves but don’t because of their addiction. You believe you are helping them but ultimately you are only enabling their addiction and depleting your own resources, resources that you have no energy to renew.
Taking Care of Yourself
If you don’t take care of yourself, soon there won’t be anything left for the addict, either. You need your energy, your optimism, your spirit to handle your own problems. Who’s helping you while you’re taking care of the alcoholic or addict you love?
By putting the person you love in the position of opting for help or opting out of your life, you are saving yourself and giving them the opportunity to save themselves. Remember: you can’t save your loved one from addiction. Give her a chance to save herself by choosing drug treatment.
At The Canyon, we can help you figure out how best to help the alcoholic or drug addict in your life. We have professional interventionists who can assist you in staging an intervention and confronting your loved one with the devastating effects that their addiction is having on you and them. We can work with you ahead of time to set up their stay here with us, and your interventionist can accompany them to our facility in Peace Park outside of Malibu, California, when the intervention is over. After they detox and stabilize in treatment, you will be able to meet with them in the therapy setting and undergo family therapy with your loved one, so that both of you can begin the long journey back to health.
If you have questions about helping your loved one deal with drug addiction, call The Canyon today.