Loving someone who is struggling with alcoholism, excessive drinking, substance abuse, or any form of addiction can be hard to deal with. There are many other problems that come with this that may affect them–and you.
So if you care for your significant other or family member, consider these things:
- DON’T regard their substance use as a family disgrace. Substance dependence and addiction is something everyone manifests at some extent, and it comes in many forms.
- DON’T preach or lecture to the person. Never nag them as well, no matter how frustrating their actions ca be. Chances are, they have also told themselves what you want to say to them. They may also simply zone out and shut you out.This will even increase their need to lie and hide, as well as force them to promise you things that they really cannot keep, therefore just giving you false hope and increasing your frustration.
- DO be wary of the impression you create to them. Avoid a martyr-like, “holier-than-thou’ attitude that you may exude even without saying a word.
- DON’T make idle threats. Don’t threaten them with consequences that you cannot follow through or carry out. Think things through first before you make any rash decision because they will only find a way to manipulate you because they know you don’t mean what you say.
- DON’T make it a negotiation of love. The “if you love me you will change” approach will not work. Since addictive behavior is a compulsion disorder, they have no control over their actions and choices and although they do in fact love you, they cannot control themselves.
- DON’T hide or dispose the drugs or alcohol. This will only make them desperate for their supply and they will only find ways to get more.
- DON’T use drugs or be on a drinking binge with them just because they tell you that this will make you understand them or that they will use less because this will never ever work. This only justifies their use and will discourage them from getting help.
- DO support them if they choose to change. Your love is not going to miraculously change them because their problem is more likely needing of professional help. If you think they don’t need you, think about them as seeking a doctor for a bodily illness.
- DON’T expect change to be an overnight thing. Recovery is a process and there may even be periods of resentment, guilt, depression, and relapse, but this does not mean that they are already a failure.
- DON’T enable. Don’t solve or remove the problem even before they face it. They need to learn how to handle things on their own so that they can grow and learn to suffer consequences.
- DON’T manage their life in recovery. Warning people not to serve them alcohol, or stopping them from going to different places for fear of them coming back to their old ways will only make them feel inadequate.
If you feel that you are ready to take that step and get on the road to recovery, we are here to help you out. We protect the privacy of everyone who inquires and we will answer all your questions. Change your life today.