With over 23 million different Americans living with an addiction to either drugs or alcohol, the probability that you live with an addict is quite high. While drug addicts suffer, their friends, family, and housemates suffer as well. It is important to know what to do in the situation of living with an addict.
The negative effects that come along with living with an addict:
- Loss of trust for the addict in the house
- Financial struggle
- Tension in the home
You Can’t Force Someone Else’s Recovery
When living with an addict, you may try to convince your loved one to start recovery. The problem with this is no matter how much you beg and plead, the choice to start recovery is the addict’s alone. At the end of the day, a person’s recovery will be centered around their desires. In most cases, an addict will only start recovery when the pain is too much.
If you find that trying to help someone is becoming more difficult than you can handle, consider having an intervention. An intervention is when the loved ones of an addict create an environment in which it is safe to address problems and emotions that come with addiction directly to an addict. Drug and alcohol addicts will often deny that they even need help until loved ones come directly to them about their problem. Rehab specialists should manage interventions. Having professional help can make the process much easier on you.
Be a Support System for the Addict Living with You
An addict needs an unlimited amount of support from the ones around them. This includes understanding the way that addiction works in the mind. Once you are familiar with how addiction works, you are more susceptible to being compassionate towards their disease. Another important aspect of support is understanding addict behaviours and strategies. An addict will come up with numerous excuses and lies to get you to do what they want. Understanding how to recognize these so that you do not enable is key.
Make Time for Yourself Away from Home
Living with an addict can leave you feeling stressed. The stress may cause you to have a lack of sleep along with many other repercussions. You need to remember that the addict that you live with makes their own life decisions. Set aside time for yourself outside of your home to get away from the stresses surrounding drug addiction.
Honesty with Addicts is Key to Recovery
Coexisting with a drug addict means that you will be likely be forced into awkward situations and conversations. When you are placed into these scenarios, be open and honest. Let the addict know that you are unhappy with their life choices and that they need help. Tell them what you will and will not tolerate. Once these boundaries are set, the addict will understand what to expect from you. Also, instead of portraying anger, be sure to promote love while speaking honestly. An addict is likely to react better to loving tones than those fueled by anger.
Protect Yourself while the Addict Lives with You
You should always be aware of what is best for yourself in the situation of living with a drug addict. Make sure that you are clear that you support their recovery, and not their addiction. The addict should know that you will only help if they are going to help themselves. You may also have to remind yourself that the addict that you live with may not react the same sober as when they use. Addicts are known to act out in violence; always keep your distance. It may be hard to say no to an addict’s pleading, but it is better to know that you have their best interests in mind.
Research Different Types of Treatment
The drug or alcohol addict that lives with you may promise to change, but change never comes. Always mention the option of rehab. When the time comes for the addict to decide to recover, they may come to you for help. By knowing different treatment options, you may be able to direct the addict that you live with in the right direction. Educating yourself with the proper resources will also show the addict how much you do care and that you took time out of your life for their life.
Maintain Support after Rehabilitation
If the addict that you live with does decide to enter recovery, their addiction journey does not end there. If you are an important member of the addict’s life, you should be a support during and after rehab as well. Addiction is a disease that takes support and guidance from everyone, not just doctors and therapists.
Get Support for Yourself
It never hurts to do all that you can to learn about addiction when living with a drug or alcohol addict. Having support not only for the addict but also for yourself will help during recovery. Finding support for yourself can benefit you by:
- Learning how to communicate properly with the addict that you live with.
- Understand and manage your personal emotions toward addiction.
- Be able to reach out to other people living with a drug or alcohol addict.
- Correctly react to situations regarding addiction.
The most important thing about living with a drug or alcohol addict is that you remain supportive and knowing you are never alone. If you feel that you need aid with the addict who lives in your house, do not hesitate. Most addicts who want help are only willing to ask when they are sincerely fed up with their disease. Do not wait to find what they need!