Living while knowing your loved one is battling drug addiction can be extremely stressful. Even though you aren’t going through the addiction, somehow you always keep them and their condition on your mind. Aside from worrying about their health, you also worry about their finances and professional future.
That’s just part of being so close to an addict. For our loved ones who are fighting their toughest battle and – arguably losing – there is nothing we can do besides simply caring for them.
However, in this position, many people aim to appease their loved ones. By doing so, some may unknowingly validate the addiction. Providing support to an addicted person will only make the situation worse. Be clear about your boundaries and express your displeasure with the way they behave and their lifestyle choices. The purpose of this article is to discuss just that.
The article may potentially contain content that may bother you, however, you must learn something from the content ahead. Here’s what you need to know.
- Believing that they will overcome the addiction themselves
It’s very admirable that you have so much faith in your loved one. However, you need to be realistic about the situation as well.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How long have they been addicted?
- Do they show any signs of stopping?
- Even if they do show signs, can they stop?
These questions will indicate whether a person can solve the problem on their own or if they need help.
Intervention needs to be hard-hitting and swift. Breaking a long-term drug addiction can be extremely difficult and requires a fair amount of medical and psychological support. If you don’t know where else to turn, consider checking out an addiction helpline for a potential solution to your loved ones’ addiction-related issues.
It’s sad to come to terms with the fact that your loved ones might not overcome this themselves, but you need to see through their patterns and lies. The addiction is holding them back from doing anything productive. If you assume that they will overcome this themselves, without them showing any positive signs, you are enabling their behavior.
2. Providing financial support
Many addicts find themselves broke because of how much money an addiction consumes. Coupled with the fact that many of them cannot hold down a job with an addiction, they rarely have money and resort to asking friends and family members for cash all the time. It’s always a different story every time. Sometimes they claim to need it for the house, for a broken-down car or perhaps claim that they are trying to get clean.
To ensure you don’t unknowingly fund their addiction further, consider drawing your financial boundaries very explicitly. Explain that you are not going to give them any more money because they got themselves into this mess and refuse to get themselves out of it.
However, if you think that the case is genuine and they may actually need the money for something important. Consider directly paying for whatever they need so that the addict doesn’t have contact with the money. They could very easily squander the cash on their next hit if you leave it in their possession.
3. Covering up their lies
One of the worst things you can do for the addict is cover for them. Whether it’s a sibling and hiding things from your parents or a coworker who expects you to make excuses with the boss. You cannot keep doing this and you need to explain that they need to take accountability for their actions. The more you take part in something like this, the more you enable them to think you have their back with the addiction. You don’t, you have their back in general.
When you have to cover for them, simply blurt out the truth. Why didn’t they come to work? You don’t know, call them and ask. Stop making up stories as to why they couldn’t make it, the more you do so, the more comfortable they will get and the more favors they will ask of you.
We understand how you might want to help and the consequences of not helping may have colossal implications, but you need to draw the line. Remember that they got themselves into this mess.
4. Taking care of them
Let’s say they’ve taken their hit and reacted badly to it. Maybe they felt under the weather and had a bad experience this time. As the effects wear off, they may call you over to comfort them and take care of them. Ow about this time, you don’t!
Tell them that they can’t just call you and expect you to take care of them whenever they have a bad experience. Will you be summoned every time they lose their angle?
You may also need to assess whether they are in real danger or if this is something they can handle on their own. Take them to the hospital and get them sorted out if there is a genuine problem. if it’s anything less than an eight on a severity scale of ten, let it go.
5. Hanging out with the people who got them addicted
First of all, let’s address the giant elephant in the room! The fact that no one got them into the habit and they chose a path to follow. Others may have acted as mediums to gather illicit substances, but the abuse is their only fault.
The first step you can do is to get them out of the picture, as soon as you can. The sooner bad influences disappear, the quicker your friend/family member will recover. If they have access to the people who validated and supplied the drugs, chances are they’ll fall into that bottomless pit once again.
It would be great if you could get them a change of scenery for their own good. Go for it and give them all the support they need if they consent to it and want a change.
Throughout this article, one recurring theme should have been obvious to you. Addict chose this path for themselves, and they are responsible for getting themselves out of it. You can support them as long as you are doing something healthy and productive, which will help them beat their addiction.
Several things have been mentioned that you shouldn’t do and a few that you can do. By now, you should have a good idea of how to deal with the situation and where to draw the line in different situations.
Don’t continue to support them. Your love for them may exactly be the encouraging factor that’s fueling their addiction.