Family members of people fighting drug and alcohol addiction often feel betrayed by their loved one’s choices. It appears that the person is choosing their drug of choice over the people that love them, which is incredibly hurtful. Addiction is complex, and it goes beyond simply making the wrong decisions or choices.
Drug Addiction Is Not a Choice
Many people wrongly characterize addiction and drug use as a choice the addict makes. While it’s true that the initial using of drugs is a choice, after so long choice is no longer a factor.
Addiction has a direct impact on the chemistry of the brain. It’s also categorized as a chronic condition, meaning it requires regular treatment to keep the effects from getting worse over time. There is also a genetic link to addiction, which can be exacerbated by environmental factors.
This is why the medical community considers addiction a disease. While it may be difficult for you to understand, accepting the disease model of addiction is in your best interest, as well as the best interest of your loved one.
What Families Hurt by Drug Addiction Can Do
Based on the above information, tough love and ultimatums are only likely to harm your family. There are other methods you can take, which should start with researching addiction to learn how it actually affects the addict. From there, look for professional support, either from a therapist with knowledge of addiction, or a rehabilitation center that offers family programs.
A professional therapist or rehab center can also help you understand the principle of codependence. Just as the addict is addicted to their drug of choice, family often becomes addicted to helping the addict. Accordingly, you must break out of this cycle to help yourself and your loved one.
Setting clear boundaries is crucial in this regard. Inform your loved one that your emotional support is always available, but material support is not as long as they are using. This includes money and a place to live, which will only prolong their addictive behaviors.
While taking the above steps are difficult, they give people with drug addiction a fighting chance at getting their lives back. Working with a knowledgeable and compassionate rehab center is also crucial for recovery. Duke City Recovery Toolbox is proud to offer support to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. We also offer family therapy to help you understand the nature of addiction and how you can help your loved one.