Living with an Addict
Living with an addict can be incredibly difficult. Living with a drug addict or an alcoholic can include your spouse or partner, your child, or even your parent. So how do you cope with living with an addict? What should you do to avoid being an enabler, even when it’s someone you love?
When you’re living with an addict not only is nearly every area of your life impacted by their behavior and their addiction, but it can be easy to start to see it as personal. When they do bad things, it can start to feel like they’re doing it specifically to hurt you, and often when people are living with a drug addict or an alcoholic, they can start to spiral into a sense of depression as a result.
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- When you’re living with a drug addict or an alcoholic, the first thing to do is to restrict the amount of access they have to money. When an addict is funding their habit, they don’t think logically, and they can drain the accounts they have access to very quickly. It’s important that this is the first way you protect yourself.
- Also when living with an addict, it’s important that you face the reality of the situation you’re in. Too often people who are living with an addict will try to avoid the problems or pretend like they’re not happening. You need to see the situation for what it is and learn what you can about addiction so you can try and encourage the person toward seeking treatment. When you start facing the problem at hand, the person you’re living with may try to convince you that you’re wrong, or blame you and you can’t let yourself be drawn into that.
- Don’t think you can just ask the person to quit and it will happen. As mentioned above, logic and reasoning aren’t going to work with an addict.
- You need to stop trying to fix the addict in your life when you have recognized the problem. You don’t have control over other people, and there’s no way you can control the actions of the addict you’re living with.
- Learn the signs of enabling an addict, and then work on stopping or avoiding those behaviors. For example, if you continue to give an addict money, you are enabling them, and you have to bear the burden of being at least part of the problem. You may feel like you want to help the person you love, but really what you’re doing is just enabling them to continue their destructive behaviors.
- Be strong in the face of manipulations. Addicts are skilled at manipulation, but you have to remain firm and not let yourself fall into their manipulation.