Before thinking about how to help a loved one with drug addiction, it can be helpful to understand what it’s like loving an addict. Being in love with an addict, or having a parent or child who is an addict means that you’re often going to feel heartbroken because of their actions.
First and foremost, when you love a drug addict, they are not going to be able to love you in return. That doesn’t mean they didn’t love you before their addiction, and it doesn’t mean they can’t return to loving you, but when you’re in the midst of addiction, that’s your priority. That substance is what the person’s mind and body are in love with, above all else.
When you’re trying to love someone with an addiction, no matter what they tell you, their addiction comes first. It’s impossible for an addict to return love in the way you deserve.
It’s also important to understand that when someone you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs, they’re going to do everything in their power to use you as a way to continue getting these substances. This can include regularly lying, cheating or stealing. Because of the power of addiction, when you’re loving a drug addict you may find that they will manipulate you in any way possible to facilitate their addiction.
In many cases, you will also find that when you love a drug addict or alcoholic, they will try to get you to use with them as well, and you may end up doing it because you want to make them happy. You may also find when you’re loving a drug addict that they can seem like the life of the party or a charismatic person to be around when they’re intoxicated, but this isn’t the reality of who they are or the life they’re living.
Finally, when you’re in love with an addict, or you have someone close to you who is an addict, you will begin constantly worrying about their safety. Loved ones of addicts often find that they stay up constantly hoping the addict is okay, and praying that they are alive for another day. There’s never a time you can really breathe a sigh of relief when you’re learning how to love an addict because there’s constant fear and apprehension about what’s happening next in their life, or when they’ll have a fatal overdose.