8 Tips For Living With An Addict

Written by Chloe Nicosia

8 Tips for Overcoming the Difficulties Of Living With An Addict

Living with an addict affects everyone residing in the home. Negativity surrounds an addict, and it’s important to minimize the effect it has on other family members. Addiction is a constant in the home, along with impatience, anger, and frustration. There is no person who asks to be addicted, but medical necessities or poor choices have landed him or her in that unfortunate circumstance. The family of the addict suffers because they are unable to help the person they love, and their attempts often cause conflict. There are important tips that can help you know how to deal with an addict.

How To Deal With An Addict

It’s difficult to know how to help an addict who doesn’t want help. Professionals have discovered ways to reduce the negative influence in the home where an addict lives.

  • Don’t accept the blame for your family member’s addiction. People who take on the responsibility or guilt of their loved one’s addiction end up giving in to the addict’s demands.
  • It’s difficult to watch someone you love destroying their health and future because of an addiction.
  • Don’t allow access to your finances. Don’t leave money around the house, and keep debit and credit cards locked up when you are not using them. An addict can drain an account in minutes when they want drugs.
  • Don’t loan any money to an addict. They may swear they need the money for food or to pay a bill, but you can’t trust them. The money will be used for drugs.
  • Don’t try to change your loved one by nagging, threatening, or punishing. It will not work, but it will create a negative environment. You’ll exhaust yourself trying to exert influence over the actions of someone who is not going to listen. Remember, you can’t expect to know how to help an addict who doesn’t want help.
  • When talking to children in the family about the member with the addiction, use age appropriate language. Explain that addiction is a disease that can present difficult problems at times, but it is not something the family needs to hide or be ashamed of.
  • It’s important to know how to deal with an addict. Never put yourself in a situation that can be dangerous. You never know what can happen when you are living with an addict. His or her attitude can change quickly when they are under the influence of drugs. Behavior can be aggressive and turn physical if they feel threatened.
  • Addiction takes an emotional toll on a family. It’s helpful for the whole family to go to counseling sessions. Invite the person who has the addiction, but don’t back down if he or she chooses not to go. Counseling will help you learn how to deal with an addict.

Take Care of Yourself

Living with an addict requires an attitude that doesn’t come naturally. Individuals with addictions take advantage of family members and try to manipulate them for their own purposes. If the person’s drug abuse goes on for a number of years, the family may run out of resources to help save their loved one’s life. Tens of thousands of dollars each year may be spent by a family trying to clear up the problems created by the one who has the addiction. Your emotional health will be challenged repeatedly, and you must put yourself first in this situation. Build a support system for yourself. When you have a loved one battling addiction, especially if it is someone close to you, it is all too easy to get wrapped up in his problems and his needs. As you support him, stand by him and care for him, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Caretakers often lose sight of who they are and become stressed, overwhelmed and sometimes even physically ill from the strain of caring for someone else.

Take time for your own needs while still supporting your loved one and you will stay healthy, sane, and better able to care for him. Locate a support group in your area, and meet with other families facing the same issues you are. Sharing experiences over a cup of coffee can boost your morale.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Better Addiction Care can help. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.