How Do I Forgive A Drug Addict?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

How Do I Forgive A Drug Addict Who Has Destroyed Our Family?

It could be a parent, child, partner, cousin, or friend who has lied, stolen, and abused you as a result of their addiction to drugs. It’s a difficult situation to deal with, and it’s normal to be angry that someone you love and care about can treat you so badly. You may have wondered, “How do I forgive a drug addict?” It isn’t easy, but it can be done.

How Do I Forgive A Drug Addict?

Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight. You’ve been hurt repeatedly by someone you love, and your concern and caring has been used to his or her advantage. How many times have you asked yourself, “How do I forgive a drug addict?” or “Why should I forgive a drug addict?” When you cling to the anger and bitterness caused by the actions of someone addicted to drugs, only one person suffers, and that is you. The person who is addicted is not in a state of mental awareness to even care about the harm his or her actions are causing.

You are not the addict, yet your life is being affected by another person’s actions and indifference. When you add anger and bitterness to the situation, you only make it worse. By forgiving an addict, you are not accepting their actions, not giving up your right to emotions, not reconciling, not eliminating the consequences, and not trusting him or her. Resentment, bitterness, and fear can prevent you from living your life and cause you to be stuck in an angry and toxic time warp. Forgiveness puts you in charge of your feelings and emotions and frees you to start enjoying your life again.

How To Forgive An Addict

You can learn how to forgive an addict. Forgiveness is an attitude of the mind. Take some time to learn about addiction and what it does to a person. Addicts are causing great harm to their own lives. Taking the time to understand an addict is not the same as acceptance of his or her behavior. Sometimes the physical and mental damage the drugs inflict on the addict have lifelong deleterious effects. They are causing far greater harm the themselves than to others. Learning how to forgive an addict does not mean you have to tell him or her about your decision, although the time may come that you will. When you forgive someone, you benefit from less stress and anxiety. Stop expecting or asking the addict to apologize for his or her behavior because they will be unable to take any healthy actions while still under the effect of drugs.

Forgiveness In Addiction

Don’t make a list of all the things the addicted person has said or done or the promises broken. Forgiveness in addiction is about reducing your stress, allowing you to return to a normal life, and learning to let go of the actions of another person. Remember, the act of forgiveness is about you and removing the shackles of resentment that is interfering with your own happiness. Forgive yourself for the anger and forgive the addict for their lies and bad behavior. Forgiveness in addiction is the first step you take toward your own happiness, and it is also a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It isn’t necessary to forgive someone with open arms and invite him or her into your home. You may find that going to a counselor will help you place things into perspective and help you to forgive without forgetting.

Better Addiction Care is a free referral service that can help addicts and their families. Call them at 1.800.429.7690 and explain your specific circumstances. They can direct you to counseling groups for families of addicts, and can inform you of people in your area who provide intervention services.