If it wasn’t for love – you wouldn’t be here, on this website, reading these words. There isn’t an addicted person alive who doesn’t have someone who loves and cares about them. If you are that someone – you understand the pain that comes with loving someone who is sick, hurting and addicted. Addiction includes the need to get high or drunk. In order to do so, the addicted person will often manipulate, push and destroy relationships with those around them. In order to get the drugs their addiction needs, they’ll pray on the guilt and fears of loved ones. In the end, your loved one may no longer be recognizable as the child you raised, the person you married, or the parent you grew up with.
If you are someone who loves an addicted person
When someone you love is in active addiction, it can be devastating for the entire family. Mentally, physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually, the whole family feels the effects. Sometimes those effects include confusion, heartbreak and frustration – all rolled into one. If your loved one is addicted, there is a good chance that you have been hurt by lies, burned by loaning money and disheartened each time a promise to stop is broken. It may seem that every time you let your guard down and trust that there will be change – you’ve only been disappointed. You do your best to stick by their side and remain hopeful that they’ll get better. But, sometimes, the raw emotions run so deep, you question whether it’s best to just walk away from your addicted loved ones. Sometimes, the thought crosses your mind that they will never truly recover. Sometimes, you feel that your loved one is already too far gone – and mourn as if he or she has already passed away.
If you are losing hope
Experiencing this struggle with a loved one’s addiction, it is easy to become disheartened and disconnected. You may feel as though your family is falling apart and you have no idea where to turn. You may feel like all hope is lost. You watch as your loved one’s life falls apart – obsessing over them and their addiction. It seems that no matter what you say or do, how angry you get or how many times you try – it makes no difference to them; Your loved one continues to go about his or her life as they always do, while yours seems to crumble. You feel like you’ve always been there to lift them up, but there is no one to do the same for you. You feel helpless and hopeless at the same time. If you can relate – it is important that you read and feel these words: It is never too late to get help for addiction. You do not need to turn your back on them. You do not need to give up on the one you love. As long as there is breath – there is hope.
If you need reassurance
At Vertava Health, we know that the difference between enabling addiction and loving an addicted person can become a fuzzy line. We don’t believe that a person must lose everything in order to get help – but rather, they must find a sober life more rewarding than a life of drug or alcohol use. If you need reassurance that your loved one isn’t too far gone in their addiction and that there is hope, keep these four critical points in mind:
- Your Loved One DOES Have The Ability To Recover Does it seem as though drugs or alcohol have completely cut off your loved one’s ability to even desire recovery? The truth is, addiction is a progressive and sometimes chronic disease. But the good news is that this disease is treatable. If it weren’t there wouldn’t be over 20 million Americans in recovery today. You may have heard that someone must be ready or willing to receive help and treatment in order to recover. In part that is true – but willingness isn’t always the first step. In fact, most addiction doctors and specialists agree that the majority of addicted people find their motivation while they are in treatment – rather than before they go.
- Sometimes, Recovery Involves Relapse It’s a common cliche that relapse is part of recovery. For some people, this is true – and for others, it isn’t. Relapse isn’t a necessary part of recovery, but sometimes, it’s a normal part of recovery. Think about patients with chronic illnesses such as thyroid disease, fibromyalgia, cancer or Crohn’s disease. These diseases can sometimes pose the threat of recurrence – just like addiction can pose the threat of relapse. Sometimes – but not every time – it can take multiple relapses before a person can find true healing from addiction. Sometimes, it is the culmination of their experiences in treatment that can lead to their wellness. At our campuses, we have treated numerous individuals who have struggled for decades with drug and alcohol use before finally breaking the chains of their addictions. It doesn’t matter how much time has gone by, how many relapses have occurred, or how many times a person has been in rehab – there is still potential for healing.
- Family Members Can Be The Greatest Resource For Change It is possible that your loved one’s addiction has brought you an enormous sense of guilt; perhaps you feel you could have been or could be a better parent, grandparent, sibling or spouse. Maybe you feel that you’ve fallen short or not given him or her enough of your time, energy or money. Perhaps you feel that you’re a reason for their addiction. The three C’s of addiction teach us that family isn’t the cause of addiction, they can’t cure addiction, and they can’t control addiction. However, the family can be a resource for change. More than anyone in the world, you as a family member know what motivates your loved one; you know what they value. In order for treatment staff to help, they must uncover what will make your loved one’s life more rewarding sober than in active addiction. By working with staff and your loved one, you can help to be a part of this catalyst for change.
- Your Loved One Is NOT A Hopeless Case Has your loved one been to rehab before? Once? Twice? Too many times to count? Has he or she come home only to return to using drugs or alcohol? Trust us when we tell you that it isn’t just discouraging for you – it’s also disheartening for the person using. Every day, we talk to individuals who believe they are too far gone or undeserving of a life free of drugs and alcohol. Such a thing simply isn’t true. There is no such thing as a hopeless case. Treatment for substance use and addiction has advanced tremendously over the past few years. Instead of treating everyone with one method – we know that addiction, just like any other disease, needs to be treated on an individual level. In order to be successful, programs must be tailored to their needs. Perseverance and patience will help you find the right program – one that will motivate your loved one and show them how to stay on course in their recovery.