Family & Loved Ones

FAMILY & LOVED ONES 2018-03-18T15:51:36+00:00

Loving an Addict

Loving someone in active addiction is hard work. The constant thinking of why did this happen, how did this happen and why can’t they just stop.

You can often feel alone, fearful, no one to talk to and a broad sense of hopelessness.

Anybody who loves an addict knows the frustration, pain, torment and the constant carnage that follows in their wake.

Loved ones of addicts become accustomed to disappointment and broken promises, and they also develop anxiety, high levels of stress and numerous other symptoms that only an addict themselves might have. They can tiptoe around the addict like they are on eggshells waiting for the next disaster just hoping it will not cause too much more mental, physical and emotional pain.

Many loved ones of addicts can exist in a state of denial, pretending it’s not happening, providing constant soft landings for the addict and unwittingly through no fault of their own become more of an unhealthy enabling factor for the addict than the substance itself.
Paying off dealers, bad debts, retrieving goods from second-hand stores and so on. Loved ones can become victims themselves going through stages of denial, grief and even at times symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.

It is challenging for the loved ones of an addict to know the difference between appropriate support and unhealthy enabling. Most parents only want what’s best for their children, and the same is for partners or friends of an addict.

The recovering addicts’ support network needs as much support as the addict in recovery, if not more so. The stronger the support network, the stronger and more sustainable the recovery of the loved one will be.

It is essential that loved ones and family members get the necessary support they require during the entire process

Ocean provides loved ones with referrals to community support groups, professional organisations, health professionals, education, information and general support when it’s required. It can be tough to say “NO” to the addict in their lives, not pay the bills or dealers, not bail them out of trouble regularly and then try and get them to treatment. Which is why support is so vital to the entire process for both the loved one and the person in recovery.

It is crucial that the loved ones of addicts try and get on with their own lives and only offer the appropriate support when the time comes. Many addicts do get well, and recovery and families are reunited. The most important thing is never to give up hope and try and seek out the necessary support to help make those tough decisions.

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