Do you spend your days and nights in a blur of chaos, never knowing what to expect next?
That’s the unfortunate part about living with an addict. The one minute everything’s coming up roses and the next you’re going through a living hell. You’re not alone.
There are over 21 million people with a substance use disorder in the USA, and they all have families too.
Here’s how to cope until your loved one eventually decides to get help.
Understand the Nature of the Disease
Addiction might seem like a selfish indulgence, and in some ways it is, but it’s also a disease. It’s a disease that can strip the addict of every fiber of their dignity, rob them of their careers, and destroy their family unit.
It won’t quit until it kills them.
The only way to stop addiction is by persuading your loved one to get help. This might seem like a tall order, but all addicts eventually reach rock-bottom. At this point, they’ll realize that it’s do-or-die concerning rehab.
Any addict who’s still in denial of their problem either won’t seek help or won’t benefit from treatment. If you don’t want to give up on your loved one just yet, keep steering them toward this realization.
Stay Out of Harm’s Way
Your priority is keeping yourself and any other family members safe from potentially violent outbursts on the part of the addict. As unpredictable as living with an addicted partner is, you’re surely aware of their triggers by now.
Have an escape plan for when you anticipate an episode coming up. This could mean leaving to spend the night with friends or other family members or having someone on call to assist you if you’re in danger.
Avoid Enabling Them
Time and money are the roots of all evil when it comes to addiction. Without these two factors, the addict can’t indulge in their habit.
Refuse to buy alcohol or drugs for them and find a way to restrict their access to money. If necessary, you can open a separate bank account for yourself, where you can keep money out of their clutches.
You can also come up with ways to keep them busy and away from addictive substances. This tactic won’t work all the time, as they’ll eventually simply refuse to go, but it can at least buy you some peace.
Get Support for Living With an Addict
There are some great resources available to support people living with addicts. These sessions allow you to talk freely about your experiences and figure out solutions to everyday problems.
They can also warn you about enabling behaviors and help you stick to your guns. The people in these groups are a fantastic sounding board for your concerns about how to live with an addict.
Importantly, they provide a friendly shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough.
Never Give Up
Living with an addict is never easy but try to remember happier times and steer them back toward that.
Keep trying to get them into rehab. They must give up the fight eventually.
Above all, remember that their addiction isn’t your addiction. Prioritize your own health and wellbeing, and if all else fails, you might need to consider moving out until they agree to treatment.
You’ll find some great ideas about caring for yourself on our website. Keep browsing.