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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So how do you get through to an addict?

Johnny Weeks, an unfortunate drug addict playe...I
A fight you can't win?
Sadly, trying to win an argument with an addict is near impossible and ultimately when you try to reason with an addict an argument is what ensues. Keep in mind, you are in fact attempting to have a rational conversation with someone who's mind has been chemically altered.  You may find yourself in those slim moments of an addicts sobriety, when they are between hits, or drinks trying to make headway with them but their mind is still going to be in denial.

Can I get through to an addict?
You may not be able to get through to an addict. Why? Because Addicts have to hit their own bottom. Something you can do is get through to yourself. If you find yourself running into a brick wall with trying to "help" an addict it may be time to change up the strategy. That usually means looking at what you can change to make your struggle with them easier.  It may mean cutting yourself off from them. It may mean stopping all means of support. It may mean going to the most extreme to get them into treatment. The addict is on life support from whoever they can get something from and cutting this resource off from them may result in them finding their "bottom" a lot sooner.

What is something bad happens to your addicted loved one once you cut them off?
You may have fears of what will happen to an addict if you cut yourself off. What if they start stealing, resorting to prostitution, hanging out with dangerous people? You may have to accept that your addicted loved one is already doing these things, and that nothing they do, is any MORE dangerous than the drug they are addicted to. Sleeping under bridges, consorting with dealers, prostitution, are all no more dangerous than the drug is.

Support for yourself: It has to happen first
The addict may need support and treatment, but while they are still in their addiction it is imperative that you seek out information and support for yourself. Especially when you are preparing to cut yourself off from their manipulation, guilt trips and threats. Support groups in your area are a great way of you to find the strength that you need to make it through this nightmare. Do not limit your resources and support by keeping an addicts secret. This is a form of manipulation that you may be aware of when you hide their addiction. This cuts you off from the support you need when you feel you can't share your pain and struggle. Seek out help from anywhere you can.

Your journey with the addicted loved one
One thing to help a friend or family member stay sane in an unfair world of loving an addict is to keep a journal. Not only is writing your feelings down therapeutic to you, but when your addict becomes a clean and sober entity, (never give up hope)...present them with this journal, so that they can read it with a clear mind, and fully appreciate your struggle and your pain. Not to make them feel guilt, in fact, put many positive feelings in the journal, memories of better times, things you loved about them before the addiction, things you want and wish for them in the future. Once an addict gets treatment, cleans up and takes a look at your journal, your life with them as chronicled in the journal...you may be surprised to find a closer bond to them. They will see just how beautiful your love is for them. This will give them the courage, to keep sober, clean and a positive force of happiness to you.
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