It is important to discuss difficult topics before making changes. Many people believe that the family of the patient is heavily involved in the disease of addiction. But there is no measure of dysfunction other than its effect on subsequent generations of the family. But one thing is certain. A family in which an alcoholic or other drug addict is engaged in the pursuit of their drug of choice falls into the category of a dysfunctional family, regardless of the measure used to prove it. Addiction is like unrequited love. A person who knows that what he is doing is wrong. But still he covers up the affairs for his drug addiction. Addicts resort to running out of the house, making excuses and sometimes unskillful excuses and lies, even if they are caught early in the lie.
Dr. Suzanne Dickies-White is a counselor who specializes in working with individuals and families who are going through transitions. She is professor and chair of the Counseling and Higher Education Department at the University of Illinois at Shami. Her research focuses on triage among women. She currently serves as president of the American Counseling Association.
Editor: Iqra Tariq
When does an addict decide they need help?
It cannot be said with certainty when an addict will seek help. Some addicts seek help when significant others threaten to quit or actually choose to quit. Some patients seek help when their parents kick them out of the house and some seek help when they are unconscious at a critical moment or when even food is hard to come by due to their dire financial situation. Some patients agree to seek help when they’re fired, some addicts are drawn to help when they’re passed out on the sidewalk and their eyes open in a hospital bed. And they don’t even know how they got here. Some people seek help when they wake up in a wrecked car on the side of the road and have no idea how they got there. Some find help when their eyes are opened in a prison and not a single family member cares to vouch for them. Some addicts never decide that they should seek help and continue their love of addiction unabated regardless of how much harm they are doing to those who are truly addicted to them. Concerned about the future.
When do close friends and family of addicts decide it’s time to get help?
Admitting that a member of their family is suffering from addiction proves to be very difficult for the family. In a home where alcoholism is endemic, problems of silence and concealment are common. Addiction is not only a problem for the person, but it is a problem for everyone who cares about the person. Whether it’s a parent or a sibling, many family members go so far as to not even talk about addiction out loud, but for many, it’s a silent treatment that is very damaging. Not only is the problem trivialized, but the problem is not given much importance, which exacerbates the problem for all those who innocently stand by and watch around the addict.
Worrying is not enough, talking is also important. Often the addict’s behavior makes those around him quite wary, either fearing his wrath or his relapse. However, unless the problem is discussed openly with the addict and secrets are kept from friends and family, things are never resolved this way. As a counselor I know that until someone admits they have a problem there is no way to help them. When drug abuse is openly discussed by a patient or their family, it is now considered a real problem that needs attention. So by talking about this issue and treating it as a problem, which is an addiction problem, we can work on attitudes related to this problem.
Read this article to know more: How to break up with addicts?
Save yourself. No one but the addict has the power to keep him safe except himself. Addressing the disease of addiction and intervening in the addict’s life is not easy and does not work immediately. Addiction is like a powerful beast that can only be killed when an addict decides to fight it. Unfortunately, not every addict will make this decision on the timeline you set. However, once you realize that the addict and their addiction are no longer right for you, nothing can stop you from getting help for yourself. It is never easy to break the silence and acknowledge the damage done by an addict. Many people feel that they are unable to help enough. They fail to be good and helpful. Addictives are cruel and zealous competitors for an addict’s attention.
How to deal with an addicted person? In this regard, watch this video of Dr Sadaqat Ali.
It is very important not to take the wrong responsibility for the drug addict’s addiction. The only person you can change is yourself. For some people, this is a sad thing, but it is very important to remove the thorn from ourselves in which we are affected by the wrong choices or actions of others. They take responsibility for addiction.