Living With an Addict: Hard Truths to Accept

But addiction can be one of the most severe conditions to contend with. It’s one that often takes multiple people to help treat, including doctors, friends, and family members. Addiction is a disease that causes changes in the brain. In people with addiction, dopamine receptors activate and tell the brain that drugs are rewards. Over time, the brain changes and adapts as it becomes dependent on the substance being used. It is not smart to have old and unused medications in the home, under any circumstance.

living with a recovering drug addict

That’s why it is critical to not only make clear, firm boundaries of what is and what is not acceptable, but also to firmly enforce them. There may be some initial bitterness and anger, but over time the recovering addict will come to respect and be grateful to their loved one. Addiction puts a major strain on all of an addict or alcoholic’s personal relationships, and the closer the relationship, the greater the strain. As the addiction grows stronger over time, it gradually comes to dominate every aspect of the addict’s life, especially their relationships. Eventually, every interaction between loved ones and the addict become influenced by their addiction in some manner. Al-Anon is a 12-step based peer support group for family members of people addicted to alcohol and drugs.

How to Tell Someone You Have an Addiction

Boundaries matter in any relationship, but they are essential when you are in a relationship involving past drug
addiction. Let your significant other know what your boundaries and expectations are, and plan what you will do if
they cross your boundaries. You may need to say “no” at times, and you may need to walk away if their actions affect
your mental or physical health. They’re about growing along spiritual lines, and sobriety is a by-product of that. Living by spiritual principles is not something that other 21-year olds were doing. There weren’t as many young people in recovery as there are today.

living with a recovering drug addict

People struggling with addiction may also have mental health disorders that contribute to substance abuse. They may use drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with symptoms of depression or anxiety. Families living Top 5 Tips to Consider When Choosing a Sober House for Living with addiction don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone. There are a number of excellent treatment facilities that provide support for both the person and their family, including The Recovery Village.

What to Expect When Dating a Recovering Addict

This urge to help means that parents may feel angry, hurt, and betrayed by an adult child living with a substance abuse issue. Their adult child may still lie and steal from them despite the help that the parents have provided since they’re compelled to feed their addiction. It can take time for a family to realize that they are dealing with a loved one who has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

How do you live with someone in recovery?

  1. Check in on them and actively listen.
  2. Reduce friction and unnecessary arguments.
  3. Encourage healthy habits.
  4. Don't judge.
  5. Encourage and support them.
  6. Practice patience.
  7. Educate yourself on addiction and recovery.
  8. Set healthy boundaries.

We designed our inpatient and outpatient programs to treat individuals based on biological, psychological, familial and social needs. I started volunteering at an addiction treatment facility. It’s tempting to think that your spouse will be “cured” immediately upon returning from drug rehab. We believe in treating not just the addiction but the relationships between loved ones.

Women and Alcohol

By sleeping well at night, maintaining a healthy diet, getting physical exercise, and employing self-care, the individual may be able to reduce their likelihood of a relapse. When beginning to date again, Desloover cautions against focusing too heavily on attraction, appearance and external qualities. Instead, she advises people in recovery to choose a partner they feel safe enough around to truly be themselves and whose company they enjoy. Then give friendships an opportunity to blossom into romance.

  • I told her all of my problems and she said I was an alcoholic.
  • To ensure that they keep a steady supply of their drug of choice, they are prepared to lie, cheat and steal if it means they can get their next fix or drink.
  • An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, life-threatening symptoms, or death.
  • This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care.

Instead of judging, accept them, love them, and appreciate them for who they are. Addiction is a chronic disorder, not a personal failure. There is a human face behind every example, and there is real hope that addiction recovery can change your life. “I came home and I decided to find a therapist for treatment. I told her all of my problems and she said I was an alcoholic.

When you’re living with an addicted person, you should expect to be let down over and over again. They’ll break promises, forget important dates and miss events with family and friends. No matter how many times your partner says they’re sorry, they’ll continue abusing your trust. Even the best intentions won’t make a difference if the addict or alcoholic continues to abuse substances. Addiction is a terrible condition, and it is especially terrible for the loved ones that live with an addict or alcoholic.

Unused medications pose a risk to young children, teens, and recovering addicts. A neighbor can even find their way into your medicine cabinet, under the guise of “borrowing a cup of sugar.” Dispose of unneeded medicines safely and ethically. For more information on this, the Drug Enforcement Administration offers resources on drug take-back programs. Regular sleep loss can make the recovery process more difficult. For example, studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to a range of social and emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and lack of motivation. Setting a consistent, adequate sleep schedule can help you get the rest you need to function your best and cope with the challenges of having a loved one with an addiction.

The relapse does not mean that your loved one has failed to overcome their addiction. Sometimes, relapse is just a part of the recovery process. If a relapse can be contained and limited to one mistake, most alcoholics in recovery can continue to work towards complete sobriety and healing. Substance abusers will often lie, cheat, steal, miss work and ruin relationships.

What is love in recovery?

The focus of love in early recovery involves personal reflection which is an important step in learning to accept and practice self-love, thus laying a strong foundation for long-term sobriety.

If you’ve decided to stay with an addicted person, especially if they’re your partner, here are some hart truths you’ll need to accept until they get help. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, please reach out to us. We’ll help match you with the best program for your needs and situation.

Online Therapy: Is it Right for You?

Their life centers around the drugs and alcohol they need for “survival.” When you understand this, it can help you understand why the addict is the way they are. While recovery outcomes for people who enter treatment voluntarily tend to be better, many people in drug rehab centers are there because of external factors. These can include legal problems, work problems and ultimatums from loved ones. Sometimes people find internal motivation to get better once they’ve sobered up and are immersed in recovery activities in drug rehab.

  • Knowing how to handle a relapse when your loved one is a recovering alcoholic can help you manage the situation and how it affects you.
  • A therapist can help you learn more about the role you may have played in a codependent relationship and learn healthier patterns.
  • It doesn’t have to be a
    relationship deal breaker, but you may want to consider some additional things before starting or ending a
    relationship with a former drug addict.
  • While an individual may be in recovery, they still might engage in unhealthy behaviors or make poor decisions.
  • It’s often very difficult for the partner to let go of the resentment, anger, and fear they’ve felt over the time their partner was using drugs and alcohol.

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