One of the problems with drug addiction is that it affects everyone – not only the person at the center of the problem, but their loved ones, and even entire communities can be devastated by the effects of drug addiction. Whatever the drug might be, whether it’s alcohol, cocaine or heroin or something else entirely, everyone is affected. That’s why, if you are the relative of a drug addict, it can make life very difficult for you, as well as for them – and that’s why you are allowed to make your own decisions about how you interact with and treat that person.
Compassion & Respect
If you are wondering how you should approach this issue, just know that it is not simple or straightforward, and everyone struggles to some degree or another. But it is worth saying that drug addicts are still human beings, they are still your loved family members, and it’s important to remember that they deserve compassion and respect, just as everyone else does. That can be hard to remember when they are acting out or when their addiction has taken them over. But it is always true, and acting in this way is beneficial for all.
Looking After Yourself & Your Family
That being said, you should always make sure that you are looking after yourself first and foremost, as doing so is going to mean that you are focusing on the right people at the right time. Yes, your addicted family member needs compassion and help, but you should not allow them to walk all over you, and you need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best as you can first and foremost. If you do that, you are going to be doing the right thing, no matter what else you might decide to do.
Conversation & Communication
Above all, it’s wise to try and aim for open communication with your drug-addicted family member. This is not always easy, and you might sometimes feel that you are speaking to a brick wall, but you can at least try – and you might be surprised at how much gets through over time if you persist. Open conversation with the addict is really important as it shows that you are happy to talk to them, and you are not ignoring them. This is often one of the most important things of all, so it’s something to consider.
Disowning A Family Member
All that in mind, if you get to a point where you feel the only thing to do for the sake of your own health and sanity, and for the sake of the family as a whole, is to disown the addicted family member – that is entirely your choice, and nobody can tell you otherwise. Sometimes this really is the kindest and fairest thing to do, and you shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to do it.
Of course, a good first step is to try and get them some help through a recovery center first.