Knowing that someone you love has an addiction can come as a shock to you, especially if you weren’t able to see the signs. No one automatically knows how to deal with it. Apart from caring for the person with an addiction, it is crucial that you don’t forget to take care of yourself. Living with an addict can take its toll on your mental health. It is no secret that dealing with addiction is difficult, but living with someone who is struggling with this condition is another story.
It’s an emotional roller coaster ride, and sadness is one of the many things you’ll be feeling. Relationships and trust built over the years can be broken. Knowing how to survive living with an addict should be one of your priorities if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet.
Understanding Addiction First
Before anything else, it is important to identify the root cause of the addiction. Failing to address this could render your efforts useless. You also need to understand that addiction is a disease that can alter a person’s brain chemistry – affecting their moods, behaviors, and perceptions. Although it is a long-term and serious problem, it doesn’t mean that there are no treatments available to make dealing with it easier. There are a lot of options, and a professional can help you decide which is best for your loved one.
How Addiction Can Affect Your Home
Addiction affects not only the addict themselves but also those close to them. These are only a few of the effects of addiction in a household:
- Stress and anxiety
- Physical and security danger
- Financial problems
It is crucial to know how to cope with these. Keep in mind that asking for help is always an option.
How to Live With an Addict
Blaming yourself will not help the situation, and it is important to remember that you are not the cause of the addiction. Aside from that, know that you can’t help your loved one if they show no willingness to get treatment themselves.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Keep you and your loved ones safe.
Setting boundaries, in the beginning, is of utmost importance, especially if you’re living with children, elders, and pets. When someone has an addiction, your safety can become compromised. If it becomes a problem, you can ask your loved one with an addiction to move out temporarily.
2. Be prepared if matters worsen.
Having an action plan in case matters escalate is something you should be prepared for. You can either ask your friends, family, or the authorities for backup. Saving their contact information can come in handy if your loved one who has an addiction threatens your safety.
3. Don’t let them have access to sources of money.
When someone has an addiction, they will do everything to satisfy their cravings. That’s why financial problems are also a consequence of addiction. Cutting their source of money might be one way to manage the addiction. Restrict their access to bank accounts or credit cards if possible.
4. Encourage them to seek treatment.
Tell them that seeking help is an option and that you will be there for them throughout the process. Inform them about the different treatment options. Do your research and discuss it with them. Gather important details like the cost and duration of the treatment.
5. Join a support group.
Living with someone with an addiction can also affect you, and looking for support groups is one way to get the support you need. Know that you are not alone and that there are other people on the same journey as you. You’ll be able to get the assurance that things will get better in the future, and there will be other people listening to your problems.
If you have a loved one with an addiction and you’re looking for a recovery center near Nashville, Haven House is here to accommodate you. We specialize in a 12-step Christian-based recovery program. Let us help you beat addiction and have an addiction-free household now!