Every time your loved one steps into the room, panic ensues, anxiety peaks, a whiff of denial lingers in the air, and an elixir of emotions creates a visceral reaction in your body. Whatever task you were doing is now forgotten. Fear, anger, terror, and worry freeze you in your tracks. It’s clear that your loved one’s addiction is affecting you.
As a mother, father, sibling, friend, significant other, or spouse, you’ve already begged and pleaded for your loved one to get help for their substance abuse disorder. What was once an excuse to ask for money, or a lie about where they’ve been has now become a “matter-of-fact” sequence of their usual routine.
At this point you’re at the end of your rope. You’ve been patient, understanding, have offered help, and tried to get them to accept professional treatment. They always refuse the help and say that they’ll quit on their own, but never follow through with their promises. Now what? Do you give up? The relationship is having a grave impact on your life. Is it worth your continued efforts? Though, could you ever live with yourself if you gave up completely?
When you’ve tried all but everything and have nowhere else to turn, there may be a few alternate options you may not have thought about:
Even if you don’t think you’re supporting your loved one’s addiction directly, you may be enabling them. Are you financially supporting them? This doesn’t mean just giving them a few dollars every now and then. Financially supporting your loved one can also come in the form of housing, paying for groceries or bills, which can ultimately allow them to spend other unused finances on alcohol or drugs. Whether you know it or not, providing for your loved ones basic needs while they’re in the midst of a life-threatening addiction can be hurting them in the long run. Enabling can be financial, though there are other ways that someone can enable their loved one, including:
- Covering up addictive behaviors from others
- Providing an excuse for their use
- Paying for bills or groceries
Have you told your loved one that you’re going to leave them or cut them off only to not fulfill that promise out of fear? By setting and following through with consequences, we not only help our loved one see that we’re serious about these consequences, but learn how to help and respect ourselves. Failing to follow through with our promises create a secondary gain for our loved one. In turn, they begin to see our threats as empty and learn to take advantage of us by playing on our heartstrings. By setting clear boundaries, such as removing alcohol or drugs from the house, moving out, taking away visitation rights, and/or contacting the authorities, it should motivate the person abusing substances to rethink their options and eventually agree to enter treatment. Boundaries and consequences can vary from person to person, though you must stick to them, no matter how hard. In doing this, your loved one can begin to understand their addiction not only affects them but everyone around them.
If all else fails, consider enlisting your close family and friends, and seeking out professional help. There are professional interventionists who can plan and execute an intervention which often employs multiple family or friends to tell your loved one how their addiction is impacting them. Interventions are often emotional events and it’s wise to have a solid plan of action if your loved one ultimately says yes. Additionally, certain states do have laws to require someone to attend treatment. For example: the state of Florida has a Chapter 397 Marchman Act of 1993 which provides for the involuntary or voluntary assessment and stabilization of a person allegedly using substances. Look into your government website to see if your state has these specific legislations.
Get Help For Yourself
It’s true that the only actions we can control are our own, and that we can only help others if we’re healthy enough. If your loved one doesn’t accept help, there is a choice that you must make. Support groups for family members such as Alanon or Narcanon can help in meeting other people that have been through the same thing as you. Teen support groups are also available in conjunction with these groups. In addition to group support, individual or family therapy can be beneficial as well. Finding people who understand can be an incredible process of healing. It’s crucial that during this time you learn to separate your needs from your loved ones and begin to find ways to cope with your own stress.
If your loved one is suffering from addiction, encourage them to take the first step of recovery. Ask them to call Lumiere Healing Centers today at: 513-987-9392. Contact us at any time for a free insurance verification. Let Lumiere put you on the path to healing today.