Loving an Addict

Loving someone who is dealing with addiction has left you with scars of your own. You know all too well the sickening feeling when strangers come to the door looking for them, claiming to be “friends.” The late nights worrying if they’re alive or dead. Most of all, the endless lies, never knowing what is the real truth. How do you help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves?

Draw Boundaries

You can love this person with your entire soul and always have hope for them, but there needs to come a time when you recognize that you can no longer help them. Whether they come to your house begging for money or need a place to stay for a few days, it’s time to stop enabling.

  • Be clear and firm. Tell this person that they cannot be welcome in your home if they are continuing to use. Rather than offer up your home, recommend sober housing or a rehab facility.
  • If they insist that they are starving and need to “borrow a few dollars” for food, take them shopping. Offer to buy groceries, but never give an addict money, especially if they are visibly under the influence.
  • Don’t be afraid to call the police if they are driving while inebriated, or even worse, if there are children involved. If children are in danger, let the authorities know.

Be Prepared for Backlash

Addicts have a mentality that is on a different planet from logical thinking. When you stop enabling them, they will often fly into a rage and say some pretty terrible things. It is near impossible in the heat of the moment but stand your ground. Be strong as they scream insults in your face and accuse you of never caring about them. Remember that they are not well and that the words are being spoken by the demon inside of them.

Addiction is a heartbreaking epidemic that turns people into mockeries of themselves. For your own sake, know when to draw the line. It’s not easy, but your mental health needs to come first.