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Addicted to addicts

Addicted to addictsPeople who reside in the same home as an addict often do not realize the extent of the problem, or that there is a problem, for that matter, and willingly providing justifications and explanations for the behavior of an addict while attempting to cover up the problem from other people.  Though friends and family of an addict might assume this sort of action is caring—and may be well intention—ultimately such denial exacerbates the problem and makes it more critical. Denying the alcohol or drug abuse is the worst thing people living with an addict can do.  A lot of effort gets wasted on obfuscating the problem.

There are certain indications if a person is addicted to addicts.  Perhaps most obvious is emotional distress when an addict begins to act in irrational ways, which can lead to other person drinking or doing drugs with them.   Obviously, it is an ineffective and dangerous way of dealing the problem.  Abuse usually occurs later in the stages of this kind of behavior.  Those living with addicts also attempt to make them better, but not in the way a professional clinic can.  It is more often a family member that assumes getting rid of the alcohol habit will cure everything, but addiction goes deeper than that.  Further, such attempts actually tend to make the problem worse, and when problems worsen in the life of an alcoholic or drug addict, he or she starts to consume more and more alcohol or drugs.  It is a downward spiral that is difficult to revert. The last two signs of a person who lives with an addict are perhaps the most difficult to distinguish.

People become sequestered in the world of an addict with little effort to maintain their other relationships.  Though these people might not be addicts in the conventional sense, the unceasing attempts to help an addict through denial or mimicked behavior are a kind of addiction.  A person goes to neighbors, friends, and family less and less due to his or her guilt or humiliation about an addict.  Typically, those close to a friend or family of an addict do not comprehend the cause for such isolating behavior until many years have passed.

When all the “helpful” or hiding behavior seems hopeless, people do surrender: naturally, staying with an addict can be a very draining experience.  There is little happiness in a situation of this kind, especially in a destructive relationship that has lasted for many years. Yet giving up is not an entirely bad idea when done correctly.  People should realize an addict is not their responsibility.  There is no control over the addiction except within the addict themselves.  Being responsible for the self is a better way of dealing with the problems of an addict.  Not suffering with them is a much better choice.  Otherwise, people become victims, in the situation, and the longer the relationship continues, the harder it is to get out.   Unfortunately for many addicts, sinking to the depths is the only way for them to grasp the extent of the addiction.  Don’t be Addicted to Addicts – protecting an alcoholic or drug addict is the worst thing to do.

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