How to help a loved one in addiction
Often, when someone is in the depths of addiction to drugs, addiction to alcohol or addiction to gambling, it is their family and friends who feel the brunt of the problem.
Family members or friends can experience a range of emotions: sadness, anger, guilt, shock, shame and even grief and loss.
Managing addiction and relationships can be very complex. Unfortunately, there are no textbook solutions.
A common dilemma is how to tread the fine line between being supportive and establishing boundaries for someone with gambling, drug and/or alcohol problems.
This can be a dance between connection, support, holding, and individuation; the development of a separate self and boundaries.
Family members are in a difficult place as the destruction of the addiction pathway takes hold they are left dealing with issues of risk, safety and survival. Often, the way the family responds is a sane response to the insane and highly stressed pattern of addiction.
Families step in. They might pay the affected loved one’s rent, food, and fines.
Families say they don’t want to be caught up in this cycle. But they also say they fear what will happen if they step back. Homelessness and dying are very real issues that play out in parents or friends’ minds.