You come home from work to a house with items thrown about everywhere, traces of cocaine on your coffee table, and your roommate is once again nowhere to be found. To many, this is an alarming scene, but for you, this is just another Tuesday. Or maybe you have an alcoholic parent or spouse. It could even be that your adult child is struggling with drug abuse. Regardless of the situation, living with an addict always comes with challenges. If this is something you’re struggling with, our Chicago addiction treatment center shares some tips that can help.
Tips for Living With a Drug Addict
Addiction can affect all members of a household in different ways. In addition to the various family roles of addiction that members may use to cope, they may feel anxiety, stress, depression, guilt, anger, broken relationships, and financial problems. These are all common problems that those living with an addict often experience.
Additionally, enabling and codependency are also common within relationships affected by substance abuse. The addict may be enabled by a loved one (often unintentionally), or the addict may heavily rely on a spouse, parent, or child to care for them.
Whether they are your roommate, partner, sibling, or child, if you share space with someone who struggles with drug or alcohol abuse, you know that it isn’t easy. Luckily, our Chicago drug rehab has some tips on how to live with an addict to help you get through.
Don’t Ignore the Issue
It is easy to brush off the problem or talk yourself into thinking the situation isn’t that bad. Or you may not want the person to become upset or stressed with withdrawal symptoms or cravings. To prevent any type of discomfort, you may enable the individual’s behavior by giving them money when they ask or driving them to places where you know they likely drink or use drugs.
While your intentions may be good, this kind of behavior can be dangerous and further contribute to the addict’s problems. Don’t wait until your loved one or roommate has hit rock bottom to finally accept that there is a problem. It can be harder to get help when matters reach this level.
Addiction is a disease, but if you are not struggling with it yourself, it can be hard to understand. Instead of resenting the addict for what you believe is just a “moral shortcoming,” you should try to understand what they are going through. Some rehabs offer support groups for families of addicts to assist with this process. Learning everything you can about their addiction is also the best way to get them help.
It’s important to set boundaries when living with a drug addict. Left to their own devices and without any rules, addicts can quickly spiral out of control. They may try to manipulate or take advantage of you. They could even try to steal money from you to fuel their habits. Setting rules and boundaries can help prevent this as well as keep you from unknowingly enabling the addict, which could only make their behavior worse.
Restrict Their Access to Money
Speaking of boundaries, a major boundary that you should set if you live with someone who struggles with substance abuse is restricting their access to money. This means taking their credit cards or taking them off any personal bank accounts. You may even consider opening a separate bank account from theirs as a precaution.
It’s common for addicts to run through money quickly and fall into debt and other financial hardships as they support their growing habits. Not only can taking these steps help to prevent this from happening to the individual, but it can also financially protect you and the rest of your family.
Get Them Help If You Can
There is a fine line between getting someone's help and trying to fix them. You cannot get someone's help if they do not want it. In life with an addict, it can be hard to find this balance. You can take steps to try and get them into treatment, but you need to understand that they may not be receptive. Reach out for help from others. A professional alcohol intervention may also be able to get this person into treatment.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to remember that you are not alone and to not let your needs suffer because of someone else’s drug habits. Along with finding articles online, there are many other resources out there for someone in your situation. Join a support group, talk to a therapist, or read books on how to survive living with an addict. Don’t forget to take time for yourself as well. Living with an addict spouse, parent, or child can be stressful, so it’s important that you do things to help negate this stress.
While you may feel guilty about deserting them, if, after all your attempts to help, they still refuse to get treatment and their actions are putting you in a bad or unsafe position, it may be time to move out. Just because you love them doesn’t mean you have to live with drug deals in your home, complete neglect of your living space, or worse. Moving out can help you start to rebuild your life.
Get Addiction Recovery Help at Banyan
If someone you know is struggling with drug addiction or you’re living with an addict, try to get them help. Don’t let matters get out of control. Our facility offers a wide range of Illinois addiction treatment to help people with all kinds of substance use disorders, ranging from alcoholism to drug addiction.
Each of our rehab programs is held on a level of care chosen according to the patient’s needs. This ensures that all of our clients receive the individualized care they deserve.