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Caring for Someone Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Caring for Someone Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Caring about someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can be very emotionally painful. If you're in that situation, there are things you can do to help yourself…and also possibly help the person in your life who is addicted.

First, educate yourself about addiction. Learn about the disease model, how the function of family plays a role in addiction, and how your behavior may be supporting the addiction.

Second, increase your personal and financial boundaries with the person who is addicted and let them experience the consequences of their actions. Often the idea of hitting bottom is what triggers their conviction to get healthy.

One important action is to make a commitment to work on yourself. You can't change another person’s behavior but you can change your behavior. Get support for yourself.

Seek your own counseling and join a support group. It may give you the help you need to grow healthy and maintain the boundaries you are working on. By taking care of yourself you’ll gain new tools and insight that will help you have healthier relationships.

-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director

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