Helping Addicts

Shadow man

Addiction Help

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Addiction help is about empowering addicts and alcoholics to overcome their addiction.

There are 2 parts to this:

1) Either you are a drug addict or alcoholic yourself, and are seeking ways to get help and progress in your recovery, or

2) You are the friend, family member, or loved one of a struggling addict or alcoholic and want to know how you can help them.

We’ll take a look at both of these cases separately.

Helping yourself in overcoming addiction

Here is a possible outline of the progression from full blown addiction to a healthy life in recovery (and how you can take action to further your recovery efforts along the way):

1) Thinking about quitting drugs and alcohol - you might still be using drugs and alcohol, but have started to have your first glimpses past your denial, and can see that you want a better life for yourself. Fear still holds you back from taking the plunge into sobriety.

How you can help yourself if you’re at this stage: It is not yet clear to me if you have to hit bottom first, or if you can consciously make a decision to surrender to the disease of addiction. In my personal experience, it really was more like my higher power reached down and flipped a switch in my head one day. I simply caved and said I was ready to get some help.

If it is possible to initiate your own surrender to the disease of addiction, then the whole key to it is simply to let go. Stop struggling and fighting and battling with the world to keep yourself self-medicated. Give up the struggle and take those first steps towards a scary new life in sobriety (it doesn’t stay scary for long). You only have to ask for help.

2) Turning point or major life event - some addicts make the decision to seek help only after something significant happens in their life, such as going to jail or having their spouse leave them. This is not a requirement to get clean and sober, but everyone has to hit their own bottom before they will surrender to their addiction.

How you can help yourself if you’re at this stage: This just happens to some people. For me it was different…I had not great event that pushed me over the edge. If you do land in jail from a drunk driving (or something similar), then take it as a blessing as disguise and use it as an opportunity to turn your life around. If you are suffering major consequences now, just imagine how much worse things will get if you continue to drink and drug. Addiction always gets worse, never better.

3) Decision – The moment of surrender. The addict says “I’ve had enough, I want to get help, I want a new life.” Any attempt to get clean and sober without this level of surrender and conviction is doomed to failure.

How you can help yourself if you’re at this stage: You’re nine tenths of the way there. The only thing to do now is to ask for help and keep an open mind. Don’t worry so much about your level of conviction….you can’t change it consciously anyway. Focus instead on staying open minded. Pretend your on a great new adventure called recovery and promise yourself that you will go along with the flow and just take it all in as a new experience. This is the next great trip for you. Stay open and ask for help.

4) Early recovery - A learning stage, which is quite delicate and demands support from like-minded individuals. In other words, recovering addicts need to stick together to make things work in early sobriety. This is what makes the infrastructure of 12 step programs such as AA and NA so powerful–the amount of support they offer is unrivaled.

How you can help yourself if you’re at this stage: Focus on your recovery network. This is about interacting with others in recovery. For most, this will involve 12 step meetings, because that’s where the support is at. Start learning about the creative theory of recovery and how it can help you transition into long term sobriety. Build relationships with others in recovery.

5) Long term sobriety – In early recovery, you’re learning how to make it through the day without using drugs and alcohol. In long term sobriety, you’re more concerned with personal growth and development from a holistic perspective, and in fighting off complacency. Our priorities shift because we are changing and growing in recovery. For example, resentments and personal defects such as self-pity might torment us in early recovery and threaten us with relapse, but years later we have worked through these issues and have to shift our growth efforts elsewhere.

How you can help yourself if you’re at this stage: Live the creative theory. Approach your recovery from a holistic perspective, and start growing and learning beyond the boundaries of traditional 12 step recovery. Physical health, nutrition, fitness, emotional stability, education, meditation–these are all potential concepts for you to explore in long term sobriety. Remember that complacency is the number one offender, and you need to push yourself to grow in different areas in order to overcome this. The only enemy now is stagnation.

Helping others in overcoming addiction

There are a number of potential situations with helping others. I’ll try to highlight some of the more typical situations and offer some solutions:

1) You notice that a friend or a loved one is slipping into the grip of addiction. You believe they have a problem and that it is getting worse, but you have not formally addressed the issue with them yet.

How you can help in this situation: You want to be especially careful in a situation like this because there are really 2 possibilities: one is that the person is only abusing drugs and alcohol as a passing stage, and is not really addicted at all. The other scenario is that they are a true addict and this is the start of a potential roller coaster for them. Both situations make it very tricky to approach the subject with them, because in the first case, you are insulting them by suggesting that they are truly sick, and in the second case, you are trying to pierce through a wall of denial that is 10 feet thick.

Think about it: someone who is very early in their addiction is going to have the greatest amount of denial at that point. This makes them very difficult to approach and communicate with in any meaningful way about quitting drugs and alcohol. Why should they quit, if they are still having fun with it and there have been no major consequences yet? This logic will form the basis of their denial.

If this is the case, the best you can do is to alter your own behavior so that you are not enabling them, and offer to help them with their addiction when the time comes. In other words, there’s not much you can do, because their denial is too strong. They haven’t suffered enough consequences from their using yet and so they are not yet ready to take a look at the possibility that they might actually be addicted.

2) You have a friend or a loved one that has been addicted to drugs or alcohol for a long time now, and you both know it. You want for them to get help but they are resistant to the idea.

How you can help in this situation: This is going to involve some level of intervention on your part. The question is: How much? Do you want to take them aside and talk to them in an informal setting, or is it more appropriate to organize a formal intervention? The answer to this question is going to depend on how desperate you are to help the person, and how serious you believe the situation to be.

For example, if someone is drinking and driving on a regular basis, it might make more sense to organize a formal intervention in order to convince them to go to treatment, even if you think there is a risk of the whole thing backfiring and possibly alienating your relationship with the addict (always a possibility).

If you do not judge the person to be “completely out of control,” then it might make more sense to attempt a serious of discussions about possibly seeking help. If you overreact then you run the risk distancing the person from you.

3) You have a friend or a loved one who says they are ready to make a change and that they want help, but they are placing conditions on possible treatment options.

How you can help in this situation: This is denial. If someone says “they want to get clean and sober, but….” then they are not ready yet. They are placing conditions on how they will receive help and this will never work. It is a stage of denial–one where the person will admit to their disease, but they won’t agree to go to any lengths to get help.

In cases like this, I feel like you are wasting your energy when you argue and try to coerce someone into recovery. It is a pointless effort because the person is not ready to change on someone else’s terms. They are only willing to change on their own terms and this means that they are not going to change at all.

The reason for this is because their best ideas got them into trouble with drugs and alcohol. Therefore a true addict or alcoholic cannot find recovery through their own ideas. It is a contradiction to claim that it can be done. An addict is someone who cannot quit the drugs without some form of help. If they could do it on their own then they would not be an addict. Period. So you are wasting your time and energy if you’re trying to convince someone to get help if they are at this stage of denial.

What has to happen is for the person to go try it their own way again, and see that once again it does not work for them. At some point they will become miserable enough and they will finally surrender completely to their disease and they will ask for help and say: “show me how to live. I don’t know how to live life. I am a mess” or something to that effect. That is the level of surrender that is needed. After someone gets to that point, almost anything you do to help them will be more than enough. Something has changed in their heart of hearts and they are ready for real change. Which finally brings us to the last situation you might encounter:

4) You have a friend or a loved one who says they are ready to change and that they will do anything in order to get clean and sober.

How you can help in this situation: Get them to a treatment center or a 12 step meeting. They are ready for change and you couldn’t really screw this up even if you tried. They have surrendered fully and successful recovery–at least in the short term–is inevitable.

It’s possible to offer addiction help but you have to consider what level of denial the addict is in first, or your efforts will be wasted. Notice that in most cases, your best actions are to modify your own behavior to be healthy (meaning that you do not enable them). Make them aware that treatment is available but don’t push it on them; this is wasted effort. Sometimes the best you can do is to help yourself, stop enabling, and live your own life as an example of sobriety.

Meth addiction help

Meth addiction is a special case because there really is no physical detox process other than quitting cold turkey and attempting to readjust to life. Just because there are no serious medical withdrawal symptoms does not mean that it is easy to do, however. Meth addicts can still benefit greatly from going to inpatient rehab and getting counseling and therapy in a controlled environment. Many people who are addicted to meth get help by attending NA meetings and sharing their experience with others.

Quitting meth is just like quitting alcohol or any other drug. The addict must make a decision to change their life, and then they have to take a massive amount of action in order to bring about lasting change. This is no different than overcoming any other chemical addiction, and therefore attending a drug rehab can greatly enhance your chances of success, though it is by no means a surefire cure.

Video game addiction help

There are people out there who do not suffer from chemical dependence, but they may be addicted to video games to a debilitating degree. The question is: “Has it become a real problem?” In some cases the answer is definitely “yes,” especially when it comes to certain online adventure games that require huge time investments in order to make progress. This is definitely the case with World of Warcraft addiction, and there are even treatment centers that have been set up specifically to treat people who are addicted to this specific computer game.

Is this the same as a chemical addiction? Obviously not. But it is in the same ballpark, and many of the consequences can be the same. If someone is making huge sacrifices in their life due to video game addiction, then obviously it has become a major problem. Lost jobs, broken marriages, and lost houses have all resulted due to this type of addiction. It may be somewhat rare but if the problem exists then it needs to be dealt with. Asking for help and admitting to the problem is the first necessary step, and after that is accomplished, counseling may be enough to straighten the problem out. If not, inpatient treatment can be the next step.

Chocolate addiction help

Believe it or not, chocolate actually contains a drug called Theobromine that is chemically similar to caffeine and has similar effects on the body. Of course caffeine can be addictive, so this means that chocolate can be addictive as well. Most people simply believe that they like the taste of chocolate and therefore are “addicted” to the taste, but in fact they may be getting off a bit on this stimulant that is contained in the chocolate as well.

If chocolate addiction is your only problem, then this is not a very serious dependency. Nevertheless, if you are addicted, there are ways that you can try to wean yourself off of the stuff. For example, you may switch over to white chocolate for a while, as that contains less of the chemical stimulant (and more fat!). Or you could just stop eating chocolate cold turkey and probably be just fine with the relatively minuscule withdrawal effects.

Opiate addiction help

Opiates are drugs such as heroin, Vicodin, Morphine, and other prescription painkillers. Being addicted to these can be very difficult when you try to stop using them, because the withdrawal symptoms are incredibly uncomfortable for most people. Therefore, there are a number of ways that you can get help for opiate addiction, including:

1) Detox at drug rehab – there they will give you medication (probably a synthetic opiate) to help control your withdrawal symptoms. You may detox for 3 to 5 days and be completely drug-free when you leave.

2) Ultra rapid detox – this is a procedure where they put you under and then flush your system of drugs. You will be out cold for several hours and when you wake up you will be fully detoxed. Expensive and not yet covered by insurance.

3) Drug maintenance therapy – You take an opiate every day, such as Methadone or Suboxone, in order to avoid other opiate drugs (such as heroin). Can be expensive and arguably not much better than ordinary drug use.

Addiction Treatment

Going to an addiction treatment center is usually one of the best choices for most addicts in most situations. It can be expensive, depending on how you are funded, but it is usually the best choice and produces the best outcomes. There are alternatives to inpatient treatment, such as counseling, group therapy, meetings, or outpatient, but none of these (by themselves) generally can produce the same quality of results as inpatient addiction treatment.

If you do decide to go to rehab, you will get the best experience from it if you are truly open minded about it and fully willing to follow through with any suggestions that they have there. If you are on the defensive, stuck in denial, or generally just resistant to change, then you are not likely to do well in treatment.

Your best bet for getting into rehab is to simply call up local drug rehabs on the phone and ask questions. Find out what it costs, what your options are for payment, if you qualify for special funding, and so on. Many people probably do not realize that they could go to rehab for very cheap or even for free, simply because they never ask. It is worth inquiring about.

Food addiction help

Some people are addicted to eating and they do so to medicate their emotions. This can create all sorts of other problems in their life so it is wise to ask for help and see about getting this type of addiction under control. To do so, it is best to ask for help from those who have had success in fixing the problem themselves. So you should seek out groups such as Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts Anonymous. There are some other variations out there but the basic concepts are all pretty much the same. Their goal is almost always to abstain from unhealthy and emotional eating and those programs will help you to further define those boundaries. They all have support groups, sponsorship, and other ways for peers to help each other conquer food addiction.

If you can’t find anything in your area, you could always go online and find support there. Or, start by going to local 12 step meetings such as AA and NA and ask around. Eventually you will find people who can help you. It is a bit more rare but there is support out there for it.

Shopping addiction help

Again, this is a bit more rare than chemical dependency but there are debt anonymous groups out there that can help. I would suggest that you read a book called “Your Money or Your Life” and also start following my buddy Trent over at the Simple Dollar. These 2 actions alone will get you well on your way to fiscal responsibility, especially if you start implementing some of the ideas and concepts you will learn there.

Alcohol addiction help

Alcoholism is a special kind of drug addiction, simply because alcohol is so prevalent in most of the world and is so easy to acquire. But in the end it is still just another drug, and should be treated as such. If you need help for alcohol abuse then really you are using a drug called alcohol and what you really need is drug addiction help. It is not worth getting all caught up in the words and the definitions, so long as you understand that alcohol is just another drug. To dismiss it as something less is a big mistake, one that too many drug addicts and alcoholics typically make.

Now if you need help for drug addiction or for alcoholism, then you should do 2 things as quickly as possible: One is to ask for help, and the other is to take real action. Everything else is a detail. Now don’t get me wrong, the details are important here, but they are sort of meaningless if you allow them to prevent you from getting the ball rolling. In early recovery it is all about action. You have to make a decision and then follow through on that in order to find recovery.

Regardless of your type of addiction, help is available to those who ask for it. While you might spend a lot of money on professional services, you can also walk into a church basement and get some really good help from a group of addicts for absolutely free in some cases. This is how support groups work and have sprang up in order to help each other. The key is to take action and actually do something. Most people are lazy….not just addicts and alcoholics, but everyone. They do not want to put in the work that is necessary to get and stay clean and sober. If you want to change your life then you have to put in the work.

Good luck.

Take action today!

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  • Minh

    Going through a rehab treatment programme can be a trying experience for any person. Beating a addiction is never easy, but with the right addiction treatment, it can be made a little more comfortable.

    Lifeworks, a UK based treatment centre can provide you with a treatment that will help you remain successful in beating your addiction.

  • d parker

    an inpatient rehab facility is one of the best ways to begin your treatment. whether it’s a 2 weeks program or as long as a 6 month program. it was one of the best moves i made in my life. i tried outpatient a few times, but it didn’t really work for me. so i decided to go inpatient,and that really put me on the right path to recovery. i only needed to be there 19 days and then i did an aftercare program once a week for about 6 months. so today i am proud to say that i am 4 years clean and sober from crack cocaine and alcohol. so yes, treatment helps. i recommend it 100%.

  • Patrick

    I agree 100 percent D Parker and I also never had much luck with outpatient treatment, though it does work for some.

    I too went to an inpatient residential program and that is what finally set me straight in my recovery. Up until then I had not surrendered and was not willing to follow through with what was necessary in order to stay clean and sober.

    I too recommend treatment but I think it is important for the person to be internally motivated. The more they are motivated by external pressures, the less likely they are to “make it.” Just my opinion based on my experience. Thanks for your comment D Parker!

  • Anonymous

    Im so hurt rite nw.i have 2 sisters who r tik users.the 1 jus came outta rehab 7mnths clean,and relapsed lastnite,tiking wit my younger sista,who has also been clean 4 one mnth.hw can i help them…i feel so alota emotions rite nw.pls respond.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Anonymous with 2 sisters….

    I know you’re probably feeling a bit frustrated that your sister relapsed, and maybe even hurt a bit. Or maybe you feel betrayed by it too. All that is normal and it really isn’t fair to you, addiction just sucks like that.

    What I would suggest to you is to find a way to talk through some of these emotions that you are having with other people. What is really helpful is if you can find others who are in a similar situation and talk with them about it. There are organizations such as Al-Anon and AlaTeen that can help with this. If those are not available then you might talk with a school counselor or a trusted adult.

    The important thing is that you reach out and ask for some help. It is tough to watch people go through addiction and it is not fair to you, so find someone who can talk you through it. Good luck to you…..

  • Anonymous

    I an a social work student working with someone who is an exuser. he is currently in a nursing homoe and is planing to eventually move back in his old neighborhood and is afraid that he might start to use again what sort of steps I can take right now with him in order to prevent him from using again once he is back in his old neighborhood.

  • Patrick

    Hi there social work student

    I would recommend that you urge 12 step meetings in this early stage of recovery. The reason is because there needs to be an emphasis on networking and support in early recovery more so than on personal growth. As time goes on and someone stays clean, they can shift their focus away from networking and more on to their own growth.

    But if they are still in early sobriety then you should urge them to move towards networking and social solutions like AA meetings. I would also encourage long term treatment if that is an option for them. Good luck.

  • alyssa

    i am watching my boyfriend go through the denial stages and this is the hardest thing in the world!!
    except to watch him get worse.

    i know he has to want help but it is killing me to seee him like this.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Alyssa

    So sorry to hear about your boyfriend. No there is not a lot you can do to affect him directly. But you can make sure that you are doing everything that you can as far as your own behavior goes. There are other articles on this website that explain how to avoid enabling him and things like that.

    Unfortunately we cannot manipulate someone into getting clean. Because sobriety can be so threatening to an addict, trying to manipulate them into quitting can really strain the relationship.

    Sometimes the best we can do is to let them know that help is available, and that when they are ready, we will get them connected with the proper resources (such as treatment centers, counselors, therapists, etc.).

  • Addy

    My sister has been a member of AA for several years now and I have just found out that she is drinking again. Do I confront her about this (we live many miles apart, so it would have to be by phone or mail) or do I keep praying that she’ll return to her AA meetings…or something else?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Addy….not sure on how you should approach it but you might want to “do your part” without being overly aggressive about it. In other words, do what you can and let her know your concern. Offer to help in any reasonable way that you can (key word there is reasonable). Offer support. Genuine support. Let her know that you care about her and that is all that matters. Your concern.

    If AA worked for someone in the past but they “fell off the wagon” then I don’t see a problem with encouraging them to get back to the meetings. If it worked for several years then it can work for her again. If nothing else there is plenty of support at those meetings.

    With any intervention (even an informal one like you are considering) there is a risk of creating resentment and tension between you, but this can be minimized if you approach it with genuine concern and caring. If you are truly worried about your sister then I think it is worth the risk and you should make an attempt to simply show your concern. Good luck to both of you….

  • Addy

    Thank you so much for you sage advice, Patrick…I truly appreciate it. God bless you.

  • Dawn

    I found out this past summer, while I was pregnant with our second child, that my husband was using crack cocaine. He came to me and told me because he wanted to stop. Upon learning this, I supported him in his quest to stop but he never sought out treatment. After him disappearing in the middle of the night a few times and me going through his phone, tracking down his dealer, threating his dealer, changing his number (I was blaming the dealer) and me confronting him about money disappearing from our checking accout, I thought we finally had beat it. I took away his bank card and would take his car keys with me to bed at night. When our second son was born and I was home all the time, we didn’t have any times where he used. He blames me for every time he uses because I nag or push. I’ve talked to his mother about it, we are very close, and even his brother. I thought he was doing well so i gave him his bank card back and he used it to buy drugs. I’ve printed out 4 outpatient facilities for him to call, but he doesn’t. This past week he disappeared at 4am Sat morning and didn’t return until Sunday around 9:30 am. He told me he used and stayed in a hotel where he thought he almost had a heart attack and that was his eye opener. He said he pryed and read the bible and that things are going to be different. I don’t and can’t believe him. He still won’t say the words, “I’m an addict” and refuses to get help. I won’t give up on him b/c he’s my husband and I love him. I said for better or worse and I figure, right now this is the worse. i don’t know what to do.
    2 weeks agoe, I asked his mother and brother to help me and sit down with him and talk to him. They said they would, but since he was being so pleasant during his visit, they didn’t want to ruin the weekend by bringing it up.
    I feel so alone. I won’t talk to my parents b/c they already aren’t fond of him for other reasons and I don’t want to give them any other reason not to like him. If I ever try to talk to him about it, he gets pissed and says I’m throwing it in his face. I feel like I’m in a prison in my own life. what should I do to get through to him that he needs professional help and he can’t do it alone?
    I’m scared he’s either going to kill himself through an overdose or someone else when he drives high. He hates when I talk to his mom because he thinks I’m trying to turn her against him when all I’m doing is trying to figure out how to help.
    Please, please, please help me!!!

  • Patrick

    That is a tough situation Dawn, I can only really advise you to seek a support group in an Al-Anon meeting, I think that would really help someone in your situation a lot. As for the specifics, it sounds like you have done all you can as far as intervening and encouraging treatment. He is not willing to go to treatment just yet and he may not even think he really needs to.

    You have tried to push him towards treatment and this has not worked. I think you should seek help for yourself by attending an Al-Anon meeting. The people there will be able to give you more specific advice and guide you towards how you should best behave around your husband. Good luck….

  • desperate2help

    I THINK my husband got influenced into crack. I’m not 100% certain but abandoning us the day I returned from a trip tells me something when wrong while I was gone. Hes now associating with a person who has a drug dealing background in crack. My husband works a 2 week in and 2 week out shift, so really, if hes using, it would’ve been for just one month. Is it too late to rescue him? I dont know if hes using or dealing. Hes making a second trip south next week – and he hasn’t told me either time that he was going south. Hes at work right now but takes his phone off the hook to avoid talking to me. He was such a loving person – cared about his house, kids, grandkids, ME, he looked forward to house renovations, the summer, BBQ’s etc. Now in this short period of time (since Mar.28th when I returned), hes become someone I don’t know. Everything I asked him about that splits up a family, he denies. It was only the other day he said its because we argued too much. I am so at a loss. All I want to do now is rescue him before he gets in too deep. Again, I don’t know if hes using or dealing. If hes dealing, could he be threatened to cut off all contact with his family, just like that? When we have talked, he says he misses everything about the house. When he told me he still cared about me, I know that came from his heart. I’m just very confused as to whats going on; using or dealing. I can’t lose him. WE can’t lose him. He’s right out of character….and especially staying at a ‘dealers’ place. He denies that this person uses or deals…but I don’t know. I just don’t know. Please – any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • Bradley

    Hi, I have a friend that is Opioid dependent. He is a really talented musician and we tried a kinda intervention with him once it didn’t work. I have managed to stay the one friend he is honest with even though it has been in a deceptive way. In witch I pretend to not have that much of a problem w/ it only because I see that he lies to ppl that get in his face about it. His roommate and I work together and he constantly throws in my friends face every update I give to him on the situation. He has turned his back on him. He is in the denial stage and i see his life starting to spiral. What should I do wait until his life is screwed completly and he wants help? Or do I try to get outside help from profesionals? Im so lost and don’t know what to do. please help

  • Doug McNichol

    Thanks for all these articles. I am finding a lot of help here. You’re very perceptive for a young guy.

  • gulyza

    hello I am a drug addict i really want to change my life. I am just sick of being sick with my life. There has to be a better life than this. I am ready and willing to do whatever i have to do to change my life around. I have been a drug addict for23 years I mainly use herion but will still use whatever i can

  • Patrick

    Hi there Gulyza

    If I were you I would try to get to rehab somewhere. It does not matter much about the quality of the facility or what their treatment philosophy is. Just get there and do what they suggest in order to stay clean. I think that is the best move for you at this point.

    Good luck

  • angel

    My son is on drugs and I’m very upset about it. sometimes it looks like he wants to quit. but ,if I mention anything to him about it he’ll lie and say he’s not. should I keep trying to talk to him about getting help.

  • Patrick

    @ Angel – I would definitely not give up hope, and I would not give up on trying to talk with him about it.

    You might be careful in how pushy you are though. Of course it depends a bit on his age.

    You might try the approach of saying “look, I found a rehab that can help you, if you are willing to go. I’m not gonna push you. When you are ready to change your life, I want you to come talk to me and tell me. But I’m not gonna badger you about it.”

    I am not sure if that is the best approach. But it might get past some of the lying and open him up a bit.

    Good luck….

  • Jessica Govender

    My live in boyfriend has been addicted to sleeping pills for many years caused by an ex wife who got him addicted to them and well basically she bailed ship because his addiction has gotten too far. We were work collegues for many years and i unfortunately was not aware of his drug abuse until late last year. I pitty him in the sense that he has lost everything in his life, but still he continues to support his drug habit. I have tried my best to be supportive and to love him unconditionally. His been in denial and won’t admit that he has a problem. We have tried the intervention thing and trust me, it does not work. If i do find any of his drugs i flush them down the loo. I have never taken drugs in my life and from the way he behaves reassures me how lucky i am that i havn’t tried it or ever will. He has no self discipline and self respect. He takes drugs at work and even drives under the influence of them. I contacted the metro police on many occassions to have a discussion with him, but nothing seems to scare him. In the last year, his had more than 5 accidents. If i do throw him out, he will have nowhere to go as his family has disowned him as a result of his drug abuse. His told me on many occassions that he will drive his car into a concrete slab at 200k’s an hour. I don’t want anything to happen to him. I want to help, but just don’t know how. Talking doesn’t work anymore. He refuses rehab. What else can i do to help this man?

  • Jessica Govender

    And the other thing is that his a compulsive liar. He goes to various doctors and tells them all sorts of sob stories just to obtain a script for these drugs. I have contacted most of the pharmacies his been to as well as the doctors. I have gone as far as he pharmacutical board to send out emails to all pharmacies. I contacted his medical aid to prevent them from dispensing stage 5 medication to him. This guys takes like almost 30 sleeping pills, i mean that is an overdose. A person like me would be dead by now. He ended up with a middle ear infection because of a drug overdose. There is nothing that actually scares this man at all. I spoke to him about going to church, but unfortunately feels that god in his heart. Apart from his drugs, his a compulsive gambler and gambles all his money away, his alcohol abuse has stopped. At one point he consumed alcohol with the drugs, which according to doctors is lethal. I guess they say you only know a person is when you live with them. Somehow i have so many regrets in allowing him to live with me. I lived a peaceful life and it just turned upside down in split second.

  • Alexandra

    Even though chocolate addiction is not such a serious dependency there are a lot of people who just can’t overcome it and, eventually, this has serious effects on their health.

  • peacegirl

    brotherinlaw is killing my sweet hearted husband who 2 years ago had pacemaker put in for auto nomic dysfunction himself at 48 i worry he will have a heart attack but he is needing help on how to get his brother in a facility in mississippi he went in rehab twice came out still drinking but had used coccaine also and pills to substitute when he cant get it but drinks all the time to so 2 addictions he is in his 30 he says he will kill his self before he goes back to rehab my husband wants him committed but scared, any advice parents are enablers but are angry and try to fix him he will hurt someone by accident or will kill himself if my husband does try to get him help i quess, any advive would be greatly appreciated

  • Patrick

    @ peacegirl – I used to say the same thing all the time…that I would kill myself before going back to rehab. Turned out I was full of crap! I got desperate enough and miserable enough to face the fear of rehab.

    I would go to Al-anon and follow their suggestions. Good luck.

  • Crystal

    I was engaged to my boyfriend. But recently on Sept 25 2010 I found that he had a prescripton addiction. He had taken a sleeping medicine and a whole lot of percecets. So I took him to the hospital and he decided to go to rehab. Which I was totally for it and wanted him to get help. Cause I had helped him with money and was thinking he was always broke. But he had child support to pay so I was thinking that that might be what was so high. So he has now been clean for 1 mth and 8 days goes to all the meetings and conventions. And now he is totally against me and has went from loving me to not being able to have a relationship due to his NA sponsor. I am really hurt and it is truly hard to trust. Can you give me advice what should I do?

  • Crystal

    Just seems to me that when people love you and are willing to be there for you why kick them out your life. I want him to get help but I am angry that he has threw me out of his life and treated me so unkind. I was the one there all night at the hospital and every visiting hour in micu and I should atleast be respected enough. I dont know whether to hold on or give up. By his actions I have no hope cause of the way he treats me but I know that he is on a emotional rollacoster but so am I. I went from having the man of my dreams everyday and having a loving life. He never was hyper just always tired so I never figured he was on pills.It was a big shock and change that he was not there for me kinda like I lost someone to death. Just dont know what to do…

  • rodney

    recently i cought my wife cheating on me with another man which so happens to be an addict, i feel like i should become like one of these people just to keep my marriage,.,

  • paulette

    my son is 26 and doing speed and on methadone..i’m trying to help him go to detox but he has a girlfriend who’s doing the same has him ..and telling him that ,,we don’t have a problem…but he needs help can i help hes even getting into trouble by stealing what can i do ..desperate mom

  • For the Girlfriends and Wifes

    STOP ENABLING THE ADDICT and FEELING SORRY FOR US/THEM We are liars and we steal whatever we have to do to get drugs. I am 34, been using since I was 12, 22 years and I have seen my addiction progress over the years. I always told myself, I had to slam some heroin before I quit completely. Keep in mind I went to rehab in 07 for cocaine at that time. It was a breeze. I have done 12 steps and outpatient. I have tried methadone and suboxone. Suboxone was the best and helped the most but it was too expensive. I tried dope one year and six months ago. In that time I lost my job, company car, phone, family and most important, my wife and kids. I have not seen or talked with them in three weeks. My point is don’t give us money or a place to stay. If you the non-addict think your partner is a addict, then they probably are. Let me ask you this. Do you want to be in my wife shoes and have four kids and a drug addict loser husband and father to deal with. I don’t think so. It took all of this to happen to myself and finally realizing all the madness I have caused for both sides of the family for me to quit. Plus I have to take a drug test to be able to see my kids. That drive to see them has really helped me and the fact that my wife (probably ex, but I do not want a divorce)finally put the line in the sand and I crossed it and that was it, she cut off all communication and ties with me. She did the RIGHT thing and you GF and Wifes must do the same. Your partner is not different from me. The might be a functioning addict but so was I for 21 years. Until I tried black tar. STOP ENABLING. Put that line in the sand and if they cross it, then cut off all ties until they stop.

  • jazmine

    I dont mean to offend anyone at all but I would really appreciate anyone’s take on shopping addcitions and I you think it in anyway is on level with your addiction or acquaintances, does it in anyway boggle your mind that people consider it an addiction please let me know your opinions its for a research paper no ones name or opinions will be stated unless requested they will only be generalized.

  • James Houghton

    “For the Girlfriends and Wifes” I feel for you man. It’s a helluva thing you have been thru m8, been in much the same situation. Keep you eye on the ball. It’s just chemicals screw the whole picture that real life is what you miss the most in the end after trying so hard to escape it.

    It may never come back, certainly not the way it was before. But you can get your life back when you finally leave the heartache behind and re-invent yourself for who you are and not what the drugs made you.

    accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference

    Fkin lot of wisdom in those words.

  • april riggle

    Hello, I am at aloss. My Fiance is an alchoholic and also addicted to pain medication. He is 45 yrs old and has had this addiction for almost 20 yrs, he has liver problems already and i am not ready to yet let him go nor give up on him. We had him placed him in a local detox by filing a report stating we feared for his life, after he lost his generel manager job of result of alcohol. He was there for a week, and that is all that is offered unless you have insurance, which we do not. He knows he has a problem and he admitts it but he truely needs help, please. He has had a tramatic childhood and his state of mind isnt always the clearest especially when intoxicated. From the time he wakes up till the time he goes to bed he is drinking and abusing pills, he also doesnt eat right he has lost so much weight. I myself is a recovering addict i was addicted to prescription pills but i went to a suboxin clinic and have been clean for 2 yrs. and counting, but i fear that i can no longer stay with john if he continues to use it is just to much of a strain, and honestly i do not want to have to leave him i want to help him so very much. If you can offer anything or even advise please please email me i will be awaiting your email i just dont know what else to do i am running out of options other then to cut ties and i fear that i appriciate your time you took to read this thank you .

  • april riggle
  • LettingGo

    I just need help! I’m so sick of my life and what I have become. I can only blame myself for how bad I have let my life get. I have manged, for 15 years, to live a functional double life. No one knows what my mind goes through each day as I think about what if I just crash my car into the median. I’d never do it because I have a son I need to get better for! I need to find what little pride I have left and figure out how to start this process. I’m addicted to Percocet…30mg nonetheless, gambling (usually in hopes I win to get by to pay bills, drugs….etc) and have an addiction to telling myself everything is fine, when it’s clearly not. I feel for each person here…those carrying the burdens of their loved ones’ addictions too. I have a mom who is an alcoholic too, but I can’t exactly say, u need help, when I haven’t either. I don’t know what happened today that made me jump this shit into high gear, but I just needed to admit this all to someone before I exploded any further. I write this crying uncontrollably…how did this happen to me? Where have the past 10-15 years gone and I’m only 30!

  • SerenityJade

    How r u doing now?

  • tobi bates

    I have used cocaine for the past 20yrs. I considered myself functional addict. I am sick with addiction I need spiritual and moral help and guidance. And I am scared but willing and needing to stop the insanity of my life. I really, do. I am a spiritual person, I know that by his (god’s) grace I am still sane and alive but I have not gotten to that point. Where I can say this nightmare is over and it’s been going on for 20yrs enough is enough I want it OVER!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • LettingGo

    I’m so-so..took me a while to respond, but I’m set to check into a place Nov. 14th…just need to do it since doing this by myself isn’t cutting it. I have managed to get down to 1 pill a day, 1/2 upon waking and the other 1/2 before bed…otherwise the withdrawals are incredibly ridiculous, I guess since I’ve been getting high on way too much shit for too long my body can’t handle a lack of blood in my drug stream (yes, I meant to word it as that). Lol. As for gambling… Its s roller coaster, but I hit rock bottom recently and have no choice except…accepting changes for improvement. I truly appreciate having you follow up with me and I’ll continue the same as time passes.