How to Deal with an Alcoholic or Addict

How to Deal with an Alcoholic or Addict


Are you trying to figure out how to deal with an alcoholic or addict in your life?  It can be really difficult to put up with a close friend or a family member that is drinking and drugging and is basically out of control with it.  If you find yourself in this situation then here is what you should do.

First of all, realize that you are not the one who is going to change this person. You do not have the power to do so.  You do not have the influence to do so.  No one has that kind of power.  We are talking about a very powerful addiction here.  It is not like convincing someone to go to the movies.  You are trying to convince them to face their biggest fear in the whole world and also to change their entire life.  These are not small things you are asking of the addict.  You are demanding that they do the impossible.  To you it might seem easy to stop drinking or taking drugs.  To them it is a monumental challenge, something they see as being threatening to them and even scary (though they might not admit that they would be scared to stop taking drugs).

Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

So how can you deal with this?

Well the best you can do in most cases is to not feed into it.  Your job is to act in such a way that you do not promote their drug or alcohol use, and also so that you do not rescue them when they screw up due to their using.  So you want to stop drinking or using when you are around that person, for starters.  You also have to let them face their own natural consequences from drinking and drugging.  If they are sick and hung over and you would normally call in to work for them, then you need to stay out of it and let them take the rap for it.  If you are constantly rescuing them in small ways then they will never get the amount of pain and suffering that they need to make the decision to change.

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The addict does not decide to get clean when everything is going decent for them. Their life has to be a horrible mess and they have to be completely miserable in order to even think about stopping the drugs and alcohol.  If you are preventing them from all this pain then your job is to get out of the way and let them experience the misery that they are leading themselves towards.  If you can do that then they might be moving closer to change.

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