Who are the Real Victims of Addiction and Alcoholism?

Who are the Real Victims of Addiction and Alcoholism?


There are only 2 possibilities when we are looking at the victims of addiction: there are the addicts themselves, who are arguably victims, and then there are the friends and family members of that addict.

Now if we are considering who is a victim and who is not a victim, it might be worthwhile to take a step back and consider the viewpoint that there really are no victims, and that we all need to take positive action in our life.  Now that can really annoy some people, because they will argue that they or someone else (such as a small child perhaps) are true victims of addiction, and that the disease has had a very detrimental affect on them through no fault of their own.  They might argue that it is the selfish addict or alcoholic who is causing all the damage, and is not even a victim themselves, but only a monster who is driven by selfish choices.

This attitude is fine as long as it is serving that person well.  But the reason people try to argue that “there are no victims” is not to discredit the wrongs that have been done, but only to encourage positive action in the people who have been “afflicted.”

If we are “victims” then it means we are innocent, not at fault, not our problem, not our responsibility.  We were dealt a bad hand and we were victims and we should not have to do anything to fix it.  This is someone else’s problem, right?  That is “victim-thinking.”

But this mindset never really helps anyone.  Just because we are a victim of something does not let us off the hook from taking positive action.

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Say we are a teenager and our parent is an abusive alcoholic.  Clearly, we are a victim in that circumstance. But so what?  What is the teen going to do about it?  Just claiming victimhood does not help anyone.  They still need to engage in positive action.  They should go to an Ala-teen meeting, for example, and get help and support there.  They should take steps to make their life better.  And they should take preventative steps so that they do not follow in their parents footsteps.

I am not saying that “there are no victims.”  I am just challenging people to change their thinking and to own the responsibility for advancing their own life.  If we stay stuck as the “victim,” then we block ourselves from making positive growth in a lot of cases.


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