- You are not to blame for the addict’s disease—you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it.
- You are responsible for your own behavior—you have a choice to refrain from enabling the addict’s drug use and drug-related behavior.
- The addict has a disease—it is not a sign of family weakness or disgrace. Just as you would need a doctor for treatment of an injury or illness, only drug addiction rehab centers can help your loved one.
- Do not nag, preach, moralize, threaten, or blame the addict for past and present mistakes—it will not change his/her behavior.
- Do not cover up, make excuses, or otherwise try to protect the addict from the natural consequences of his/her behavior—addicts are more likely to seek help from drug abuse rehab when the pain of using their drug becomes worse to bear than the pain of not using it.
- Do not “play shrink” or make psychological excuses for the addict’s behavior—the addiction should not be blamed on childhood traumas, job stress, or marital problems that must be resolved before the addict can stop using; it just further justifies the addict’s drug use.
- Don’t search for, hide, or throw away the addict’s drugs/paraphernalia—the addict will just get more; there is no way to keep him/her away from drug-using friends either.
- Laying guilt trips on the addict does not work—saying things like, “If you really loved me, you would stop doing this to yourself” only creates negative feelings that give addicts more of an excuse to use.
- You can and should set limits but don’t use them as a means of manipulation—be fully prepared to follow through on anything you say—otherwise the addict will further discount you.
- Don’t accept the addict’s hollow promises to be “good” without any follow up—stick with what the addict does, not what he/she says.
- Do not allow the addict to exploit you momentarily or in any other way—maintain your dignity and self-respect.
- Do not ignore or overlook lying and other forms of deceitful and manipulative behavior—do not collude with the addict in keeping drug use a secret from the therapist or program—to do so only perpetuates the problem and assists the addict in evasion of responsibility for his/her behavior.
If you have a loved one who struggles with substance addiction, only professional drug addiction treatments in Florida can help your family member recover. If your loved one is not willing to accept help, consider the Marchman Act, a noncriminal court order to get your loved one into treatment. Drug recovery centers in Florida can potentially save his/her life.
At Transformations by the Gulf, we are here to help your loved one recover from substance abuse. We accept most major insurances. Give us a call at 727-498-6498.
Adapted from: Arnold M. Washton (1989). Cocaine Addiction: Treatment, Recovery, and Relapse Prevention. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Adapted from: Chiauzzi, E., Villapiano, A., Budman, S., & Goldman, R. (2003), Time-Effective Treatment: A Best Practices Manual for Substance Abuse Professionals. Center City, MN: Hazelden Foundation.