How to Cope While Living With an Addict by Rehab Recovery Centers
Living with anyone takes a lot of understanding, learning, and balance to create a safe and peaceful household. However, when it comes to living with an addict, creating a balanced and safe household may become more challenging. Fortunately, there are many ways to cope while living with someone struggling with addiction.
To begin, you should first become educated and knowledgeable about addiction and its effects on relationships and households. Addiction has a serious impact on the individual as well as their friends, family members, and roommates. These effects may be even more damaging if you are dealing with an addicted son or daughter. With that being said, there are several steps to take while coping with living in a household affected by addiction.
To understand how to live with an individual struggling with addiction, it’s important to learn about addiction, its causes, and its effects.
Addiction is a disease that is proven to cause changes in the brain. Individuals who are addicted to substances will experience an increase in dopamine levels in the brain once they ingest a drug or alcoholic beverage. As a result, this signals reward and pleasure in the brain, teaching the person’s brain that substances equal happiness and comfort. Over time, this causes the brain to change and adapt to become dependent upon a particular substance.
Because of significant alterations of the brain, addiction is classified as a chronic and long-term disease. This disorder may become so powerful that it is difficult for your loved one to control their substance abuse, despite knowing the physical, emotional, and financial consequences associated with addiction.
Fortunately, addiction is a treatable disease. While treatment does not provide complete riddance of the disorder, recovery allows individuals to live a substance-free life. However, recovery and treatment are difficult. Individuals often relapse multiple times before experiencing sustainable and permanent sobriety and freedom from addiction.
With that being said, it is important not to take matters personally. No one can force an addict to get help or recover, it must be on the addicted individual’s own time. Addiction is one of the most difficult diseases to contend with and often takes multiple people to help treat, including doctors, friends, and family members.
How Does Addiction Affect a Household?
Addiction affects all members of the household in a variety of ways. While the addicted individual is struggling in each facet of their life, their friends, family members, and roommates will begin to experience the effects of their loved one’s addiction as well.
Some of the effects of addiction on a household that you may experience while living with an addict include:
- guilt and shame
- anger and resentment
- financial problems
- inconsistencies in rules, schedules, and routines
- physical and security danger due to intoxication or seeking drugs
Tips for Coping While Living With an Addict
While living with an addict, it is important to be aware of vital coping strategies. To begin, always remember that you did not cause the addiction, therefore, you cannot fix it either. What you can do is take the steps to ensure your own safety and wellbeing. If you are living with a person struggling with addiction, consider these tips:
Set Household Boundaries
You should always lay out certain rules and expectations. For example, people suffering from addiction may stay out super late, coming home during inappropriate times of night and disturbing sleep in the household. In this case, setting down clear boundaries and strict consequences should prevent your addicted loved one or roommate from disturbing your peace.
Restrict Access to Money
Individuals suffering from addiction may do whatever they can to get money to buy the substance they’re addicted to. Keeping that in mind, it may be best to take them off of any of your personal bank accounts or credit cards. As a precaution, you might even want to open a new bank account for yourself.
Have a Plan for Safety
This is very important, especially if you have children, pets, or other vulnerable people in your home. To protect their safety and yours, you should have plans set in place in case the addicted individual becomes dangerous. While the person themselves is not dangerous, their substance abuse may cause them to become dangerous while intoxicated. Additionally, they may invite unsavory people to your home, such as drug dealers or other drug addicts. Safety plans may include having backup from friends, family, therapists, or, in extreme cases, the police.
While you cannot fix the addiction yourself, you can talk to the addicted individual about considering a treatment program, especially if individual therapies haven’t been adequate in treating the disease. This may come in the form of rehab, individual and group psychotherapy, as well as nutrition counseling.
This is a difficult time for you and your family or additional roommates. The stress of coping with living with an addict might make it easy to neglect your own health and needs. If possible, try to take some time out of your day for yourself. Exercising, eating right, and making time to relax will help to ensure your well-being.
Additionally, there are support groups for loved ones of addicts and alcoholics. The most popular support group is known as Al-Anon. This group allows the loved ones of active addicts and alcoholics to come together, find support, vent, and learn more about how to help themselves and their addicted loved ones.
Finding Treatment for Addiction
At Rehab Recovery Centers, we can help you find the best addiction treatment center for your loved one struggling with substance abuse. Living with an addict is difficult and we understand the toll it can take on each member of the individual’s family. Keeping that in mind, we will make it our mission to provide you and your loved one with the best addiction treatment resources possible. Contact us today.
Get Help Today
Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.