How to protect yourself from the addict in your house
Addiction is a disease not a choice or a moral failing. The addict does not want to be an addict and might be ashamed or embarrassed by their need. This does not mean excuse their behavior. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against the addict living in your house.
Understand that Addicts Lie
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the characteristics of addiction is that all addicts lie. Understand that it is a defense mechanism and try not to be hurt by it. There are no easy answers to an addict lying, just make sure you do not fall into believing the lie.
Protect yourself Financially
Unfortunately, addicts also steal. Drug addiction is expensive. This means that your finances are not safe. Do not keep large amounts of cash that are easily stolen and do not allow them access to your financial accounts. An addict can wipe out a major bank account or investment account in weeks if not days. It is best to keep your financial information separate from theirs.
Do Not Enable the Addiction
Enabling an addiction comes in many ways. You can enable and addiction by:
- purchasing drugs
- lying for the addict
- covering up the addiction
- rationalizing the behavior
- making excuses for the addict
- bailing them out financially and physically
- cleaning up their social, financial, and other messes
Enabling an addict is one way to encourage them to use drugs and not seek treatment for their addiction. To help find the addict in your household a treatment program call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) . We can help you find the treatment that is right for them.
Do Not Allow the Addict to Blame you for their Addiction
A common phrase for addicts to say is that they are addicted because of something you do, don’t do, or say. This is not true, you cannot let an addict blame you for their problems. It is difficult to do but you have to remember that the only person the addict has to blame is themselves.
Make sure you are Healthy
Without good self care, you cannot help the addict. You have to stay healthy in order to deal with the addiction. If you need to leave to do so then leave. Many people wind up letting their own health slide when they are caring for an addicted person.
Change your Behaviors, Do Not use Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Make sure in dealing with the addict you are not developing unhealthy coping mechanisms yourself. Do not start using just because someone in your life is using drugs. Although it is easy to develop poor coping mechanisms, it is also easy to develop healthy ones.
Living with a Loved One Suffering from a Substance Abuse Disorder
Join a Support Group
Joining a support group will help you deal with the addict in your life. There are many groups available to help you and support you through this difficult period.
If the Addict is Physically, Emotionally, or Sexually Abusive Get Out
If the addict becomes abusive when they are drinking, you need to get out of the house. There are shelters and organizations that will help you escape the abusive environment. Once you are out, you can then deal with the addiction and aftermath at a safe distance. Never risk your life for an addict.
Help the Addict Find Treatment
If the addict in your household wants treatment, help them find it. You can do this by calling 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) . We can help you find the treatment that best suits the situation.