How to Love Someone with Addiction

How to Love Someone with Addiction

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One of the hardest things to do in life is to love someone who is an addict.  It’s terribly hard sometimes to separate the person from their addiction.  Did they say that thing to me because they are truly a mean person or is it the alcohol talking?  Did they steal from me because they don’t care or was it the cocaine stealing?

Loving an addict can look all different types of ways but there are some important things to remember when loving an addict:

1. You can’t manage the addiction on your own

Addiction is bigger than you are and it’s going to take a village to manage it, including willingness on the person. Below there are links to AA, NA and Al-Anon for a starting point for services.

2. You can’t make them stop

No matter what the circumstances are, you cannot make a substance abuser stop using drugs or alcohol if they don’t want to and if they haven’t had treatment.

3. You need to have healthy boundaries

Maintaining healthy boundaries and not being sucked into the drama that usually accompanies substance usage is an important tool to learn. Letting the other person know what your boundaries are might be uncomfortable but necessary.

4. You can only handle so much

You need to identify your limits and take care of yourself. It’s very hard to watch an addict ruin their lives but people in their lives, especially loved ones, are at risk for ruining their lives too with codependency.

5. You aren’t always going to be able to tell the person apart from their addiction

There are going to be times when addicts steal from you, treat you poorly, say things they probably don’t mean and do other things that aren’t kind, respectful, etc. And it’s going to be hard as heck to differentiate the two.


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If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, there are numerous 12 step meetings out there to help you.  Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two types of meetings addicts can and are encouraged to attend.  If you love an addict, there are meetings for you too called Al-Anon Substance abuse treatment is also a route.  Finding a local Certified Addictions Professional can help guide you in the right direction.  For substance abuse treatment and counseling in Pembroke Pines, call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our Certified Addictions Professionals.


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Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

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