Living with a recovering drug addict is one of the hardest things a person can do and yet it is done every day because of one of the simplest and purest reasons there are: love. Whether it is a child, a sibling, a parent, or a spouse, people live with recovering drug addicts and the pros and cons of that on a daily basis.
Everyone makes mistakes. Drug addiction is controlling and a person’s mistake becomes a situation that they no longer have control over. Yet, not only is the drug addict affected, their loved ones are affected as well. That is why there are support groups for families and the drug addicts themselves; because drug addiction is truly a family problem.
Living with a recovering drug addict has its share of moments that are similar to those when the addict was using. You wake up each morning wondering if something will happen, yet when the addict’s recovery is real and successful, you also live with the hope and faith that should a possible relapse present itself, the drug addict has the tools to overcome the cravings and urgings that are brought on at that time. Not only that, but hopefully those living with the recovering drug addict also have the support and tools to work with.
Sometimes the fallout of ais long term. It could have hit the family financially, it definitely hit the family emotionally, and quite possibly, it affected them physically as well. Once again, a little four-letter word that has more power than any other word in any language can take over and help: love. No, living with a recovering drug addict is not easy but it can be done.
Something that should be seriously addressed directly with those living with a recovering drug addict is to stay sober and clean as well. You cannot expect John to refrain from alcohol if you keep beer and liquor in the house. You cannot expect Brent to stay clean if you keep your own little supply of pot or cocaine around for special occasions. Get real. The entire family has to commit to recovery in order for it to work.
Living with a drug addict can be stressful. Living with a recovering drug addict means that you should help lessen their stress at least during the first few months after treatment while they ready themselves with the tools and support they need to avoid a relapse. Do not expect them to be perfect when they get out of rehab. Give them time to adjust. In the end, the ones living with the recovering drug addict will benefit just as much as the addict does.
By Nick Hayes