It can be challenging to live with someone who is struggling with addiction. They could be experiencing intense behavior as a result of their drug use, not helping pay rent, or constantly bothering you for more money to acquire their next fix. To make it livable living with someone struggling with addiction, it is important to set boundaries and take care of yourself to avoid any stress in the household.
Keep Everyone Safe
You should make sure that everyone in your household in safe away from the toxic behaviors of the one struggling with addiction. This especially means people like children, the elderly, pets, or anyone else who has trouble defending themselves. If your loved one with addiction becomes violent, this is the time to either ask that person to temporarily move out until they get better such as to a rehab facility. While it may not be the fault of your loved one for their behavior, it does not mean that others need to suffer at the hands of it if that person poses a great danger.
Have a Backup Plan
Just in case if the situation escalates into something where you do not feel safe with your loved one, create a backup plan. This can mean having friends, family, therapists, or the police to turn to just in case you loved one is doing something that is scaring you as a result of their drug use. While your loved one may not be dangerous when they are sober, it can be a very different story while intoxicated so be prepared. See if there is anyone you can stay with if you ever feel like your life is being threatened.
Restrict Financial Access
Addiction means doing whatever it takes to ensure they get more and more of their drug or alcoholic beverage of choice. Purchasing drugs is expensive and someone with an addiction has the power to clean out your bank account. It is best to take them off of your bank accounts or credits if they have access to them. Find a safe place to keep your cash that they would not be able to find it. This may involve opening up your own private bank account to keep your money if you do not trust your loved one with it.
In order to show your loved one how serious you are about the intensity of their addiction, you need to set boundaries. This can mean telling them things like when they do things like throw objects across the room when they are angry, it makes you feel scared. You can tell them that you would prefer that whenever they feel angry or stressed that they go outside or in another room to take a deep breath instead of hitting the bottle or drug. You can also let them know about what you will do if they continue to do things that are not safe. For example, you can tell your loved one that if they plan on getting in a car while intoxicated that you will involve the police. Establishing boundaries will provide a clear understanding to your loved one that you mean business in regards to living with them.
Talk About Treatment Options
Speak to your loved one about taking a treatment center into consideration. You can recommend successful ones in your area by sending them links to their websites, brochures, and the phone numbers of them all if they ever want to give them a chance. Tell that person about how you feel about what you have seen when they are under the influence and how much you care about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of others at home. Let them know that there are other forms of treatment whether it is psychotherapy, group counseling, 12 step meetings, etc.
Take Care of Yourself
Do not feel like because you are living with someone struggling with addiction that you need to devote all of your time to that person to ensure that they are safe. Dedicating all of your energy to worrying about your loved one will cause you to develop anxiety and you will feel drained. You need to think about yourself. This involves taking time out alone to do something you have always wanted to do like go to a movie, get a coffee, read a book at a bookshop, etc. Make sure that you are eating right, sleeping for seven to eight hours a night, exercising, and being able to relax.
Do Not Enable the Addiction
You may feel like you are being a bad person if you do not try to help this person from getting arrested or ending up in the hospital if they experience withdrawal symptoms. To avoid enabling their addiction, do not give them anymore money if they feel like they need a fix. You will only be letting the drug addiction escalate worse. Be cautious whenever you bail that person out of jail. If you feel like your loved one ends up falling back into jail as soon as you release them, let them know this time bailing them out will be the last. Enabling addiction will decrease the chances of your loved one receiving help if you will always be there to bail them out. By communicating with your loved one and providing them with helpful resources will make living with your loved one easier.
Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.