Alcoholism, Addiction: A Family Problem

Alcoholism and Addiction – it can’t be avoided – it’s a tireless family problem. When we have a loved one struggling with addiction or alcoholism it is so hard to watch, it’s hard to know what to do, how to approach it, and how to set boundaries to keep us and other family members safe.

We may question, “is this my fault?” We might not notice how some of our interactions and behavior toward our loved one is enabling their addiction. Be certain that doesn’t mean we are causing them to drink or use drugs, it means there could be other things we could do that could narrow the path to get them to seek help.

Often the best we can do is, or what we think the best we can do is cut them off. And it is true cutting off an alcoholic or addict is a good way to narrow their path to seek recovery if done with love and compassion. Generally, it is important to look at how are we supporting them. Are we afraid to be direct – your drinking and using appears to be increasing and I have noticed that there have been these ______, _____, ______, consequences as a result and I am concerned it will get worse for you and perhaps could even result in the loss of your freedom or life. I am not willing to continue to support you finically in these ways ______, _____, ______, anymore because I feel I am taking away an opportunity for you to be responsible for yourself and it is contributing to your ability to drink or use drugs. However, if you get help I will be here for you in recovery.

Most of the time, the “cutting off” the alcoholic or addict happens in fear and sense of not being able to control or fix the problem and comes out in anger rather than compassion and love. Many addicts and alcoholics need to know the door is closed, but they can call for help when they are ready.

The truth is no matter how they say they don’t they do need their family. Shifting the dysfunctional dynamic takes time and practice. It can start with you and you are not alone there are professionals that can help and support you and your loved on in the process.

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