After attempts to offer advice, assistance, and support to addicted loved ones have been repeatedly rebuffed, the family members and friends of substance abusers often throw up their hands in despair and surrender, convinced that the situation is hopeless and that they have no power to make a difference. Feeling as if they have no other choice, they may reluctantly decide to cut the addict out of their lives completely, leaving her all alone to face the stark consequences of her self-destructive, out-of-control behavior. No one wants it to end this way, but if a substance abuser refuses to grab any of the lifelines that her loved ones have thrown into the turbulent waters of her life she will inevitably drown, and there will be nothing anyone can do to stop tragedy from occurring.
But while the loved ones of an addict or alcoholic whose attempts to help have been rejected may believe that terminating the relationship is their only remaining option, before they permanently sever the ties that bind they may want to take a little time to reassess their previous approach. In many cases, the strategies that families adopt when trying to rescue an addict from the dark pit of chemical dependency are ill conceived and inappropriate.
When someone is lost in a storm you wouldn’t tell them to use the stars in the sky as their guide back home, since the sky would be covered by clouds and the stars would not be visible from their location. But addicts and alcoholics are wandering aimlessly in a tempest-plagued land where the sun, moon, and stars are perpetually obscured, which is a fact that many family members and friends truly fail to truly grasp. Because they underestimate the all-encompassing and all-corrupting influence of addiction, they choose approaches that might work perfectly well in other situations but will make no impact on the life and distorted world view of a substance abuser. So before giving up completely on an addict or alcoholic, it would behoove her loved ones to take a second look at what they have been doing to see if perhaps there might be a better way.
Read more about The Ten Best Pieces of Advice for Family Members and Friends Who Want to Help the Addicts they Love