What It’s Like To Live With A Drug Addicted Family Member

(dramatic piano music) – How you deal with a drug addict daughter, son, or any family member, is more or less how you
don’t deal with them. Because the more that you enable them, the more that you comfort them, the more likely that they are to continue. Drug addicts and alcoholics,
what it’s like to live with one is they’ll take advantage of you. They will beat you down,
they will guilt you, they will shame you, they
will sell you false hope, they will convince you
that they’re gonna quit, they will promise you everything tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes, and the family sits in a holding pattern. And the problem that ends up happening is families become comfortable
in the uncomfortable. It’s like anything else in life, nobody likes change,
even when it’s better, so the longer it continues,
the more it becomes your norm. Then you take on the role
of being their caretaker, you take on the role of serving a purpose in the relationship. And then ultimately, it boils down to, the situation becomes so comfortable, in an uncomfortable way, that the fear of change and the unknown is actually greater than the
fear of staying the same, and we just get stuck. So when it comes to dealing with an alcoholic or a
drug addict family member, for me, it’s like any other fatal illness. When you look at any other fatal illness, whether it be cancer, or HIV, etc., people do everything they can to stop it, and with addiction, we don’t. We just kick the can down the street, thinking that it’s a moral dilemma, their willpower will kick
in, and they’ll just stop. And I think about, I was just talking to
my wife the other day, and my mother-in-law,
her mother, has cancer. And it’s colon cancer, and it’s in a stage where you have a 14% chance
of survival five years out. And there wasn’t a question. There wasn’t a question to get her help. And the second she
resisted, the family’s like, “There’s no way, we’re going.” That’s a 14% chance of success, I can tell you that
recovery rates of addiction are far higher than that, and the outcome of an intervention
is even higher than that. But yet people kick the can. But we hear 14% on
stage four colon cancer, and oh my god, there’s a chance. But with addiction, we don’t do that, and because of the things I said, it’s just that we’re beaten to oblivion into believing that they’re
gonna quit tomorrow, or it’s somehow our fault as the family. So we do nothing.

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