Recognizing a problem
It’s not always easy to know when a loved one’s drinking or drug use has crossed the line into becoming a problem. People with addictions can be very good at hiding, compensating for, and denying their problem. You may not want to address it because of feelings of shame or fear. The problem can seem too big, or too painful, to solve. You may be afraid of losing what’s left of your relationship, home life, and financial means.
You are not alone. And you don’t need to be ashamed. Yes, addiction is very difficult, but it can be treated, and you can take steps to improve your life.
Recognize that you need support for yourself. Making changes in your life and relationship is stressful, even when the outcomes are ultimately positive.
There are support groups with others who have struggled with these challenges. Al-Anon is a free peer support group for families of persons coping with alcohol dependence. There are also groups for families of persons coping with drug abuse. Other sources of support include trusted friends, a healthcare provider, a therapist, or clergy. These sources of support can help you face the resistance that you will get from your loved one as you begin to help them make healthy changes.