Living with a Drug Addict

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A person who was once witty, gentle and thoughtful becomes driven only by the need for their drug. Nothing else is important to them, including their family. --from Answersto Drugs

The simple fix to living with a drug addict problem is getting your loved one off of drugs, but of course, that is easier said than done. Until that can be accomplished, here are some tips for living with a drug addict.

Don't be an enabler

The California rehab center Casa Palmera writes on its web site about living with a drug addict:

Oftentimes addiction creates codependent relationships in which family members or partners lie for and cover up for the addict. You may think this is helping the addict, but it is only enabling their drug addiction. Make it clear that you are no longer willing to be a part of your loved one’s addiction.

Protect your money

Addicts need money to feed their drug addiction. They won't think twice about stealing your money if it can get them drugs. Casa Palmera suggests having a separate account to which the addict does not have access.

Don't accept abusive behavior

Addicts can often become abusive, especially if you are withholding money from them and they can't buy drugs. This is unacceptable. You may have to leave the home if things get really bad.

Join a support group

Knowing you are not alone in this struggle can help a great deal.

Make sure you take care of yourself

The Canyon rehab center in Malibu writes on its web site:

Choosing to take care of yourself means forcing the addict in your life to take care of him or herself. If you don't take care of yourself, soon there won't be anything left for the addict, either. You need your energy, your optimism, your spirit to handle your own problems. Who's helping you while you're living with a drug addict you love?

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