I am angry at my grandsons addiction to drugs, I want him to know I love him though. what is the best way to react to him?

Joni- You need to think like

You need to think like a drug addict. I don't know what his drug of choice is, but if he's truly addicted, then the drug is priority one. priority two, never heard of it, there's only priority one. if he's into opioids, then he's not only chasing the high, he's also running from the dope-sickness. His fear of withdrawals is greater than his desire to get high. Priority one. There are no other priorities except priority one. Love is great, love is majestic, but love is not priority one.

If a grandma's love could truly impact an addict's need to get high, we wouldn't have a drug problem. Bottom line, there's only tough love. I feel badly for loved ones when I hear them talk about how they enable the addicts, how they feel like they can really help an addict, but that's just not realistic. At all.

If you accept the disease model of addiction, then you accept that his chronic drug abuse has made physiological changes to his brain that are constantly hard wiring his addiction deeper and deeper. Now, how exactly can a loved one help? If he had a different disease, like some form of cancer, would you think that homespun love would offer the best chance at recovery? Of course not-- you would seek out professional help from health professionals. We all underestimate the power of addiction and tend not to give it the respect it demands because it's not seen as other diseases. Once you start seeing it as a disease that requires professional help, you'll realize that all you can do is show him tough love, tell him you love him, that you're ready to help him when he's ready to get help, but that you won't help him get high. When he's ready, he's ready. Not much else you can do.

Good luck, sorry to be a downer, but I spent ten years fully addicted to opioids.


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