Family and friends of an opiate addict suffer, sometimes more than the addict himself. It is hard to watch a loved one in addiction and not try to help any way you think possible. You fear what may happen to them if you don’t try to do what you can to help. Many family members continue to take the addict back time and time again after experiencing their lies, theft, and manipulation.
You always think, “This time is going to be different; this time they won’t lie, steal and manipulate because I have put my foot down. They know I am not going to put up with these actions again.” Not so! They will come back and have you snowed for a while. They are on their best behavior being very honest and upfront with all that is in them. Then, when you least expect it, they have started over with the same and you are left once again with disillusionment.
Do Not Enable an Opiate Addict
It’s sad to say, but the best tips for family and friends of an opiate addict is to let them go. Don’t feel as if you have to take care of them, house them, feed them, and feed their addiction. That is what it amounts to in the long run. Face the fact that you are an enabler. You believe their lies when they need money for different important things. If they happen to have a child, they will use that child to get to every emotion you have. They will play on your love and compassion in every way possible, ways you could not even imagine.
Learn to Say No and Don’t be Manipulated
If your addicted family member or friend asks you for money for “something important,” be ready to say no and mean it. They will try everything possible to manipulate you into feeling guilty and bad for not giving in to them. Do not do it! Opiate addicts are masters of manipulation. They know you worry about them and don’t want to tell them to leave your home.
You may think you can talk to them and reason with them. They will say all the things you want to hear, so you think they have it together this time. The best advice you can give them is to seek treatment for their addiction. The longer they continue on this path of dependence, the more of the drug it will take for them to experience the “high” they require.
Conduct an Intervention to Get Them to Enroll in Treatment
If all else fails, have an intervention where friends and family close to the addict can intervene and relay to the opiate addict the need for treatment and the consequences of not seeking treatment. Let them know you can not go on financing their addiction. Reassure them how much you love them, but that you cannot keep watching them self-destruct.
Family and Friends Need Support of Their Own
Family and friends of an opiate addict need to seek support for themselves. It takes an emotional, as well as physical, toll on those going through life with an opiate addict, or any drug addict. Your physical and emotional health suffer immensely when dealing with the everyday problems that come along with loving an addict. After you get your loved one to attend an addiction treatment facility, tend to your own needs so you can return to a healthy state also.