It is not uncommon for other people to notice that we are having a problem before we do. If someone has brought it to your attention that they have concerns about the amount of alcohol or drugs that you are using or the effect that it is having on you, it’s time to seek out help from a professional. It’s very possible that you may be using what is known as an unconscious defense mechanism called denial. So, allow yourself to be open and honest about the problem with the professional so that he or she can accurately assess the situation and help you better understand. Remember too that while it may be tempting to be angry at the people who are sharing their concerns with you; it’s actually an act of love to let someone know that they have a problem, if it’s done out of genuine concern.
While every person’s situation is different, many children lacked supervision and often had access to alcohol and drugs because at least one parent was an addict too. Forgiveness therapy would need to be integrated into your treatment so that you may forgive your parent(s) and potentially others who you harbor anger towards, including those who may have assisted your parent(s) in their addiction, which is also known as co-dependency. Your addiction is essentially your way of “getting back” at your parents, even though it does nothing except hurt you. Once you forgive your parents, you can then learn healthy self-love and learn to share love with others, including those who you may be missing out on now, such as your own spouse and children. There is hope if you want to be free from alcohol and drugs, as well as the underlying anger and pain that caused you to desire it in the first place.
Co-dependency is as significant of an issue as the person who has a problem with alcohol or drugs, including other addictions. On the surface, co-dependency appears to be a matter of one person enabling the person with an addiction, which is often based in fear of what he or she will lose if he or she were to speak the truth and follow through with the necessary boundaries as a way of showing true love. However, co-dependency is much deeper than that and it’s actually what perpetuates addictions, the cycle of abuse, and the lack of healing. The good news for “co-dependents” is that I recognize that addiction has touched nearly every person’s life at one time or another, whether because they have personally struggled with it, or a family member or friend is currently struggling with it or did in the past, I have a way to help you if you are open to treatment. Alcohol and substance abuse counseling, psychotherapy, and forgiveness therapy are possible treatment approaches that may be tailored to fit you and your situation based upon your relationship with the person who is struggling with addiction, as well as your current use of alcohol or other substances.
No. However, addiction is something that is very near and dear to my heart. From a young age I have been around it. As a professional, I have dedicated a portion of my practice to treating addictions and the effects of addiction, including the role of co-dependency. I disagree with the assumption that I must have the same problem as my clients do in order to understand my clients and treat their conditions, particularly addiction because that flies in the face of the argument that addiction is a disease. This belief is most common amongst people who have experienced problems with alcohol and substance use disorders to expect that or seek it out, which suggests that there’s a part of you, and even those who are in recovery and treating the disorders, that knows that there’s more to alcohol and substance abuse than what we’ve been told about it being a disease.
While there some benefits to some of the support groups out there, they also vary in quality. The model that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provides through providing social support and living a life that is focused on “stopping” the behavior that is so disordered can help some people, but only to a certain degree. The problem is that you cannot stop being unhealthy, just by “stopping” the disordered behavior. These self-help programs fail to heal the underlying causes. Instead, these self-help programs focus on “stopping” the disordered desires and try to cover it up through ongoing maintenance or participation in their programs, in order to have a “new life”, “purpose”, or to continue to receive ongoing “support”. Counseling or psychotherapy for addictions will focus on healing the underlying cause so that you will be able to heal from the addiction and the underlying cause, which will also have a greater impact on other areas of your life.
The first step towards recovery from addiction is about taking responsibility for your life and investing in your future, so that you can have a better life after you change the habit of addiction and learn how not to fall back into the same bad habit again. You have been able to find ways to pay for alcohol or drugs and may have even gone so far as to lose your job, family, and housing. Consider how much money you waste on fast-food and dining out or other areas where you may be able to sacrifice for your own well-being. There are social service programs that are out there that are supplemented by taxes and the generosity of others, but they also vary in quality. Many people who I have helped believe that using these social service programs was a waste of time and ultimately cost them more time, money, and relationships.
If your addiction or your family member or friend’s addiction wasn’t serious enough, you wouldn’t be reading this article and searching for help. You already know some of the possible consequences of choosing not to change your behavior and how hard it can be to do it without professional help. You probably have a good idea of how much money you have lost over the years and will likely continue to lose if you do not decide to make the change. You are worth the investment. Continuing the habit of addiction will only cost you more. The choice is yours.
 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (2021, June 28). Las Vegas man indicted for distributing fentanyl resulting in death [Press release]. https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/las-vegas-man-indicted-distributing-fentanyl-resulting-death#:~:text=Las%20Vegas%20man%20indicted%20for%20distributing%20fentanyl%20resulting%20in%20death,-LAS%20VEGAS%20%E2%80%93%20A&text=Gabriel%20Ulloa%2C%2029%2C%20distributed%20fentanyl,at%20the%20initial%20court%20appearance