There are so many families fighting drug abuse and addiction today, we all know someone that's either using or addicted to illegal street drugs, prescription drugs, over the counter medications or alcohol. It's sad because everyone is affected when a family member or close friend has a problem with drugs or alcohol.
It almost feels like a death because the person you once knew is gone and you so desperately want them back. They don't realize what they're doing to themselves let alone their family and friends. They don't see the changes in their personality, memory, and physical appearance like you do but I believe they're hurting inside.
Anyone that's abused drugs or alcohol for any length of time and has become dependent on them continues to use to numb their feelings and thoughts. Their bodies are so use to having the surge of serotonin when they're high or intoxicated that when it wears off they're depressed and miserable. It doesn't matter why a person chooses to use drugs or drink alcohol in the beginning. The end result is the same once a person has become addicted or dependent on them, they need it and they're miserable inside.
It's extremely hard watching someone you love and care about do this to theirself. Their personalities change and can become arrogant, argumentative, defensive and angry and other times downright depressed. Their memory and reasoning become affected and they convince themselves that you're the one that has a problem, not them. You start to question yourself, "am I the one that's crazy"?
When a drug addict or alcoholic isn't ready for help their denial is so strong and deep nothing they hear or see makes a difference or sinks in. They find every excuse under the sun for their behavior and many times blame the people they're the closest with for their mistakes and poor choices. Because their behavior can be so manipulative, you really do not only question yourself but enable them without realizing it. This happens all the time and you don't realize it because addiction sickens everyone emotionally, spiritually and eventually affects your health and well-being.
Support and Recovery
It's important that family members and friends seek some form of help and support during this time, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are both Family Support Groups that can help people that are affected by someone else's use or addiction to drugs or alcohol. It doesn't matter if the family member or friend is using drugs or alcohol during this time or not, if their addiction is affecting your life it's important that you surround yourself with support and knowledge so that you can find your own recovery.
Teens and young people are also in need of support if a family member or loved one has a problem with alcohol. This disease affects everyone and young people need a place to go for support if their life is affected by someone else's drinking. Alateen is a part of Al-Anon where teens are able to get together and offer each other support, understanding and encouragement.
Alateen utilizes the Twelve Steps and Alateen's Twelve Traditions and young people help each other learn and understand them so they are able to apply them in their life. One of the most important things they learn in Alateen is that it's not their fault if someone in their life has a problem with alcohol. It's extremely hard to detach yourself emotionally from someone's drinking problem and continue to love them at the same time. Understanding and working the principles of Al-Anon helps the teen or young person learn how to do that. Young people learn that they can't control someone else's behavior, only their own. They also come to understand that whether the person in their life continues to drink or not, it doesn't have to hold them back in life, they are in control of their own destiny and can lead a full and rewarding life.