Drug addictions are terrible things to live with. They can transform people until they are barely recognizable to the people that love them the most. As much as the addict suffers, sometimes it is the family and friends of the addicts that suffer as much or more. Loving someone with an addiction can be the hardest of choices. People don’t want to enable the addicts they love, but they also don’t want to turn their backs on them. Loving someone with an addiction can be like walking a tightrope; the person is walking a fine line while trying to balance and hold everything together.
Enabling and Tough Love
Often family members and friends struggle with the balance between enabling and tough love. They want to be there for the loved one facing addiction, but there comes a time when the addict has to feel the need and desire to change on their own. No matter how badly a person wants their family or friend to kick their habit, many times, the addict has to hit rock bottom before getting to that point of acceptance and responsibility. As hard as it is to turn away someone you love, often addicts become different people, and they can sometimes be dangerous or master manipulators. Often, they will do or say anything to get to that next fix. Sometimes when we think we are helping them by providing them with money or a safe place to live, we actually end up enabling their habit, which is the thing that hurts them the most. Enlisting the help of a drug and addictions counselor who has experience dealing with addicts and how to help them is something family members and friends of addicts should consider.
We are fortunate to live in a world far more open and transparent than the past. Mental health issues and addiction have moved into the forefront of many campaigns and initiatives aimed at spreading awareness and prevention. The more people talk about and share their struggles with drug addiction, the more people can be helped. Project Unbroken is run by two men who faced heroine addiction and came through on the other side. They have turned their struggle into a victory through which they can help others by spreading awareness and providing support for those facing the same demons. We have all heard the old adage of “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” and Project Unbroken exemplifies that principle.
If you are or someone you care about is struggling with heroin addiction, consider checking out the Project Unbroken Facebook page to gain from the experiences and insights of those who have talked the talk and walked the walk.