Addiction- It is the family that suffers.
After your teen, young adult, spouse or loved one has been through dozens of drunken episodes, lost jobs, have stolen checks, credit cards and pawned family items, the addict or alcoholic usually seems to remain relatively oblivious to the misery that he or she is causing their loved ones. Aside from the occasional mumbled apology, or the brief moments of self-pity, it appears that he or she takes very little accountability or responsibility for their own actions.
It is the family that always suffers most…not the addict. If an addict becomes too uncomfortable, they can always just ingest another pill, take another drink, or smoke another joint to “make it all go away” leaving the family powerless. It is you, the parents, who stay up all night wondering where your loved one is, what they are doing and wondering if tonight is the night you get the phone call informing you they have died. You are the one who feels the pain of knowing deep down inside that your loved one is a drug addict and needs help. The pain is sometimes unbearable. The family members are the ones that suffer the most, and the family unit is damaged as a result.
Statistically, most drug addicts or alcoholics do not get sober. The idea that one day most alcoholics or addicts wake up and eventually “figure it out” is nothing more than a fallacy. The alcoholic or addict is usually the least qualified to know how much trouble they are facing in the future. Some end up in jail. Some overdose or die in automobile accidents – or kill others in accidents due to their driving under the influence. Some commit suicide. Some just continue on with their lives, slowly fading away… also known as the long goodbye. Sadly, most never find sobriety and the suffering family waits helplessly for a miracle.
Sobriety almost always begins when an outside event occurs that causes an alcoholic or addict to look differently at their current life and into the future of where they are heading. Sometimes it is after the loss of a friend to an overdose, getting kicked out of school, or they end up facing prison time. Sometimes it is after they lose everything and end up on the streets. But, sobriety does not have to begin when someone has hit rock bottom. It can, and should happen before they have destroyed their health, their relationships and their future. Recovery can begin with you – the one who loves the addict. This is the true definition of an intervention – ending the enabling before it allows the addiction to kill your loved one or someone who happens to be on the road the same time your loved one is driving under the influence.