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How Does Opiate Addiction Affect Loved Ones?

The Law Office of Joel M. Bacher July 6, 2019

You often hear about the impact of opiate addiction on those who are addicted. Loved ones of the person struggling with substance abuse also face a steep uphill battle. It’s heart-wrenching watching a person you love lose themselves in opiates, which are highly addictive drugs that often cause overdose deaths. As a result, many family members struggle right alongside the victim, as explained by Harvard Health Publishing.

When faced with addictive behaviors, many people are unsure of how to best help the addict. Some people take a “tough love” approach as a means to help the person reach bottom sooner. The theory goes that once a person is faced with the cold, hard facts of addiction, which entail no home, no food, and no one to love, they will be forced to seek treatment on their own. While this may be true in some cases, it can also be extremely stressful for the family. The fear of overdose is ever present for people who abuse opiates and many loved ones are rightfully concerned that if they turn their backs, the addict will succumb to the addiction.

Addiction is a complicated disease. Often, a stint in rehab is not enough to help a person recover. In many cases, it can take many tries over the course of years, and many families feel unable to withstand the rollercoaster of hope and disappointment that accompany relapses. However, addiction specialists cite how important it is to remain connected to the outside world when addicted. As a result, more and more families provide renewed love and support with each try an addict makes.

However, it’s important to take care of yourself if you have a loved one who is addicted to opiates. When financial issues arise, it’s OK to safeguard your finances, even if the addict reacts badly. It’s OK to set other boundaries as well, even if it feels as though you’re betraying the person you love. Remember, you can’t help them when you’re struggling.