If someone you care about deeply is going through an issue with drug addiction, you’re not alone. Over 40 million people in the United States suffer from drug addiction issues. Almost all of these people have friends and family.
But while it’s a common problem, it’s not an easy one to deal with. People suffering from addiction often inflict personal damage on others without realizing it.
Sometimes it’s best to stick around and help your friend out. Otherwise, it’s best to learn how to let go of someone with drug addiction problems.
If the latter unfortunately seems like the better option, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through the practical side and the emotional side of letting go of a family member or friend with drug addiction issues.
Learn to Set Boundaries
Cutting ties with someone is much easier when you’re sure that it’s your only option.
Before you cut ties, give the person ample time to change their behavior. Let them know up front that they’re hurting you, and what they can do to fix it.
Set some boundaries so that they don’t interfere with your personal life. These can be different for different people you can forbid them from calling you or seeing you when they’re engaging in their addictions.
By giving someone these warnings, you’re putting the responsibility on them. You might feel too guilty to break ties with someone if you’re doing it without warning.
Setting these boundaries can solve your issues with this person suffering from addiction without you even needing to break ties with them.
If they break these boundaries, however, you have to make sure you stick to your principles. Cut ties with this person. It won’t be easy, but at least you’ll know that you gave them a chance and they chose their fate.
Stage an Intervention
If your loved one has refused to seek treatment, and this is contributing to the destruction of your relationship to them, it might be time to stage an intervention.
An intervention is a great way to draw a final line in the sand. If they understand the impact of this intervention and go along with their treatment plan, you might not need to cut ties with them.
However, if they resist the intervention, you might understand that this is a person who does not want to help themselves. If they refuse to see the evidence that’s laid right in front of them, it might be time to cut ties with them.
Find a Support System
If the person suffering from an addiction is a close loved one or friend that you confide in, it’s especially difficult to let go of them. Don’t try to “be strong” and quit them cold turkey. Make sure you develop a support system of people who will help you through this.
Find people who have also been affected by this person’s behavior, or who have been in a similar situation to you. This will make you feel less like you’re in the wrong, and more like you’re making the right decision. This faith in your decisions is key to getting yourself through this difficult time.
Find people who can replace the role that this loved one had in your life. Surrounding yourself with people who bring similar positives without the negatives is key to getting over these difficulties.
Understand This Can Help Them
One of the biggest reasons people don’t get out of relationships that are destructive to them is the feeling of the destructive person. After all, you can tell that the one suffering from addiction is having their life ruined won’t leaving them only make their life worse?
On the contrary, leaving them might make them realize that they need to amend their behavior.
Whether you know it or not, standing by this person and constantly forgiving them might be enabling their destructive behaviors. This doesn’t mean that they’re sociopaths manipulating you in order to fuel their drug habit per se. It can mean that, subconsciously, that you standing by them means they’re not doing something completely wrong; it might mean they think they can keep living how they’re living.
By cutting ties with them especially if it hurts them you can show this person that they need to wake up.
Understanding the Consequences of Staying
If you don’t let go of a person suffering from addiction, you might be putting other people in danger. Their significant others, families, or close friends could wind up shouldering the burden of your enabling.
Take a look at the big picture. Addiction weaves a web of troubles for all of those who surround the addicted person. Understand that you’re not the only one affected and that there might be others more affected than you.
Ultimately, the addicted person might be managing too many relationships to focus on getting better. By cutting off your relationship with them, you might not just be saving them, but others around them.
Learn How to Let Go of Someone
While it’s never easy to learn how to let go of someone, there are steps you can take to make the letting go easier.
At the end of the day, it breaks down to remembering that you’re not just breaking off the relationship for your own sake, but for the addicted person’s sake as well. Once you remember this, you’re less likely to go back on your decision.
For more support on issues involving drug addiction, contact us today.