Family and Friends of Addicts, Part 1

One of the problems faced by victims of addiction as they strive towards recovery is the response of family and friends.  In the case of friends or family members who also use addictive drugs, this may mean terminating or limiting your relationship with those persons.  It’s much harder to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle if you’re spending time with people who are still using.  Sometimes, it’s necessary to change your phone number or erase all of your contacts to make it more difficult to connect with other people that you previously used with or purchased drugs from.

Most victims of addiction have friends and family members who are not involved with drugs, and this is much harder to deal with than limiting or eliminating contact with other users.  Your family and friends who are living clean and sober lives and who do not have a history of drug use will often be unsure whether they can trust your commitment to recovery.  It may be that over the years you have lied again and again about your addictive behavior.  How many times have you sworn and promised that you’re not using when, in fact, you truly are?  It may be that you have borrowed money by claiming you need something only to use that money to buy drugs.  Perhaps you have stolen from friends or family members in order to get money to buy drugs.  Whatever the case, you have broken their trust a few times, or even many times.  Now, they’re perhaps unwilling to trust you at all.

This can be a very painful part of your recovery.  The very people to whom you are looking for support as you enter recovery have pulled away and do not want to trust you only to get used again.  You may begin to feel resentment about this, saying to yourself: “Just when I need them most, they won’t have anything to do with me.  Don’t they want me to recover?  Are they ever going to trust me again?”  It’s important to avoid this resentment.  If the people who love you are afraid to trust you, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.  You’ve broken their trust many times.  How do you expect them to suddenly start believing you again.  If you’ve lied to them many times, you may have to be honest and open with them twice as many times.  Your poor decisions have caused the problem.  You must begin to make good decisions to solve the problem.


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