Are You In Denial About Your Loved One's Addiction?

It's not just people with substance abuse problems who can be in denial about the addiction. Family members can be in denial too. A family member's denial can be more complicated and more challenging to deal with than the denial of the person who has the addiction.

Here's an example--several years ago, when I was directing an intensive outpatient program for adolescents with chemical dependency, I got a phone call from one of the parents of the kids in the program. She said, "Hey, I have this friend, her son is so and so, and he has a major problem, and I gave her your name, and she might be calling you."

Secretly behind the scenes...

I already knew about this kid because her son in my group had told me about him. The kid in question was doing all kinds of addictive things, selling drugs, using drugs, you name it--He was doing it. He was kind of a ring leader in this scene.

Eventually, I got a phone call from the kid's Mom. She tells me a little about what's happened(and behind the...

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How To Know If Your Addicted Loved One Is Using You?

How do you tell if someone with an addiction is using you?

The sad truth is that as the addiction progresses and goes along, the addicted person is less and less able to put anyone else's needs first.

For someone with an addiction to take care of others' needs, they have to have their gas tank full first. If they get the right amount of a substance to calm down that part of their brain. When leveled out, they can care about other things because they can stop chasing, but it doesn't last very long because they need to get back to the chase.

Important: People with addictions aren't inherently selfish, bad people, or want to take advantage of you. That's not it at all. It's just that the addiction puts you in that state, and it doesn't matter who you are. It will put you in that survival zone. Sometimes it's more apparent than others when an addict or an alcoholic is using you, but it's not always obvious.

Part of having an addiction is getting good at manipulating your...

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