12 Steps to Helping a Loved One with Addiction (Part II)

husband wife prayingby NCCA Member, Linda L. Verst, BA CPS

7.  If your loved one with an addiction has keys to your home or even if he doesn’t, lock up anything you do not want stolen.  Addiction causes a loss of conscience for many.   Especially, lock up guns, knives, electronic devices that can be easily removed, family heirlooms and medications.  Your loved one may not steal your belongings, but if she’s using, she has friends who will.  If something is stolen from your home, report it to the police immediately.  If you suspect where the items are, or who took them, tell the truth. This is no time for protecting someone from facing consequences.  Arrest and jail can be a safe place for an addict.  If it was cancer, you would take him to a hospital.  Think of it that way.

8. Be assured of the following:  You did not cause this illness; you cannot cure this illness; you cannot control this illness.  You can cope with it.  Put your energy there.

9.  Again, addiction, whether in your child, spouse or other loved one is not your fault.  We make amends when necessary, but each person is responsible for his own behavior believe that no parent ever held an infant in her arms and whispered into the baby’s ear “I can’t wait to see how much I can screw up your life.”  An Al-Anon writer’s remarks in response to a grown child, ranting about her upbringing went something like this:  “Yes, dear, some of your problems have my name on them, but ALL the solutions have your name on them.

10. Sometimes I think the American way is to throw money at problems.  Please understand that this problem in your life is going to require time and energy, love, compassion, patience.  Your loved one may not be ready for help or guidance, but you can get it.  It will help you.  It’s worth every penny and every hour; Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are free!

11.  Want to take action?  An intervention is best done with professional help.The Alcoholism Council of Greater Cincinnati is a great place to start, no matter where you are in the process.  Call 513-281- 7880 or go to www.alcoholismcouncil.org

Casey’s Law now exists in OH and KY.   “The act provides a means of intervening with someone who is unable to recognize his or her need for treatment due to impairment. This law will allow parents, relatives and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the substance abuse-impaired person.” This quote is from operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law.  Go there for more information.

12.  Take time to slowly, mindfully study the above 11 suggestions.  Begin to practice one or two.  Breathe.  Try not to let your urgency pull you immediately to #11.  It’s placed there for a reason. If you want the possibility of long lasting effects, it helps to prepare carefully.  Are you a person of faith? Now’s the time to put your beliefs to the test.   This will likely be one of the most difficult, challenging issues you’ve ever had to turn over to God.  The time to begin is now.

Linda Verst is a KY Certified Prevention Specialist with international reciprocity. While she still teaches Prevention topics and workshops, she is retired.  Widowed, with 5 adult children and 9 grandkids, she volunteers with Kenton County Detention Center, Kenton County Sheriff’s Dept. and Grateful Life Center in NKY.  Her hobbies are yoga, painting, singing, reading, gardening and sharing joy with her dear family and friends.