Groups in South Africa

1 2 Be Free

12befree Pamphlet Front

If you are Family members or a friend of someone who is either abusing drugs/alcohol or is already addicted or is exhibiting any other form of addictive behaviour that is making their life & yours unmanageable. You are probably able to see the chaos that this abuse is causing in their life and they can't - you’re at the “desperate wondering” stage as to what you can do to help, right?

The largest obstacle that you have to overcome is that the abuser believes that this is EVERYONE ELSE'S problem, or you're blowing things out of proportion and they are often of the opinion that "everything is under control". The person who has the problem rarely sees it as a problem due to them standing in their own way.  Realisation and objectivity no longer exists.

People who are addicted to drugs/alcohol or any other self-destructive behaviour DON’T believe they have a problem, and if there is a problem, it’s due to relationships, circumstances and demographics. This is important to remember when trying to help a friend or loved one who is in the cunning, baffling and powerful clutch of addiction. Sharing with the person that you are concerned for their health and well being isn’t going to alter or change the addictive behavior. It’s akin to me trying to tell the Cheetah not to chase the Gazelle in the wild. The Cheetah’s brain tells him to chase the Gazelle.

If you have an emotional attachment and history with that person and you are too close and are unable to see the entire situation from beginning to end. You may react emotionally without objectivity and perceive the Interventionist as being too harsh, or moving too quickly, or too inexperienced or even too unfeeling.

Situations vary, a person might come to the stark realisation that their drug/alcohol/use or addictive behaviour needs to stop and in some cases there is success. Unfortunately the majority of people cannot just stop their addictive behaviour, using/drinking, so they need help. If you are concerned about a loved one, it’s difficult for you to be an objective messenger, because..... you are too close.

The Addict/Alcoholic's situation is not going to improve, because addiction/alcoholism has taken over your loved one’s life and does not want your Addict/Alcoholic to have the opportunity at recovery/sobriety through  treatment. It’s like having a monkey on their back that controls and directs their life. The monkey isn’t going to let them go without a fight!

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