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My Addicted Adult Child has Come Home to Live and it’s Hell.

The big black hole of unreasonable chaos is how I describe the home where an adult addict/alcoholic child lives.

Their chaotic life has fallen apart and now your adult child has come home to live and won’t leave.

You love them. Why would they do this to you and your family?

Why won’t they quit?

Don’t they know they are killing themselves?

They are so selfish.

You’re sick of the chaos.

You don’t understand substance abuse – not one bit. The self destructive behavior makes zero sense.

20170819_171248 No – our friend here is not dead- just passed out in the front yard of his parents home.

I could go on and on. I could make a list a mile long of all the things loved ones – who don’t abuse drugs or alcohol can never wrap their head around addiction.  You don’t understand it! Who does?

When I would talk with parents of addicts – I simply say “Happy people don’t do drugs.”  Ponder that for a few minutes. Do you know any alcoholics that are “happy”? Do you know any heroin addicts that are “happy?”  No. I use the term “happy” to represent, people content with life despite adversity, they have reasonable coping skills, they are responsible and accountable, they have  positive relationships with others and have empathy. They are resilient.

Addicts are not resilient.

alcoholic man

Picture by By https://kazan.vperemen.com/ (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

According to experienced treatment providers, there are 4 main underlying reasons a person becomes addicted or dependent on illegal drugs and. or alcohol.

  • An alcoholic or addict will have unresolved issues from their past.
  • An addict or alcoholic will hold thinking patterns or beliefs inconsistent with what is true.
  • They cannot cope with everyday life or stress.
  • And now because of their continues abuse of alcohol or drugs they have an injury, illness, pain and even chemical changes in their brain that prevents them from a physical healing.

There are reason addicts/ alcoholics won’t recover – don’t want to recover to a life of health and wellness.

  • They like it!  They like drinking themselves into oblivion. It is how they cope.
  • It’s worth it to stay drunk and high. They can avoid all those things that cause them pain.
  • It’s too hard to quit.  They don’t think they can – it will hurt too much.
  • And they don’t have a reason to quit. What makes sense to you… they won’t care. Because they do not have purpose or meaning in their life. They have lost empathy and self value. Life is worthless except to drink or get high.

So what do you do?  You can’t change this for them.  There is no recovery until that person chooses it.  Addiction results from behavior and accompanying emotion instability at the time the use of substances begins – it is not a disease even though a person can become diseased. It is not genetic. There is no such thing as an ” addictive personality.”

We have become accustomed to what the traditionalist academics tells us about addiction. We believe therapists have the secret key to recovery. We believe the medical models… but like all things rewarded with profit, “evidenced based” approaches aren’t any better that going cold turkey… they have low success rates.

Recovery and the cure is attainable but only when your loved one decides for him/herself it’s time and they want to be healthy as much as they want air to breathe.

Willingness and desire to change how your loved one thinks about drinking and/or getting high is the key to recovery. Only then will they do what it takes to be whole and healthy.  You can’t scream them into being clean. You can’t shun them into being clean.

I know -sounds so depressing. But when you can find your own reasonable awareness of the situation and know you can’t control it – you can let it go and heal yourself.

There is more to the story… stay tuned.


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