Addiction is a chronic health issue that occurs when a person develops a physical and emotional dependence to alcohol or other drugs. If you have a friend or a family member that is addicted to alcohol or drugs it can be confronting, but there is professional support available for both them and you.
If you would like to talk to someone about a friend or family member’s alcohol or drug use our counsellors are available 24/7.
Understanding them (and yourself)
Trying to understand what a person is going through can help you to communicate with them more effectively. If someone feels they are understood, they are more likely to talk openly and honestly, which will allow you to develop and negotiate a plan together.
The person may feel shame, guilt and remorse which can be compounded by an added sense of guilt caused by an awareness of their behaviour's impact on others.
Experiencing these emotions can be overwhelming, which may not allow them to think clearly about their actions. Often these distressing thoughts can lead to ongoing alcohol or drug use.
As a result, you may feel angry, hurt and betrayed. It can be difficult dealing with these emotions while trying to understand the person whose behaviour has contributed to you feeling this way.
It is normal to experience these emotions. Remember to make looking after your own health and wellbeing a priority, too.
Counselling Online is a free and confidential service that provides 24/7 support to people across Australia affected by alcohol or drug use. If you would like to speak to a counsellor you can start on online chat today or you can request support via email.
What can I do next?
You might find the following resources helpful: