Family & Friends of Addicts

We have learned that alcoholism/addiction is an illness, not a moral issue. It is a two-fold disease: A physical allergy coupled with an obsession of the mind. It can be cured through our father God. Temptation and the Enemy will make it difficult so it will be a daily struggle. It is similar to diabetes in this respect. Diabetics need medication in the same way addicts need God. Only complete abstinence from the use of drugs or alcohol in any form, including medicine, can arrest this disease. We can no more prevent the alcoholic's use of alcohol or the addict's use of drugs than we can stop the tubercular's coughing. Only the addict can choose to trust God, and walk out their healing.

We have found that compulsive use of alcohol or drugs does not indicate lack of affection for the family. It is not a matter of love, but of illness. The alcoholic / addict has lost the power of choice in the matter of alcohol or drugs. Even when he or she knows what will happen when he or she takes the first drink, pill or fix, he or she will do so. This is the insanity we speak of in regard to this illness. When we fully understand and accept that alcoholism/addiction is a disease, that is both mental and physical, and that we are powerless over it, we become ready to learn a better way to live.

The Beginning
The place to begin in helping with recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is with you. Learn all you can. Put it into practice, not just into words. This will be far more effective than anything you attempt to do for the addict.

In summation there are several rules of thumb which may be observed:

1. Learn all the facts and put them to work in your own life. Don't start with the addict.
2. Attend AA or Celebrate Recovery meetings, NA meetings, and if possible to a mental health clinic, alcoholism information center or to a competent counselor or minister who has had experience in this field.
3. Remember you are emotionally involved. Changing your attitude and approach to the problem can speed up recovery.
4. Encourage all beneficial activities of the alcoholic and cooperate in making them possible.
Learn that love cannot exist without compassion, discipline and justice, and to accept love or give it without these qualities is to destroy it eventually