Living with a Person Battling Addiction

It’s difficult to watch a friend or family member struggle with substance misuse, but those issues become magnified when they occur in a shared living space. Everyone deserves to live in a safe and functional home, but addiction can quickly turn things upside down without an easy, immediate solution. Understanding the challenges of living with someone with substance use disorder and ways to cope are central to self-care and hopefully helping the drug user seek much-needed addiction treatment.

Ways Addiction Affects a Household

Sharing a living space with a person consumed with acquiring and ingesting substances will affect everyone in the household in unique ways. Still, the most common effects include anxiety, stress, guilt, resentment, inconsistent routine, and fear for physical safety. Because substance use disorder is a chronic brain disease, a person can have trouble managing their responsibilities and behavior, whether intoxicated or going through withdrawals, despite the impeding negative emotional, physical, and financial consequences they face.

People sharing a home with someone who misuses substances can be negatively affected, especially children. Studies show that those who grow up and live around open substance misuse are more likely to use themselves. For those who are dealing with a loved one with addiction in the home but as an isolated member, they are also dealing with potentially harmful and criminal drug-related situations within their domicile, which can cause immense distress.

Dealing with Addiction within the Household

People living with a loved one or family member struggling with an addiction often feel the need to “fix” the problem, but their efforts are usually in vain or bordering on enabling. When living with someone who seems to be struggling with substance use, consider the following guidelines:

  • Make safety a priority: Families with vulnerable members like young children, the elderly, or pets should take extra precautions to ensure household boundaries are set for protection.
  • Curtail the environment: Create rules that prohibit the use or possession of substances within the property  
  • Set boundaries: Being around people who are under the influence of substances can be scary and troublesome; disallowing this behavior in a household is understandable
  • Encourage treatment: Opening avenues for a roommate or loved one suffering from substance use disorder to seek treatment that is accessible is the best way to help them
  • Focus on self-care: Those who live with someone with a substance use disorder should take the precautions they need to remove themselves or speak to a landlord about an unsafe situation
  • Seek support: There are many support groups for people who are dealing with a loved one who is misusing substances that may provide essential local resources for help

Middlesex Recovery is committed to helping those with substance use disorder face their problems and overcome them to achieve a better life. With the help of FDA-approved medications and knowledgeable and specialized staff, patients at Middlesex Recovery have the privacy of an outpatient doctor’s office and take-home medications to allow them to achieve their goals. To learn more about Middlesex Recovery substance use disorder programs, message or call the nearest office today.