Helping the Addict You Love
The New Effective Program for Getting the Addict Into Treatment
It's okay to love them. It's your right to help them.
Addiction destroys people and can even end lives. When you know or suspect that someone you love is suffering from addiction you have two goals: getting your loved one into treatment and turning that treatment into full-fledged sobriety. Many addiction experts tell you that you have to disengage or risk being an enabler, a codependent bystander, in the wreckage of an addict's life; that you have to cut all ties or be taken advantage of financially and emotionally; that you have to protect yourself from your loved one, who isn't the person you used to know. But many friends and family members find it unnatural, even impossible, to turn away from a person they love who is at his lowest point, and refuse to believe that their addict is lost to addiction.
Backed by his years of experience, Dr. Westreich guides you through the process of getting the addict you love on the road to treatment and recovery. He provides detailed scripts to lead you through pivotal conversations with the addict in your life, highlighting the words that he's found to be most effective and the words to avoid. With this book in hand, family and friends will know, for example, how to motivate their addict to recognize his problem based on the addict's own definition of what addiction looks like; how to "raise the bottom" that addicts so often must hit to a more acceptable level -- such as embarrassment, job loss, or ill health; and when to use gentle disagreement, quiet listening, or forceful confrontation to move the addict toward treatment, while managing and protecting their own emotions. Dr. Westreich also shows you how to engage a therapist in the process and provides methods for combating an addict's defense mechanisms. By outlining several treatment options, he helps you to weigh what each can and cannot accomplish, which is the most effective treatment for the kind of addiction you are dealing with, what each treatment requires of the recovering addict and the friend or family member, and how successful each is. Dr. Westreich also takes care to discuss the kinds of special situations you may face when the addict in your life, in addition to having a substance abuse problem, is a minor, is pregnant, has mental or medical diseases, or has other issues that are likely to affect recovery.
Helping the Addict You Love is the guide that so many loved ones of addicts have desperately needed. Dr. Westreich supports you through the emotional process of helping the addict you love, tells you it's okay to want to help, and teaches you how to do so.
- Touchstone, April 2007
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