Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionists

Is the Addict in Your Life Crying for Help?

Some of us may not notice the small miracles in our lives. For one, if you love an addict and they’re still alive THAT is a miracle! It means there is still hope and they can get better. There are solutions to the overwhelming problems addiction causes. Sometimes seeking those solutions is the hardest thing. Families become so wrapped up in the chaos created by the addict; whether it be legal issues, trying to find or replace something they stole, or just worrying. Loving an addict or alcoholic isn’t easy. Emotions are all over the place….fear and worry are constantly there and it’s hard to know which direction to turn.

When a family turned to us a few months ago and we had the priviledge to work with them, they were not sure if an intervention would work for the addict they loved dearly. We planned for the family day and the weekend before it seemed the addict was spiraling more and more out of control. Jewlery had been stolen, money from work was taken, and the addict was living in his car. These events are common to a family dealing with an addiction and while it is true that those are sure signs things are getting out of control….these can also be signs of a cry for help, even if they addict doesn’t know it. When we went in for the intervention and the addict saw he was surrounded by love and acceptance from his family and us he accepted help immediately. As we drove away to take him to treatment I could see the weight lifted off his shoulders and he told my husband and I what a relief it was to have the opportunity to begin a new life! We accomplished our goal & were able to bring new hope to an entire family. What a blessing!

BUT that very same week while this family was blessed another was grieving over the loss of their loved one. We have to pay attention when someone is crying out for help…especially when it comes to addicts. Someone that is using & miserable has a difficult time communicating that they need help & can’t do it alone. A cry for help can be something as obvious as the addict writing a note to you, apologizing for some behavior or actually admitting they are having some “problems” right now. Most of the time they are more subtle. You may notice the addict becoming very emtional, crying a lot, or lashing out. They may also make statements such as, “I’m no good for anything or anybody,” or “I’m so worthless.” If you notice them coming home more often they most likely are hoping you will notice something is wrong. Pay attention to the small cries for help your loved one may be putting out there, hoping & praying someone will hear & take action. If you do notice them then that is a good time to reach out for help! And always remember…as long as we have breathe, we still have hope!

7 Responses to “Is the Addict in Your Life Crying for Help?”

  1. doris Says:

    I have a daughter you uses any kind of opiates she can get her hands on,, I constantly worry about her, she is 40yrs old now, moves from place to place, now with a guy who has cancer, all she does is talk about him..I dont talk to her too often. I just wished there was something I could say to her or something I could do..seems like if I say are you happy with your life or anything she gets mad at me…JUST WISHED I could help her..I know shes gotta want it her self..the family got together one time & tryed to intervene I took her in stayed sober, but not, for 30days had to ask her to leave..I dont give up, but now I pray..she dont answer my messages..so I just leave her alone..until I just gotta see her again..any suggestions for be appreciated..I go to AA myself & Al-Anon..that says my life..ty for always sharing…Doris

  2. Cathy | Treatment Talk Says:

    Great post, Kelli, thanks. Can you give us some advice on the best way to talk to someone who is crying out for help? We want to do the best thing for our children or anyone with an addiction, but sometimes we are not sure what to do, especially if they are not willing to go to treatment.

  3. Admin Says:

    Doris,

    Your daughter is not hopeless…..that’s just how she feels. When she gets mad at you for asking if she’s happy she actually mad at herself because she knows she can’t answer that question without worrying you. Someone that has a longtime addcition, especially to opiates feels completely worthless. She feels her life is a failure & she’s full of shame. That’s why she doesn’t answer your messages. If you do speak with her you may gently ask her if she would be open to talking to someone about getting help. No matter what her outside reaction is, on the inside she’s miserable but she just does not know how to ask for help or even where to start. If you would like to speak further please feel free to call us at anytime! Take care of yourself & God bless!

    Sincerest Regards,
    Kelli Athas
    Intercept Interventions

  4. Admin Says:

    Cathy,

    Thanks for commenting. If someone is crying for help they are ready for change, but many times they need that extra push because it is scary and new. Addicts lives are a 24hr a day job of finding ways and means to get more and when they are challenged to change that they soon realize it means changing everything about the way they live. When we offer someone the opporunity to go into treatment we don’t threaten or bargain with them. The first thing we do is empathize. I tell the addict, “I have literally been in your shoes!” I know the misery that life holds and many times the reasons they haven’t been willing in the past is because they haven’t seen anyone else be successful…so they feel it’s pointless. But our approach is to empathize with the addict and sympathize with the family. Our number one priority ALWAYS being that the addict WILLINGLY accept treatment. If anyone contines to have issues getting a loved one to accept help please don’t hesitate to call us….we will not only talk to the family, but in some instances we will talk to the addict.

    Warmest Regards,
    Kelli Athas
    Intercept Interventions

  5. lisa Says:

    my husband has been struggling with addiction for years. 14 years ago he went into rehab and was better for a long time. Last year he met an even worse addict than himself and she is also a nurse so she knows how to get around tests. In the last year he has had 2 DWI’s and has threatened suicide. It is scary that she is controlling him to a point where he is about to lose his job and may face jail time. His attorney has advised him twice to enter rehab, but she keeps interfering. Is there a way I can force him into rehab. He has gone from being a good husband and provider to hardly seeing us.

  6. Jayne Deupree Says:

    My son has been in treatment two different times during a four year addiction period. We now have counseling for him and plan on beginning Vivitrol injections in August. Intervention is great….but the problem is the cost of rehab centers for people like us who have eexhausted all our funds on treatment already. I am glad I found your site. I will keep up with it and I will let you know how my son is. It has been four years of pure hell…..He is a seasoned addict now….I am no longer in denial. Pray for us and thanks you for all your words.

    Love and peace, Jayne

  7. Admin Says:

    Jayne,

    I’m so glad you found us. We work with a lot of families that have depleted their funds due to a child’s addiction. You are always welcome to call & tell us more. We are always willing to offer some guidance. But you also have to take care of yourself. If you look at our resource pg you’ll find a link to The Addict’s Mom Facebook pg. It is equally important for you to keep your sanity & know you are not alone! I work with an addicts family everyday in some way. It’s so important to give back. I can imagine the chaos addiction has brought into your life….sometimes families may as well be using right along with the addict because that’s how out of control you feel. But it does sound like you have a plan of action & that is commendable. You’re refusing to be stuck in the rut! However, if things don’t go as planned please give us a call. It’s not our intention to leave anyone in debt after addiction has ripped a path of destruction through your family. We will work with you & find appropriate treatment that is affordable to you. No family is the same & we don’t deal with any family the same.

    One question: (Really just food for thought) Does your son have a support network around him (such as recovering addicts) and go to and participate in recovery? That above all will help your son STAY clean…treatment is to get him clean & give the necessary skills to stay clean, but it helps to be around others in recovery who he can identify with…that could be just as beneficial as counselling. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns.

    Your family will be in our thoughts & prayers,
    Kelli Athas

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