Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionists

Manipulation & The Addict

Manipulation is an addict’s best friend; it is a favorite tool in their “tool belt”. While we know that addicts are not bad people, we are realistic in the fact that addiction causes people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. When an addict feels backed into a corner they will say anything to smooth over the situation as quickly as possible, so they can slowly but surely return to their old behaviors. They will go to great lengths to divert the attention off of them and manipulate a situation in their favor. In being allowed to do this their disease is steadily progressing. Rationalizing, deception, and justifying are all parts of manipulating and addicts excel at this. To them it’s for survival, but their perceptions are skewed…it is for their addiction’s survival. And to be brutally honest the disease of addiction means to kill them. If you notice these behaviors do not ignore it, do not allow it to continue to create chaos in your life. You can take back your power…I watched it happen this very week!

42 Responses to “Manipulation & The Addict”

  1. 調查 Says:

    I just stumbled upon your site and i truly saved it accommodating,you’ll be rewarded to your efforts.

  2. purple black Says:

    I agree 100%

  3. denise krochta Says:

    Just another point to add to this scenario. When the manipulation takes place and they will say anything when backed into a corner as Kelli says, this is an important thing to remember. Don’t take whatever they say personally!!!
    This could be a life changing tool for many of us.

  4. Admin Says:


    That is exactly right! I talk to so many families, and in some cases the loved ones are harboring resentments because the addict said something terrible or stole something valuable. The sad fact is that addicts lie, manipulate and deceive because of the guilt and shame they carry!

    I’m so glad you brought up this very important point! Keep sharing with us!

    Kelli Athas
    Intercept Interventions

  5. Julie Jordan-Wade Says:

    This is a very valuable lesson to learn when dealing with an addict…for your own survival & emotional stability! As a parent, spouse, child, or significant other who loves someone with addiction you MUST accept that manipulation is their mode of behavior–it has nothing to do with who you are to the addict but it has everything to do with their addiction. Detach from the manipulation tactics, stay focused on the big picture, take care of yourself first, & hard as it is, never give up on them.

  6. Anne Brink Says:

    Wow… if I could only figure out how to not be manipulated by the addict… My husband has been an aggressive addict. I have panic attacks everytime he comes near me. We have children together and I am attempting … yeah… attempting a divorce. (emotional roller coaster with a manipulator..”I’m a changed man”) and because of the children I fear I will always be part of the manipulation… How can I keep myself safe yet maintain a good (distant) relationship with their father?

  7. Admin Says:

    Thank you so much for your comment. I realize its a stressful situation especially when children are involved. The best thing you can do for yourself & children is to setup healthy boundaries & when you see he’s trying to manipulate you call him on it! Let him know its not acceptable & you refuse to participate or be controlled by it. As a family you have rights & you have the right to a peaceful life. You have the right not to live in the chaos brought on you by someone else….even your husband. And you don’t have to wait for him to change in order for you to make changes. If you have any other questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to call our toll free number 877-744-3578. Always remember to take care of you!

  8. jennifer Says:

    my husband is an master manipulator he lies about everything its always my fault…. blames me for everything.. if i try to call him on anything he did wrong to me he turns it around and says i started in on him first never takes responsibility on any of his mistakes i.m in so much pain right now because he has damaged our 14 year marriage by leaving me with all the bills to pay saying that he is tied of hurting me and hurting him so he is moving with the uncle in Hawaii.. whom is a drunk also all of his friends are drug addicts they told him that leaving me will be best for him also his mother is a master manipulator i thought that i can talk to her she betrayed our trust and told him everything we talked about very nasty to me and never wanted us together from the very start i am crush and never will i trust any one else he says he is never coming back home

  9. forgotten and dismayed Says:

    Manipulation and scare tactics is what myself and my children have been involved with the addict for over 10 years. They can’t control themselves so they need to control people around them. They need to keep their “secret” safe. And anyone like this should try to mature, clean up the addictive behavior, and let their loved ones lead a healthy normal lifestyle without this burdeoning chain of deception and control. It should be A CRIME to control people. And the addicts needs to really depend on themselves to get better.

  10. Stella Says:

    My daughter is the addict in our family, which consists of me and my grandson. While she is much, much better than even a year ago (she is on methadone which is administered here in Spain, and which she herself is diminishing with my help) she still steals from me and tricks me vis-a-vis money on quite a regular basis. We live on a small island in Spain, there is no work especially given the present crisis here, she claims she needs to be trusted with money, i e to go grocery shopping, in order to feel some self worth yet she repeatedly cheats and accuses me of being difficult and treating her like a child when I react to this.

    She also claims that since she is on the mend and ‘trying so hard’ she needs marijuana to keep her spirits up. Should I refuse even one penny and also agreeing to the marijuana which she smokes in the evenings? In other words absolutely nothing except the food on the table.

    thank you for your reply,

  11. Admin Says:


    I really feel I need to be completely blunt here…YOUR CHILD IS STILL IN ACTIVE ADDICTION! Although she may be taking some steps to make positive changes in her life, it seems like she is only willing to do the things that are convenient for her. Smoking pot is not okay for an addict. I would like to know if she has been through treatment, is participating in any type of counselling, and/or going to any NA (Narconics Anonymous) meetings . If not then she isn’t “in recovery”. She has just stopped using and believe me when I say, those are two entirely different things! It does sound like she’s manipulating you and rationalizing and justifying her behavior. Like her saying, “You need to trust me with money so I can feel some self-worth.” But what has she done to gain your trust with money, especially!?! You don’t hand the keys to a 16 year old and say, “Go where you please, you earned it!” No, we set boudaries, like don’t go on the highway, or you can only go so many miles from home until we know you can handle this responsibility.

    There are many things you can do to begin setting boundaries with her but first she has to be held accountable. And she needs to be given the tools to deal with her situation. Marijuana definitely is not the answer…especially for someone already on methadone, which I hope they are slowly (but surely) weening her off. I would love to speak with you and possibly her as well. You should feel okay with delegating responsiblities to her and only then should she be given a dime! I strongly believe in giving incentives to someone new in recovery BUT the incentive needs to fit. I also believe there should be consequences for not following rules or guidelines set up in your home. You absolutely have the right to have a peaceful home. And if that peace is being disrupted by one person someone needs to take action!

    I really hope to hear from you and I pray that your daughter sees all you are doing for her and stops taking advantage!

    Sincerest Regards,
    Kelli Athas

  12. Admin Says:

    I can feel your frustration with the addict in your life. I realize living with an active addict leaves the family in the wake of the destruction and chaos caused by the disease of addiction. And until the addiction its self is addressed the chaos will continue. Addiction is a disease. The difference between addiction and other diseases is the methods of treatment. I do not know your situation. But I can tell you from my own experience that once an addict gets treatment and they take a look at the destruction they have caused they are truly remorseful….he or she may already be remorseful but doesn’t know how to show it without having the necessary tools. Addicts carry so much shame and guilt that it becomes difficult to even look in the mirror, much less face their own reality. Addicts do not respect themselves (look at what they put their body, mind, and soul through). And when we don’t respect ourselves then everyone that is in our path is treated with that same disrepect (how ever unintentional it may be). The control issue most likely stems from fear. When we work with a family we hold the mirror in front of the addict’s face but also show them that there is hope. They can get better, gain a healthier perspective on life, and become postive individuals. But there is work involved for everyone if its someone you care about. Addiction is a family disease and the families need to understand addiction and know there is a lot of support out there for both the addict and the family!

    I also want you to know you have the right to a life free of emotional terrorism. I will actually be posting a new article that reminds people of their rights as a family member. If you would like to talk we are available 24hrs a day. Call 877-744-3578 and press option 1

    Take care of yourself, always!
    Warm Regards,
    Kelli Athas

  13. Admin Says:

    I realize the situation you’re in is not an easy one and we have worked with many many husbands who feel they hold all the cards and all the power. The sad thing is most times everyone in the family is operating off of fear, especially the addict. There’s so little they have control over in their life and manipulating others is one way they try to maintain the control. But he needs to be held accountable. He needs to hear how his actions are affecting you. And everyone needs to be on the same page for healing to take place for all involved!

    I just responded to another family that is having a similiar issue…I hope you will read it as well and know we are always available!
    You do not have to listen to anyone speaking to you or treating you with disrespect…if that happens you can calmly state that that is not an acceptable tone and you cannot continue to participate in this unhealthy rhetoric!
    My sincere apologies for the late reply!

    Warm Regards,
    Kelli Athas

  14. Jennifer Padden Says:

    Further to my previous comments, do you feel it would be in the best interest of our son to call in the surety as he is not following the conditions of his bail? I ask this for 2 reasons: 1. by not calling in the surety, we are showing our son that it is ok for him to break the rules of his conditions 2. I feel that since we have been weak with our discipline, that this is once again showing that we are not doing our job as parents to him.

    We have felt much turmoil about what to do here…especially because if he is put in jail for not following curfew, what help will he receive there? He could become more frustrated, more depressed and may even become suicidal….this is so scary!

  15. Sara Says:

    I’ve been married to an addict for 22 years, and was very naive in the beginning. I see now that what I thought was just an extremely disfunctional way of communicating was really his manipulation. I also see that I never had the marriage I thought I had because he was an addict long before we met, and so he never really had the ability to love and be honest and open with me. This is a bitter pill to swallow. Where can I find specific information on the different techniques used by addicts to manipulate others. We are on the path to divorce, but I have children that will need to understand boundaries with their father and how to recognize his manipulation. Thank you!

  16. Admin Says:


    There are many different ways addicts manipulate. But the point is to divert the unwanted attention from them and their issues (especially when they feel backed in a corner). Addiction is a disease that effects not only the addict but the family and anyone who loves them. Addicts have a different perception of reality and some feel that their manipulations are survival tactics. They will displace anger and/or frustration they feel for themselves on something or someone else. They may blame their use on a tragedy, claiming this is their way of coping but it’s actually their way of escaping. And they will almost always rationalize and justify their use. For example, if someone is a prescription addict they my claim they cannot work without their pills. Many addicts are already on edge..they know what they’re doing is wrong but they have their addiction in their ear telling them using is the only way to escape the feelings of shame and hopelessness they feel. And until someone or something intervenes the viscous cycle will continue.

    If you have any questions or other concerns please don’t hesitate to call! Remember to always take care of you and realize you are not alone!

    Kelli Athas

  17. VielGluck Says:

    I watched opiates turn the sweetest, kindest most trustworthy girl into a selfish, inconsiderate liar. After 7 years together, and not far off from us considering marriage, several months ago she admitted to having a problem and checked herself in. Since, she has relapsed several times and now, only 6 months out of our relationship (which we both decided should sort of take a back seat) she has told me she met someone at rehab and has feelings for him. I am clean and have never had any drug problem. Nevertheless, drugs have
    D E S T R O Y E D my life. Take heed, young ones.

  18. Kelly Says:

    I have been involved with a guy who is degreed at a masters level. He goes to church, attends men’s group and says he is in some kind of addiction group, yet everytime were together he has to have a drink and even when were not. He believes he’s fine because he’s functional. He is an older man and has no steady peace and resists actively moving forward in our relationship as well as in his process of healing and recovery. He talks a great game but he can’t stay happy moment to moment and he blames me for his ineptness in providing and the day to day struggles we have with communication. I really love/ed him, but I sense we are going in circles and getting no where. It’s really unfortunate because he can be one of the sweetest, most enjoyable people I have ever met.

  19. DENISE Says:

    I’m 30 years old and I’ve been married to an addict for 13 years. I just found out that he is snoring cocaine for 6years. We have two girls, 10 and a 5yrs. I summited the divorce. He keeps denying his addiction. I also found out that he has another child( new born) and multiples womens on the street. I tried to confront him but he doesn’t want to talk to me. last month he moved with a women that he just met. He doesn’t want to work, but he wants to be a DJ in a hispanic club. Which I know he gets the drug there. I knew somthing was wrong but I though he had a drinking problem. All our friends knew but me. I offered my help but he keeps denying his addiction. On march,2013 he had an over dose. the same day I went to the club with him and i noticed that he went to the bathroom and came all high. I confronted him and he said he was tired. Currently I’m taking therapist dont know what to do. I want to run away with my girls and never look back. PLEASE HELP!!

  20. larry Says:

    My wife has a son that is a addict and allway’s
    say’s love you mommy. the rest of the family
    is trying to help her deal with it. But we a rotten people because we do dot say we love you with meaning. but the addict say’s it with meaning. according his mother. We ( the rest of family ) are being held hostage because of his addiction. Do not know how to help any more.
    Any advice PLEASE PLEASE

  21. larry Says:

    He just got out of jail for same thing. was doing very well. But went back to same old thing.
    This family is at it’s breaking point. I am
    the step father and nothing I can say matter’s.
    I love all the kid’s 5 in total. we have been together for 15 year’s. Have a young daughter
    19 yr’s old. She is suffering the most. I do not know how to help. We are all the bad guy’s
    kid’s and me. Help Help

  22. Admin Says:

    Dear Larry, Your family is in a very tough situation, from the description of events surrounding your step son your story is almost exactly the same as thousands of others across the country. If you have ever heard of addicts being reffered to as sprinters and not long distance runners your step sons behavior would reinforce this thought. It seems as though when our backs are against the wall we perform well and many times go to extremes in the oppisite direction and from the outside looking in we give the appearence of doing very well. Only in weeks and sometimes days to continue in the old behavior we had so strongly oppossed. Addiction is a family disease, and yes many times the whole family is held hostage by the actions of one. We have to keep in mind that addiction is a disease and left untreated will progressivly get worse. I also understand we tend to take things personal and somehow add real meaning to the harsh critcisims coming from our addicted loved one and in most cases it is merely their only defense mechanisim. Your step son has to get back into a treatment program, and we tell families all the time you can keep some one in treatment their whole life, but the most important part of the process is what they do the day they get out. Your son can get better and the family can overcome, but treatment has to come first. Nick Athas

  23. Margaret S Martin Says:

    Thank you for this discussion. I have dealt with addiction in my childhood and in various adult relationships including my ex husband, and in the workplace. I don’t believe there is a person on the planet who has not had to deal with addiction. I tried many things to help me handle the addict(s). Therapies of various kinds, yoga meditation but the life changing help I received from Alanon, a 12 step program for friends and families of addicts ( not just alcohol) is the only thing that worked. There are alanon meetings in every city in almost every country in the WORLD. No two meetings are the same… but they all follow basic principals in common. I have been going now for more than 30 years. It is an organization that provides comfort, strength and a lot of practical tools to deal with living with an addict. Many of the responses here to remarks or situations,questions are very similar to things I have both heard or said myself in an alanon meeting. An Addict’s behavior affects every member of their family. It is in fact a family illness. I urge anyone suffering from this family disease to investigate Alanon. As I said it changed my life… no it SAVED my life.

  24. tammy Says:

    I have been married to an addict for 20 years. First, it was alcohol and now drugs. He lies about everything, even things he has no need to lie about. He professes his love for me but continually disappoints me by not following through on the things he says. How do you know when an addict is lying or telling the truth? He has become a master at manipulation. He will start arguments to get out of things.people talk about the addict hitting rock bottom but he may destroy me in the process

  25. Admin Says:

    Hi Tammy, It seems as though you have been on this road for a while now, and addictions to specific substances can change over time sometimes they change simply because of availability, or different environments. One thing we do know is that no matter what substance the addict is using abuse occurs. Addicts and alcoholics are master manipulators, and liars and these characteristic traits are needed for the survival of their disease. As far as the bottom goes we feel each individual is different but for the most part the bottom is death and hopefully somewhere along the way the natural intervention process will occur which comes in many forms jails, institutions, dereliction , family, health, job, and so on. One thing we know for sure is that if the consequences do not finally out weigh the pleasure there is no motivation to change. All we can control is the environment we find ourselves in. It is up to each one of us to keep ourself safe. Over time we can get comfortable in some very bad situations usually that comes from fear of the unknown. We all deserve to be happy and sometimes the decisions we have to make are very difficult but in the end are good for all involved. Your husband has a disease it is not personal, and yes I believe when he says he loves you he really means it. Nick Athas http://www.interceptinterventions.com

  26. Lynda Says:

    My daughter have been in a relationship with an addict for two years he constantly manipulates he has threatened to kick her out on the streets he sends abusive texts accusing her of bad behaviour, then he apologises and she forgives him. he does not work regularly (while she has a full time job)so she subsidises him and his lifestyle. He also owes her a considerable amount of money. Each time he calls it day or is abusive we are there to help her and pick up the pieces but we cant continue to watch him abuse her. She is a lovely person and feels sorry for him, she thinks she can change him and she thinks he loves her, we (and her friends) can see that he is manipulating her for his own benefit but she cannot see or accept this. What can we do? he is dragging her down ,she is losing weight, we are so worried about her

  27. terrenia Says:

    Hi I have been with my husband for 5 years and married for 3. He lies, steals, starts yelling for no reason so much. He was addicted to weed and went to jail for that and other things because he on probation. I am so emotionally drained. He ed even tells me he uses k2 now because I am not supporting him through this addiction and k2 gives him what he needs. We have a 1 year girl, in our 5 years hes been to jail, rehabilitation mental and drug, he has stolen from me and our house stealing from stores. He cant keep a job for a period of time. I am so lost I dont know what to do. although he did smoke weed when we first where together we were going to church praying for God to change his mindset and thinking. I thought people grow and change in life.

  28. michele Says:

    My mother-in-law claims she has been sober for 3 yrs and she is heavily into NA. She went to one pain mangaement DR. and when he cut her off she went to another and he put her on saboxen. My wife mother treats her daughter like she is nothing and manipulates her to where my wife wants to go back and use. Now her mother is tellig me that I am not welcomed and trying to control the house completely. I have never met someon that could lie right to your face and beliee it. What do we do she has got us een further in debt that we cannot move out.

  29. Johng533 Says:

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. Ill bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next! kdeeakbgaecd

  30. Stephanie Says:

    I wish I could convince my father that my brother (35 year old) is manipulating him everyday! He claims he is sober, of which I see all the signs that he is lying. I have him on my cell plan and on parent controls of which he does not know about, he will text a variety of differnet numbers between 12am and 530am. He goes to meetings and a born again christain church and preaches his religion on a constant basis. He has stolen quite a bit of money from my dad over the last 10 months (stole his credit card and wrote a check on his account) He smokes pot and tells everyone he needs to because he cant take his bi-polar medication??? Also he has convinced my dad that he is clean and sober for 10 months now and my dad will baby him, he does not work except at my dads farm whenever he shows up, he doesn’t pay rent or make a car payment or even buy groceries. He is in a relationship with a girl he met at AA and she has 2 small children who come over all the time when she is allowed to see them. I guess i just need to be reassured that my gut is right and that he is still hiding his party.

    Thank you so much,

  31. emi Says:

    My love my husband, we’ve been together for 15+ years. He’s just manipulative and doesn’t even realize it. I know that he won’t see it so I don’t try to explain anymore. I feel so disconnected from him lately. I’ve been progressively feeling this for almost half a year now. I need a separation to just get some space and peace in my life. My husband keeps flip flopping back and forth on separation/divorce to working it out. I honestly don’t believe anything he says. He stopped smoking pot for a month now. He says it was easy, but I know that it took him many months to slowly stop. I don’t feel like there is a foundation for a real relationship with him at this point. He doesn’t believe that he needs rehab or recovery so he’s now a “dry” addict. I’m over 50 now and the thought of nothing changing and staying in the same situation is utterly depressing me so I’m going to push for separation in the coming days. He keeps bringing back old ‘happy’ memories but to me, though there were happy times, they were laced with sad, disappointing, dishonest times when he broke his promises, lied, minimized, ignored, and trivialized what was important to me.
    I guess that I’ve gotten to a rock bottom point. I’ve been a stay at home mom for over 10 years now, it’s a bit scary to get back on my feet.
    I just try to focus on living “one day at a time”.

  32. Lucy Says:

    I have a nephew who is a Heroin addict. He has been one since 13. It has torn this family apart. He has absolutely no moral compass and lies and manipulates all around him into thinking he is a good guy and has reformed. I have seen terrible things he has done to his ex girlfriend, hitting her, threatening to murder her. Kicking and punching her should she dare to try to stand up for herself, and all this in front of his toddler child. And when she was pregnant and wouldn’t terminate. He steals and leaches money off of my parents. They have given him thousands. My children have stood by and watched his addiction be rewarded and are rightly resentful. Everyone else is to blame except him. He is a master liar and so convincing that the rest of the family have justified his actions towards his girlfriend. I cannot believe their reaction. She doesn’t want her children to have much contact with them for obvious reasons and the family are making her life a misery. I really feel that they enable him to continue his reign of terror by never making him accountable for his own actions. He has County Court Judgements coming out of his ears and I am totally alone in backing the ex girlfriend. He drives under the influence of drugs all the time. I cannot agree with them. I know what I have seen and I will not under any circumstances condone or justify his behaviour. It is causing a deep division in the family. I am actually stunned that he makes excuses for the domestic abuse and they side with him.

  33. Kaitlin Says:

    My sister has been an addict for several years, but finally came clean about her addiction a little over 6 yrs ago. She’s currently 24 yrs old. She’s been using since high-school and I feel it has delayed her social skills. Anyways, she’s gone to rehab, been homeless, stayed in different places to get clean. My family has been super supportive towards her, buying her new furniture when she’s “clean”, giving her information to find help, calling places for her, helping her get into hair school, helping her find a different job after she decided she didn’t like doing hair, and providing a home for her to rent from my grandmother. Anyways, a year and a half ago she found a fiancé fairly quickly and that’s when my family bought this house for her to “rent to own”. She said she was clean…but was on Suboxone. About 6 months ago her fiancé and her split up. (I’m almost positive they were doing coke together the whole time, but my family believes she was clean). Well, she started doing coke and then reverted back to heroin. WTf. She has all this support and then does this?! So we were at the beach yesterday. And it’s like pulling teeth to get her to hang out with us (my mother, gram, myself and my children). My grandmother says she’s having my brothers over for dinner that night and invites my sister to have steak at her house. My sister says, “we’ll see. I don’t know” and my gram asks her, “what else will you be doing?” And she’s like, “stop with all the guilt questions! I’m here aren’t I?!” I feel like she’s such a spoiled little rotten brat. I’m so upset with how she can be so rude to people that are bending over backwards to make her life good, despite her horrible decisions to use. It’s making me sick! Of course we all sit in silence after her rude comment because no one wants to speak up and upset her. I’m really feeling like I need to confront her, but I know there are certain ways to deal with these addicts, and I don’t want to send her down the hole further. Ugh. advice please.

  34. Jane doe Says:

    Loved one of the worst for a long time… Gave and gave and forgave, loved anyway, helped financially, made “loans” that were never going to be repaid apparently, hung in there, loved more, gave more, forgave more, etc,etc, etc. Finally decided his lies, pills and potions are the loves of his life, not me, so i just walked away…he’s not worth the pain, heartache and tears anymore…my heart is broken….. Loved him to my inner being….. Decided i had to love myself more now….but it still hurts like hell….. I don’t care what happens to him now….. I honestly think if he died it would be best for all involved parties… Including him…i get the whole “disease” thing, but i still think they make choices based on their own selfishness and not giving a crap how much its hurting the people who love them most…. Those of us who gave them everything we had and our whole heart and soul… He can kiss my ass now… He can drink and drug up to his hearts content… no one cares anymore… All bridges have been burned….. He’s a worthless piece of shit and i wish i had never fallen so hard for him when he was sober… He’s wrecked my life too… And many others….. I hope he pays for everything and enjoys eternity in hell because theres no other place he will be going.

  35. Tania Says:

    I honestly don’t know what is right and what is wrong with my mom, the addict. She is getting kicked out of pain management due to not passing drug tests. Went into a coma from OD’ing yet she denies this action on her part and claims her meds are contaminated at point of manufacture. I’ve done the best I know how and just detatch and said I needed space which my sister cannot respect. So now they want me to come to the aid of my mom whom needs surgery and apparently I am the “only” one that can help her. My sister planned it all yet with guilt I allowed myself to be roped in. I am 42 and she has been an addict as long as I have known her. What are the regrets I could face if I truly just say good bye? She won’t get help and the addiction and the addiction actions rip my insides and hurts me terribly. I wish her dead, it would be easier.

  36. L Says:

    I’ve dealt with a few addicts in my life, intimate relationships and a family member. As soon as I stopped believing them, of needing to believe them it got easier to handle. Stopped depending on them for things. Stopped saving them. I didn’t totally leave, just disengaged. Funny though, with the intimate partners as soon as they realized I wasn’t buying their b.s. they moved on. I think that a part of them thrives on the drama. It’s not just that they can’t help themselves, or that it’s a distraction. There’s something else to it.

  37. jeff Says:

    i have a friend in rehab, she did her detox and now is in a oxford women? and we are not sure why she wont come? she says that she feels she needs to stay there and meanwhile she has a home to come home to ? its her first time ever there and she is in a home with all other repeaters ? we think that thet are just making her feel she neds to stay and we want her home? what signs or what can we say to help her get home?

  38. Admin Says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Your situation is pretty much exactly opposite of the ones we usually deal with. Most of the time family members or friends of addicts/alcoholics are trying to figure out how to keep their loved ones in a sober living environment. Given that each individual family unit is different I can not say what will or what will not work, although drawing on past experiences both personally and professionally the longer someone stays in a sober living environment after successful detox/treatment their likelihood of continuing on a positive path increases with each passing day. For the rare cases where something is taking place inside a sober living home that is either causing or can potentially cause harm to the residents living there it should immediately be reported to the local authorities. But as I mentioned before sober living homes can be a very important part of the road to recovery. Hope that helps.

    Nick Athas

  39. Admin Says:


    What you have described is pretty much the conclusion that most eventually arrive at when they are dealing with someone who suffers from drug/alcohol addiction issues. First and foremost the individual will do or say whatever is needed to feed their addiction, once those avenues dry up they have only 2 choices. 1. Face the undeniable facts before them (very difficult for most, especially in the first few years of addiction), or 2. Move on to the next person, or group of people they can emotionally, and/or sometimes financially drain. The bottom line is that addicts are going to do whatever is easiest for them to continue in their disease. For the most part the casualties along the way are not something they consider while caught up in the process. I always say it is very hard to expect someone to treat others with respect until they learn to treat themselves that way. One thing I do know for sure addicts/alcoholics love the people in their life and never intended to hurt any of them. It all starts with someone loving themselves enough to give themselves a chance to get their life back.

    Kind Regards,
    Nick Athas

  40. Admin Says:

    First of all thanks for sharing your story, yes dealing with someone caught up in this disease can be very difficult emotionally, as well as financially. Sometimes the most difficult circumstances are those that involve a loved one who is legally prescribed pain medication, or/part of a pain management program. It is very hard to convey the message that sometimes it is better to figure out other options for managing pain than their current program. With that being said very few doctors actively involve themselves with the monster they helped create. One thing I know for sure anyone anywhere can get better from the very young to the very old, it happens everyday. It also sounds as though there might be some other issues going on when you mentioned the contaminated medication. Anyone who has dealt with someone they love over a long period of time has felt the same way you have.

    Kind Regards,
    Nick Athas,

  41. Admin Says:

    Hello Jane Doe,

    I hear what you are saying, and know how you are feeling. You might be asking how could I, well besides being an addict myself, I’ve married 2 addicts, one of which died from an heroin overdose, and a son who is an addict. But has now been clean for 8 years. Addiction not only destroys the life of the addict/alcoholic but also everyone who opens up their heart to them. In a lot of families everyone might as well be using because of the chaos one person creates, not to mention the devastating effects this disease has on children. I must tell you I have a special place in my heart for all the people who suffer with this disease, and I also know that anyone anywhere can get better, it happens everyday. Is it easy, NO it’s not, but one thing I know for sure your not going to find a tougher job in this world than being an addict, it really is a 24/7 finding ways and means to get more regardless of who gets in your path. It is also one of the toughest diseases to live with, and it is almost impossible to look at yourself in the mirror with a clean or sober mind. Most of the time family and friends only know a tip of the iceberg that someone has gone through as a result of their disease. For most they have or will do many shameful things as a result of their disease. It usually starts with family, family is a safe place to take from but eventually even family gets tired, having to hide their stuff or take their purse to to bathroom in fear of everything being stolen. Once their resources dry up at home then they start taking from the community. As we all know the community is not as forgiving, eventually they become part of the criminal justice system and then just become a number, for most it becomes a revolving door. I am really sorry for the hurt he created in your life, but just always know he can get better, and one thing I know that most people do not understand….It is not personal, I promise!

    Kind Regards,
    Nick Athas

  42. Admin Says:

    Hi Kaitlin,

    Sorry for the delayed response, we had several posts that did not get approved for some reason, but I corrected that and it should not happen again. I really liked what you had to say, you also brought up some very important issues. One thing I know for sure is that you can not keep someone clean, and your surely are not responsible for someone using. You will hear that a lot, if you had not done this, or that, then I would not have used. When someone uses it is because they wanted to, and there is nothing you or I can do about that. As far as confronting people on their shit, it has to be done, the way you do it has a lot to do with how they respond, as you mentioned. Addicts are manipulators as you are well aware of. It never seems to fail if you are trying to move someone in a specific direction they will not budge, but if you can make it their idea things just seem to work out. Sometimes you have to manipulate individuals in a positive way, and the bottom line is, it really does not matter whose idea it was, but just the fact that the decision is being made, and your loved one is getting the help they need. It also sounds as though you guys have a lot of leverage, I never recommend threats or ultimatums but unless things change the person has no reason to change. Consequences create change they also naturally occur as their disease progresses. The whole idea of confronting someone in a positive and respectful manner is to initiate abstinence before a situation occurs that they can not take back. Anytime someone is using they can hurt themselves or someone else. You hear all the time you have to wait until someone reaches their bottom, the bottom is death. You do not wait around for that, you accelerate the consequences and move forward. Hope everything works out for your sister and she gets the help she needs. Always remember she loves you guys and it is nothing personal, and she can get better and reestablish all her relationships. Many people find freedom from addiction everyday and there is no reason why your sister can not be one of them.

    Kind Regards,
    Nick Athas

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