Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionists

The Core of Addiction

Dishonesty, closemindedness, & unwillingness are 3 characteristics that keep addicts stuck in their addictions…self-obsession is at the core. For families to get through to the addict we have to confront the behavior. Because addicts are so defensive while using many times they will turn & run. It’s too much for them to hear the havoc they’ve caused their family. BUT we can confront them in a caring manner, letting them know that they are loved, while still holding to our promise not to let them be the dictator of all situations. So many think they have to turn their back or cut the addict off completely. BUT I wouldn’t hold it against anyone if they said, “Hey, I love you…I always will. I hate the addiction that has taken hold of you and it tears me apart to watch you self destruct.” I don’t blame anyone for saying “I’m sorry you can’t come into my home, but I’d be happy to go to the park, take a walk & talk.” The main thing is is that no one puts themselves into harms way. But some families have just been through too much. It depends on what each idividual can handle emotionally. And there is a point when you’re watching someone go through the vicious cycle of addiction that a family has to figure out how to set boundaries with the addict and attempt to step in. I know some families maybe against this BUT I watched a very young girl with a promising future die last week because no one stepped in and put a firm foot down. And I just keep thinking about so many addicts I know who’s only intervention was death. Of course, I get very upset with some one when they relapse, but I also know it happens. The other thing I always remember is that my own mother continually stayed on me to stop using. She intervened more than once. She sought help from a long time clean friend & our family counselor. At that point, I realized I wasn’t just hurting myself. My selfishness & disrepect for myself had spilled over into every other relationship I had…..it was enough! 

My husband & I have been partners doing interventions for several years. We try to help families understand the mind of their loved one. We let them know that what the addict does or has done isn’t a personal attack on them…its survival for their addiction. Interventions aren’t about placing blame. It’s about showing the addict, yes there have been many, many mistakes & hurtful things BUT everyone is learning. And everyone has come together out of love for you! When you give them the option to either continue destructive behavior and be on their own (no money, no help) or go into treatment, have your family’s support & begin learning about recovery, most addicts will accept help. Consequences outweigh the pleasure & they really are tired. Besides that, what have they got to lose!

6 Responses to “The Core of Addiction”

  1. Deb Says:

    I hate the addict and all that he has & is putting me through, unfortunately I am legally married to him & in eyes of God bound by marriage for life.

  2. Debbie S. Says:

    I hate the addict too. I am an addict. I wonder if my husband thinks like you. Maybe sometimes, and I don’t blame him. But, I see it in his eyes and I feel it in his embrace and I hear it in his words. He stays with me because he loves me. I wish I knew the person He knows or sees. He committed himself to me not just for this life, but for all eternity. Amazing, isn’t it. He is a great example of true love to me. That’s actually what keeps me wanting to try and try again; his love.
    Hang in there. God will give you the strength every time you ask for it.

  3. Admin Says:


    Our self-loathing and selfishness are the conflicting and confusing forces behind our disease….no one can understand quite like us! But I hope our loved ones will understand our want to be and do better, for ourselves and our families. Please, hang in there! Go to a meeting, ask your husband to try NarAnon, or find some support for himself. You both should know you are not alone. If you need treatment or just support from someone who’s been there please call. It’s obvious you’re intelligent and painfully aware. It takes courage to reach out for help when we feel so far from who we are BUT sometimes these are the moments that help us rise from the depths and reach our potential! My husband always says, “we are just 1 decision away from our next chapter in life.” Are you ready to turn the page and begin?!?!

    Call night or day, 24/7 – 214-377-8599

    Sincerest Regards,
    Kelli Athas

  4. Julie Says:

    Even if you remove addiction from the equation some people simply lack in character. My ex-sister in-law has always used her past addiction as her excuse for narcissistic, manipulative, cruel, beguiling, dishonest, phony, entitled, insecure behavior. Over a period of 30 years she has ripped a path of utter distruction through my family. Even after my brother divorced her…she still consumes drugs and alcohol, conducts herself as if she’s entitled which is entertaining because she lives in an apartment and receives disability from the government. My concern is she continues to lie and manipulate her three children into thinking they are responsible for taking care of her and that our family is the enemy. I see what it has done to both my nephews and their need for her approval and love which she isn’t capable of giving. She’s only nice to anyone for the sole reason of manipulating things to get her way. It’s all about her. The youngest nephew is so protective of her that at 22 yrs. of age he just now has his first girlfriend. He is a great young man but has been groomed by his mother from childhood and I am concerned this will effect his relationships with women and trust of people in general. After college, his career will take him to live in either one of three states and my hope is this will remove him from a very sick environment in which his mother and sister would only continue to suck the life from this young man.
    Both are manipulators and takers.

  5. Julie Says:

    Addicts are the most selfish individuals I have met. Even if they commit to getting sober and taking responsibility for their actions they still have a residue character flaw… their selfish ATTITUDE. They need to work on changing their thinking and their behaviors.
    It’s not enough to get sober…they have to commit to staying sober and changing their thinking and attitudes.

  6. Admin Says:

    Hi Julie,

    I hope this finds you and your family doing well. So sorry for the late response for some reason about 20 posts came up today as unanswered, so I apologize. I would say the same feelings and perception you have experienced in dealing with addiction is pretty spot on to the majority of the rest of us. Yes, you are right recovery is an ongoing process that never ends. The idea of addicts being self centered or self absorbed are common behavior traits mentioned by most who have dealt with a friend/or loved one for any length of time. It would definitely appear that way because everything most of them do is to feed their addiction, the casualties along the way from the outside looking in seems to be of no concern to them. I will tell you that most people caught up in their addiction love the people around them as much as they ever have. After you have created a very large mess for yourself, and basically destroyed all the meaningful relationships around you it becomes very hard to sit back with a clean/sober mind and reflect, the only way you can live with yourself and your past actions is to self medicate. When someone truly cares about themselves and puts themselves first, they make good decisions regarding their life and their future. So however it might appear the one thing that means the most to them is the very thing that is killing them. Once someone makes the decision to get their life back, for so many it is the first decision in many years that really reflect that they are putting themselves first.

    Kind Regards,
    Nick Athas

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