Addiction isn’t an individual problem. Addiction affects an entire community, both from a macro perspective and micro. As we have previously discussed on the Heritage Home Sobriety Blog, addiction affects every member of the addicts Unit–that inner sanctum populated by those who love you unconditionally.

Brothers, sisters, parents, lovers, wives, husbands, friends, colleagues are all affected by your addiction. And you, in turn, are affected by them–their denial, pain, and, at times, even their support.

And while you seek help for your addiction, by entering into an addiction treatment program or attending a 12-step meeting, oftentimes members of your Unit don’t feel they need to get involved in the process. Here are 8 reasons why, according to Carole Bennett, published on The Huffing ton Post:

  1. Embarrassment and shame. People may view them as bad parents unable to “control” their husbands, wives’ or children’s behavior. The irresponsible upbringing of the children or disrespect to the spouse. The shame of it all with tongues wagging and fingers pointing behind their backs; too embarrassed to admit such a problem to anyone!
  2. Private. It’s nobody’s business. They don’t air their dirty laundry. They will work this out as a family in the privacy of their own home.
  3. Denial. The person may be in trouble at his/her workplace or it may be problems with their family members or maybe a legit issue. Since it is like a passing cloud, there is nothing to worry about. Each and every person are in need of excuses these days and they are becoming used to it.  
  4. Lazy. Someone else will handle the problem. The other person will take care of the child, the other brother/sister will deal with the parent, a friend may also deal with it.
  5. Not wanting to make waves. Doesn’t want to be punished or scolded for bringing up such a volatile issue. Discomfort in the possibility of being denied love or security. They always want to be at peace whatever situation it is. Moreover, they aren’t interested in dealing with problems.
  6. Their peers, loved ones, neighbors are “doing better”. After a few days, a normally behaving person brings everyone to a sigh of relief. They’ve turned a corner, the worst is over, or so they desperately want to believe.
  7. The alcohol addict has given assurance to seek help from you and do trust them as everything will be fine. A couple of AA meetings or even professional counseling; looks good and there is another sigh of relief; until the next incident.
  8. Frightened. A question of their presence arises from their inner self. They want to know about their behavior. If the friend or family member seeks professional guidance, then they are now enmeshed and have to work on their part of the recovery and not just sit back and wait for their loved one to take action on their own. Old behaviors that have permeated the family member or friend have to now give way to different thinking and actions. Fear of not being able to follow through with new boundaries and expectations coupled with the fear of anger and rejection from their loved one; the alcoholic/addict.

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