If you have been living with an addict for any length of time, you no doubt have the scars to prove it. Drug addiction and alcoholism are destructive illnesses that take their toll on the individual and everyone around them. The family members of addicts often suffer the most as they must deal with the heartache of watching their loved one descend into a downward spiral of destruction – and they must also deal with the consequences.

It can be stressful and upsetting to live with an addict, especially when that person refuses to get help. It is impossible to force a loved one into rehab unless he or she wants to make a change and is ready to commit to a programme of recovery. However, once this individual does admit the problem and accepts help, it can be a huge relief when he or she finally enters rehab.

Do You Want Your Loved One Back?

If your loved one has entered a residential programme of treatment for addiction, you will notice a significant change at home. Without the destructive force that your loved one has become, everyone else might start to relax and get back to some kind of normality.

It would not be surprising if you decided that you liked life like this and had doubts about your loved one returning home. No one would blame you if you did not want him or her back, but think about that for a moment.

You have allowed your addicted loved one to live with you for years while he or she caused chaos and devastation. So does it really make sense that now this person is finally getting help that you do not want them back?


It is understandable that you do not want to go back to the life you have been living for so long. You may be afraid that your loved one will come back the same as before and your life will explode once more. You could be feeling resentful of your loved one for all the years of heartache you have put up with and believe that now you finally have a chance for retribution.

Nevertheless, now that your loved one has committed to making the necessary changes required for sober life, it would be a good idea to give him or her the chance to recover and rebuild your relationship. Remember that this person has been suffering from an illness of the brain that caused him or her to behave that way.

Be Supportive

The affected person needs support right now if he or she is to make it through recovery. You cannot expect your loved one to get better overnight; he or she did not become an addict overnight. Nonetheless, with your support, it may be possible to overcome the addiction, and while your loved one will never be the same person again, you may find that the family unit becomes stronger and more stable.

Learn as much as you can about the illness and what you can do to help. Attend family therapy sessions as these will help you to deal with the implications of the addiction. Quitting now could mean you miss out on the chance to become a happy family once more.

Speak to a counsellor to help with your anger and resentment issues; this may be beneficial for everyone. If you have children, make sure they get counselling too as the effects of a parental addiction can last a lifetime if left untreated.

Unless you allow your loved one to return home, you will never know whether the hurt and damage of the past can be mended.