Taking Responsibility for Addiction

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boy responsible

When something in our lives goes wrong – and especially when something goes horribly wrong — it makes us feel horrible. When we feel horrible, of course we have the urge to discard those horrible feelings. Oftentimes the easiest way to do that is to pass them onto someone else. In the heat of the moment, you probably don’t realize you’re doing it. Hell, it may even feel totally justified. This is prevalent among addicts and their families; both parties may blame each other. In reality, addiction is a disease, and although certain factors may play into addictive cycles, you can’t really blame anyone in particular. It’s just too complicated. Furthermore, it’s a waste of energy. That person you’re blame may be able to help, but not if there’s a disconnect–an aura of resentment–between you two.

The Vicious Cycle

Children and spouses of alcoholics will often hear, “I drink because you nag me,” or “I drink because you don’t love me anymore.” This, that—it doesn’t matter, because it’s never a good reason for a recovering person to drink. It may be your reason to drink, or their reason to drink, but it’s not a good reason to drink. It needs to be addressed, is the point, because it’s not okay.


After someone experiences a death in the family, a nasty breakup, or a morbid medical diagnosis, drug or alcohol use may seem justified for you or loved one. “Give me a break,” people often say when a drink seems like the normal thing to do. Certain instances, unlike the situation highlighted above, are mostly unavoidable; we all experience them, and we all need some way to deal with them, right? For God’s sake, we all need a beer or a smoke every now and then, right? For a non-addict, maybe that’s somewhat valid, or at least understandable.

Who Is Responsible?

At the end of the day, the user is responsible for his or her behavior. If that sounds too harsh, try to understand that it’s not as though the person committed a crime. We don’t choose to be addicts. Most people can have a drink or two, or experiment with light drugs, without developing problems. Unfortunately, some can’t. A person isn’t irresponsible for getting to the point in which you have to face cravings. Tough situations, situations we don’t ask for, are a part of life. However, we still have a responsibility to deal with them—especially if these problems affect the people around us, the way addiction does, relentlessly.

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I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

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