Many addicts will tell you that they are only hurting themselves, but you and I know that isn’t true. In fact, addicts can be downright dangerous to everyone near them. That’s why it is so important that we stop enabling them immediately.
Statistics that Might Shock You
Studies have shown that eighty percent of offenders in prison abuse alcohol or drugs. On top of that, about half of the inmates are considered to be clinically addicted to drugs and alcohol. At the time of arrest, about sixty percent of individuals test positive for illegal drugs.
With that information at hand, one has to wonder how much crime and violence there would be if addiction weren’t an issue.
Living with an addict puts you in unpredictable situations. This is especially true for women and children that live with someone who is addicted. At any moment, addicts can become irrational for no apparent reason. When this occurs, abuse is likely to proceed.
Even when physical abuse isn’t present, the level of mental abuse occurring inside the addict’s home is unprecedented. The mind games that are played are enough to drive anyone to the brink of mental insanity. This emotional abuse can lead to physical health ailments from the stress.
When child abuse is present, four out of every ten abusers were found to be drinking at the time of the abuse. In addition, studies have found that children of addicts are more than three times likelier to be abused by their parents than the children who live in non-addictive homes. They are also neglected often which can lead to other disastrous consequences.
2. Sex Crimes
When you are dealing with an addict, there is also a chance that person struggles with sexual issues as well. Sexual abuse and sex crimes are more often done at the hands of addicts. People in the addict’s life could be the target, or innocent women and children could be at risk as well.
In addition to the sex crimes, consider the wife who unknowingly has relationships with her partner who has been using dirty needles to shoot drugs. She is putting herself at risk of diseases such as HIV without ever having the chance to make a different choice.
This doesn’t automatically seem like a danger, but it could turn violent easily. Anytime an addict is in need of money; you are a target for theft. This could just be stealing some cash out of your wallet to emptying out the entire bank account to cover the cost of drugs.
If addicts in debt with their dealers, you might even find yourself in danger when they come around looking to collect.
4. Driving While Intoxicated
Did you know that more than a million people get arrested each year for driving while intoxicated? That’s the third most reported crime in the U.S. It’s also the number one cause of death, disability and injury in people under the age of 21.
Each day 36 people die and another 700 can be injured from alcohol-related traffic accidents. That’s a scary statistic and you put yourself at risk every time you are on the road with your family.
The roads are so dangerous that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that during the weekend nights, one in eight drivers tests positive for illegal drugs. On top of that, you have countless other people now using prescription opioid drugs and then driving. This impairs reactions the same way the illegal drugs do and can be just as dangerous to those on the road.
Be a Part of the Solution
If we can find a way to help the addict, we lower the danger element for everyone involved. Let’s be clear; being an addict doesn’t mean you are automatically dangerous. It just means you are more susceptible to hurting others.
Whether it is done intentionally and willfully or just from sheer neglect, it is possible. Allowing the addict in your life to go to jail isn’t going to solve anything. The key is to prevent these dangerous situations from occurring in the first place.
The irony is that you can’t stop addicts doing anything that’s dangerous, but you can make the situation more likely for them to get the help they need.
It is important that you set necessary boundaries in an effort to protect yourself and those around the addict. Boundaries are an essential part of having a healthy relationship and it will stop the addict from taking advantage of you. When they can no longer have everything their own way, they are more likely to change. That’s because they don’t like dealing with the consequences of their own behaviors.
Here’s how to tell if you need to set boundaries with your loved one:
- You badger the addict about what they’ve done in the past.
- You give them guilt trips.
- The cycle of warning them about the consequences of their behavior is never-ending.
- You criticize them.
- You’re giving solutions when you haven’t been asked for advice.
- They take advantage of you or steal from you.
- You cover up for their bad behaviors.
- You are scared around them and walk on eggshells.
While each situation will require the use of its own boundaries, here are some healthy ideas to get you thinking. Each of these are things you could say to the addict. Remember, if you are going to clearly tell them this is what you mean, you also have to be willing to follow through with the actions.
- “You cannot have alcohol or drugs in the house or around me at any time.”
- “Your friends that use drugs are no longer welcome inside the home.”
- “If you get arrested, you are on your own. I will not bail you out and I will not pay for your lawyer.”
- “You are no longer allowed to ridicule or insult me.”
- “I won’t give you any money. This means I will pay none of your bills, no gas goes in your vehicle and I can’t buy your food.”
- “I cannot lie for you from here on; regardless of what the situation is.”
- “If you don’t show up on time, don’t come at all.”
The time has never been better to get the help you need for a healthier life. Whether or not the addict in your life ever seeks treatment, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from danger. Set up healthy boundaries and seek out support from others who understand what you are going through. Together, you can create the safe and peaceful life you’ve been desiring.
Call Clearbrook Today For Immediate Help
If you or someone you know and love is struggling with drugs and alcohol, help is available.
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been effectively treating those who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction, while providing education and support to affected family members.
If you are ready to get help and come to treatment today, please contact our Admissions Specialists now. Recovery is possible…and it starts here!