"How can I get my husband (boyfriend, partner, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend) to stop drinking (using, etc.)?"

It's amazing how often those of us who are known to be in a 12 Step Program get asked this question. The amount of pain in the world because of addiction is horrendous. Practicing addicts cause agony among their family and friends.

While there is no magic way to get a practicing addict to clean up, there are some things that may help. The most important thing is to take care of yourself first. Although that may sound selfish or beside the point, it's critical and includes some things you might not think of:

Understand It's Not Your Fault

The practicing addict is an expert at blaming everyone, including you, for the problem. They are likely to say things like: "If you hadn't done that I wouldn't have gotten drunk." or "When you said that I felt so bad I went out an used."

The list of how you caused the problems is endless and usually refers to something that actually happened, making easier for you to accept the guilt. Don't do it! Instead, recognize that blaming out is a symptom of the addiction and a major part of their problem. Accept That Addiction Is A Disease Sure, there is debate about the exact nature of addiction, but when you accept the idea that it is a disease, or at least acts like one, you'll be in a much better position to respond rationally.

It's so very hard for the non-addict to have any comprehension of what the addict is going through. An addict really can't stop using just because he or she should. The physical compulsion is real and well documented. The continued use of the drug means clear thinking is impossible.

>From your perspective, it makes no sense and you're right, it doesn't. And it won't, so there is no point in trying to make sense out of it. Being around a practicing addict is a crazy-making situation. Your job is not to buy into the craziness.

Make Use Of A Support Group

You don't need to be alone with your problem, and you deserve the support of others who are in like situations. The easiest support group to find is Al-Anon and even if your addict isn't abusing alcohol, you'll find you're welcome there. You can find Al-Anon in the white pages of your phone book or by calling information. Almost every other addiction has both a 12 Step group for the addict and one for the family and friends of the addict. The way to locate these is to locate the appropriate 12 Step group's office and call for information on what's available in your are for families.

Although it's scary to walk into one of these meetings, what you'll find is a group of people like yourself who love an addict and are finding ways to keep themselves sane and safe. There's a lot of love and laughter in these meetings - and that's exactly what you need.

Author's Bio: 

Anne Wayman is the author of Powerfully Recovered! Her website is http://www.powerfullyrecovered.com and you can reach her via email at: anne@powerfullyrecovered.com