Cape Town has more than its fair share of addictions. And any long-term addict is likely poor as a result, leaving them reliant on people that they would not otherwise choose to mix with.

Such was the case with ¨Carmel¨ (not her real name), a recovering alcohol and other drug addict. She recently came to see me when she fell off the wagon. We are doing the treatment with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), chakra balancing, Reiki, and some chakra colour therapy, and she is responding well. In our session, an important aspect came up that I want to talk about today. This aspect is an important one for both addicts and those who care for addicts. I hope it helps you or someone you care about.

It transpired that Carmel had recently taken on a new flatmate. This flatmate was vetted very carefully. Even in the advertisement for the room, Carmel clearly stated that she wanted someone who did not take drugs and was not a big drinker. But, as soon as she relaxed into the household, Carmel´s new flatmate started openly smoking marijuana and drinking more than the average person. Carmel soon became influenced by this new friend who engaged in these activities in her own front room (and let´s face it, it is impossible to ignore the smell of someone smoking pot in their own bedroom anyway). She finally took a toke of a joint. This led to another, and more, and before you know it, Carmel, who was a teetotal, was getting seriously drunk with this lady.

Part of our treatment was about the possibilities of looking for a replacement flatmate. Another possibility we thought of during the treatment was to tell the flatmate that she must under no circumstances let Carmel have any marijuana or alcohol. We investigated the pros and cons of different courses of action, so that Carmel will be better-prepared to deal with this.

It is important for a recovering drug addict to be in an environment where they are not regularly exposed to and offered drugs, be it alcohol or any other drug that they had a problem with. This is why so many addicts in recovery break with their old drug friends and work hard to make new, clean, friends. The Law of Attraction also comes into it. Someone said that we are like our 5 closest friends. So it is important for anyone in recovery to surround themselves by people who are clean, or at least by people who are doing their best to be or become clean.

Eventually, I believe that Carmel has to replace the flatmate, but of course, that is Carmel´s decision. Right now, she needs the money and needs to become stable, before she is strong enough again to advertise and interview potential flatmates, let alone tell the existing one to leave. Our treatment has already resulted in Carmel going back to her Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and this is already helping her balance the negative influence from her flatmate with positive influences from people who are clean or trying their best to be. Carmel´s challenge is a daunting one, but she can pull out of this, one day at a time.

Author's Bio: 

© Suzanne Zacharia 2012. My name is Suzanne Zacharia and I am committed to spreading the word about ways to improve your health, happiness, success, and lifestyle. Want to use this article? You can, as long as you credit me with it and invite your readers to get my FREE book "7 Real Truths of Energy Psychology" at or my free course "5 Days To Change Your Life" at