How to let go of a drug addict son

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To let go with love - Such things

What is better - to try to control every step of your drug addicted child or write a complaint about him to the police? Codependency is a state in which the relatives and friends of drug addicts and alcoholics are. Parents of addicts tell what hell they had to go through with their children, and a psychologist comments on their actions

Marina, engineer

I raised my daughter alone. She and I lived together - we talked like two best friends. Could laugh and fool around at midnight. When Katya turned fourteen, something irreparable happened. She's got girl friends. They went somewhere in the evenings. Where, I did not know, contact was lost. But I reassured myself: Katya has a transitional age, it passes. Somehow I found weed in her things. Asked:

— How did you get this?

- This is not mine - for sale. You give me little pocket money!

Again I convinced myself: the younger generation is like that.

Katya decently finished school, entered a university, defended her diploma and got a good job - she headed the St. Petersburg representative office of a Moscow travel agency.

Well, I thought, my daughter has grown up. Our relationship, of course, is not very good. But the main dangers have clearly passed.

My daughter worked a lot, but I didn't know where she went and with whom she spent her time.

One day Katya came home and vomited all night long. She said that she went to a restaurant with friends and ate something stale there.

I was tormented by the most terrible suspicions, but Katya denied everything. And then the truth became clear. I went to the narcologist. He said that his daughter may be injecting drugs...

I came to the next "specialist" with my daughter. I am in tears. Katya is in denial of the disease. There we were told with contempt that our daughter was “not finished” and let her go on hanging around ...

At home I yelled, quarreled, demanded something from Katya. In public, she diligently hid her misfortune.

I have become an information hunter. Once on the radio I heard about the organization "AZARIA" and went there for the initial appointment. I was given the addresses of groups for co-addicts, a schedule of lectures at which relatives of drug addicts were told how to behave with those suffering from this disease.

Now after work I didn't go home - I had an event planned for every day. It seems to me that I spent more money on educational literature than my daughter spent on drugs.

They told me I should let Katya go. Stop controlling her. Let him go his own way: the addict will not begin to recover until he hits rock bottom. And everyone has their own. Unfortunately, the bottom of some is death. The task of relatives is to leave the addict alone and let him reach this very bottom. Yes, it's a risk. But there is no other way to recovery. Meanwhile, the native person of the drug addict, meanwhile, must go his own way, without depriving himself of the joys of life.

For the first two years, I made scandals at these lectures and seminars. I convinced myself and those around me that my case was special. I have a special daughter and an unusual story. But actually it was a classic case, straight out of a textbook.

I remember at the first meeting of the group of co-dependents I was dumbfounded: are they all made of wood? Their children are dying! How can you laugh and smile! I tried to prove, first of all, to myself that drug addiction is a form of promiscuity, and not a disease.

And then I was diagnosed with cancer. After the operation, I realized that my condition was destroying both of us: both me and Katya.

And I began to listen to what they told me. I understood what it meant to let go with love. I stopped making scandals and controlling Katya. I didn't look for her even when she disappeared from the house. I learned to separate my daughter from her illness.

Each of us went our own way. I was even glad when Katya lost her job - now she should have had difficulties with money for drugs.

The daughter disappeared for weeks, then appeared. Once, with her, all valuable things disappeared from the house. I wrote a statement to the police and put it on the table in the kitchen. Said I'd take it next time.

I knew that I could lose my daughter, but I also knew that emotional independence was the only way out for me.

And one day the daughter came home - terrible, thin, exhausted. And she said that she wants to be treated: she can’t live like this anymore.

I managed to get a ticket to a good rehabilitation center for drug addicts. This one rehabilitation was enough for Katya to enter a stable remission. At the center, she met her future husband. They are both drug free. They have two sons.


Olga Ilyina, psychologist of the Regional charitable public organization "AZARIA":

The more the relatives control a drug addict or alcoholic, the less chances he has to "get to the bottom" - to come to the idea of ​​the need for treatment. One of the characteristics of addiction is the lack of a sense of responsibility for one's actions. Therefore, you need to “let go” of control, leave the addict alone with all the consequences of his illness: debts, problems with the law, domestic problems, health problems, etc. While relatives solve the problems of the addict, they are responsible for the consequences of the disease. The addict feels this very well, he has no reason to stop “injecting” or drinking. Only when the sick person himself is faced with the "results" of his "activity", he may want to recover.


Tatyana, history teacher

My daughter Lena has always been the smartest and most beautiful girl. She grew up in an atmosphere of universal admiration. She loved being praised. And she was greedy for flattery.

I worked two jobs at the school. She raised two daughters alone. The three of us lived in the same room in a communal apartment in the center of St. Petersburg. And Lena wanted a good life and beautiful clothes.

She, the eldest daughter, has always been the main one in the family. My youngest and I always listened to her: she dictated where we were going, what we were spending money on. She looked so mature to me.

Lena didn't do well at school. When I tried to convince her of the need to gain knowledge, she brushed aside:

— Mom, in order to live well, school knowledge is optional.

Then Lena started skipping classes. The transfer from one school to another did not change anything. Now I understand: she was intelligent, practical, reckless, sociable. But she never grew up.

Then her friend told me that Lena got into an expensive car with a man who stopped when he saw her. With this man, she smoked a drug for the first time.

Illustration: Rita Cherepanova for Trade House

And then everything rolled. She injected the drug into her ankles. When I asked her about the marks on her feet, she answered:

— Mom, the basement is full of mosquitoes. They fly in through the ventilation and bite me.

Lena needed money for drugs. She established her own “business”: she herself was engaged in prostitution and traded in the same youngsters somewhere on the highway. I heard how she scolded on the phone one of her “wards”, who provided the client with some kind of sexual service and did not take money for it ...

Eventually Lena confessed that she was a drug addict. I felt like I had fallen into some kind of black abyss. I asked her:

— What should I do now?

— What can you do?

I started attending co-dependent group meetings. I tried my best to separate from Lena - both mentally and physically. We moved with our youngest daughter. And her friend, also a drug addict, moved in with Lena, and soon died of an overdose.

In the end, my daughter asked me to arrange for her treatment. After leaving rehab, she began attending meetings of the Narcotics Anonymous group.

She died of an overdose five days later in a den in the city center. She was only sixteen years old.

I still can't understand why this happened to my eldest daughter - so smart, so bright, so self-confident? What did I miss in her upbringing? Perhaps I was too busy and trusted my daughter too much. Perhaps I was too ill-informed. Sometimes I think what a brilliant life Lena would have lived, what a wonderful career her daughter would have made if she had stayed alive ...


Olga Ilyina, psychologist at AZARIA:

— The eldest daughter was the head of the family, she dictated the rules by which her mother and younger sister lived. Lena was the best, everything was for her. The attitude towards the child, when he is put on a "pedestal", creates dependencies. Another striking characteristic of addiction is selfishness. The more requests of a teenager are satisfied by parents, especially if there are other children in the family whose desires fade into the background, the more chances he has to become addicted. A child grows up spoiled when parents satisfy his desires to the detriment of their own and the desires of other family members. Recovery begins when a mother realizes that she is attending support group meetings not only to help her child recover, but to learn how to live fully herself. For addicts, it is often a shock when co-dependents begin to spend time and money on themselves, and not on them. And it becomes impossible to control and blackmail loved ones with their disease.


Anna, engineer:

— I came to emotional independence from the states and moods of my drug addict son through hatred. Yes, through hatred of one's own child.

My husband and I found out that our son Lesha used hard drugs when he was sixteen. He had his first overdose. His drug addict friends themselves called an ambulance. My husband and I arrived at the hospital.

Why did the son become a drug addict? He must have been in bad company. Half of the class he was in had already died of overdoses.

Now I understand that during the first years of Lesha's illness I fell into a deep codependence. How many times we took him to hospitals! How many detox procedures he went through - there are not enough fingers to count! How many things he took out of the house! I suffered. Scolded him. And I bought new things to replace the stolen ones. Now I understand: my whole life has become a relationship with my son's illness.

He stole. Everything and everywhere, wherever he could. Once he went into the library and stole wallets from the bags of visitors. He was caught. I then reimbursed the money to the victims of the theft. She asked for their forgiveness. I got them to withdraw their statements from the police. It was wrong.

I woke up after I discovered that I was living in practically empty walls - Lyosha had taken everything he could from the house. By that time my husband had died. And the son has been drifting from one short remission to another for about ten years - through exacerbations of the disease.

And then I seemed to go berserk. And she hated Lesha. I put an iron door in my room. All more or less valuable things, including cutlery, I took with me.

Lesha still managed to steal a microwave oven from the house. Without thinking twice, I wrote a statement to the police about him. He was given a year in a colony-settlement.

The son has returned from the zone. I said that I would not let him live with me anymore.

He got a job, rented an apartment with a friend.

Then this friend of his called me and said: "Lesha lost his temper again." But this - for today the last - the exacerbation lasted less than a week. The son said he was ready to be treated. The only thing I did then was to pay for some tests so that he would be taken to the hospital as soon as possible.

After rehabilitation, he has not taken drugs for almost two years. Lives with a girl, they dream of a child.

I ask myself: why did he become like this? No, I don't see it as my fault. Lesha was lazy since childhood. At school, he refused to go to a math class, saying that he did not want to study hard.

I think my coldness and even hatred helped my son to get on the road to recovery.

But you know, I sometimes think about the things that Lyosha took out of the house: about my husband's and my wedding rings, about the porcelain cups that we were given for the wedding, about the watercolor “Portrait of an Unknown Woman”, which our family managed to save during the blockade.

My love for my son gradually returned. But the annoyance remained.

Olga Ilyina, psychologist RBPA "AZARIA":

Just like addicts, co-dependents "reach their bottom". In this case, Anna's hatred, as well as Lesha's illness, turned out to be their “bottom”, starting from which, they began to recover. The more a codependent solves the problems of his addict, the more he destroys his life. As a result, he begins to experience negative feelings towards the addict. One of the tasks of relatives of drug addicts and alcoholics is to stop living 24 hours a day with the problems of the user. And slowly rebuild your own life. Only in this case is it possible not just to separate, but to separate with love. When our own life is not completely destroyed, we need to learn to separate the disease and the patient. And to take actions that will lead him to recovery - no matter how cruel they may seem.

Codependency among relatives of addicts. | Coordinating Center for Combating Drug Addiction

Usually, the recovery of a drug addict begins with the fact that his relatives seek help. It cannot be said that they were healthier than a drug addict, more aware of the problem and the need for help to solve it. Rather, they see the problems of the addict from the outside, and they “see better” because the problems do not concern them. If they are told that they themselves need to start recovering from codependency first, then it is not often possible to find a willingness to change themselves. “And here I am? He's addicted!" And yet relatives need help, even if they are not very aware of it.

What kind of help can it be within the framework of a parish or a monastery, what are the motives for asking for help from relatives themselves?

For definiteness, let's take a family in which there is a son who is a drug addict and his mother. Everything said below is quite suitable for other families where the drug addict is a daughter or wife, where the father takes the place of the mother, and so on.

1. Consolation.

Those close to the addict are undoubtedly suffering themselves. They live in constant fear for the life of a drug addict and their well-being, they are full of anger at him and pity for their difficult fate. Complaints to God can also be heard, they say, what is such a life for, and why exactly did I get such a heavy cross. Years spent in such a state of mind had undermined their health. They are lonely because many friends left them, and they left others themselves: “no one from the outside will understand my misfortune.” Often such a mother comes to the temple not only for the last hope for her son's recovery, but simply for consolation.

The father figure of the priest allows her to seek empathy, sympathy, unity in the desperate loneliness of her suffering. We cannot push her away with the reference to the fact that she is “to blame”. She often talks about it herself. But, of course, this is not the whole truth: her son is free. Therefore, although the mother may have influenced the fact that he became a drug addict, she did not ensure this in any way, which means that she does not bear all the blame for her son's drug addiction. It is wrong and destructive to lay on her all the responsibility for the illness and actions of her son, because otherwise she will have to correct everything! But she can't. .. This is the work of the addict himself in the first place, but he can be helped with this. Of course, in the temple she should hear: "Pray, mother." But what should she rely on in her prayer?

Firstly, to a fact verified by many, many drug addicts: her son can recover . Regardless of how long he used drugs, what other consequences for his body and soul brought drug addiction, we know many examples of a sober, prosperous life of recovering drug addicts. Therefore, you need to continue to hope - and carry this hope to the addict.

Secondly, there is not, and cannot be, senseless suffering, the grief experienced has a deep meaning for her son and for herself. So she came to the temple. Her pain brought her to God for help. It turns out that she loves her son without conditions, is ready to forgive him and sacrificially help him. It turns out that pleasure and selfhood are not the main thing in life, and now her son learned this from his own example. “God did more than if he simply abolished evil—He made evil serve good” (Blessed Augustine).

Further, God is merciful, and this can be shown in the life of a mother and her son, this is an experience that you can rely on. How many times the son deserved to have numerous misfortunes in his life: prison, hospital, even death .... And the Lord is slow in retribution, although sometimes stopping the drug addict abruptly, but he is long-suffering and waiting ... So, you can hope for His mercy, and ask for it relentlessly.

Finally, the miracles of God exist, they are undoubted, and there is a call in them. You can show and tell a lot about how God delivers from troubles through the prayers of loved ones, especially mothers.

God is omnipotent, and therefore can save her son from drug addiction. Why doesn't it deliver? Because is waiting for his repentance, his efforts to overcome drug addiction, and his mother's repentance too. Will it wait? It is the mother who should start this difficult work, because she has more motivation to recover. God is able to overcome the disease and give rise to a new life in the recovery of his son - but how can He do this against the will of the drug addict himself? No, He can only stop and give thought, but to cure a drug addict without his own participation means only to increase his sin. And how does the mother herself behave in this? Can she also wait a long time with God's help, hope for a "change of mind" of her son, that the prodigal children still return? God can wait a very long time…. And what about mother: with God in this hope, or without Him?

2. Instruction: stop codependency!

As a rule, there is one painful side in a mother's life, which greatly hinders, almost stops her son's recovery, and greatly torments her. It looks like she was "infected" by her son with something similar to drug addiction, she serves her just like her son! And at the same time, vehemently denies his contribution to his addiction.

· When she covers up the consequences of his drug use, he continues to use them more and more.

· When she makes a fuss, stands in the way of his use, trying to stop him - he offends her more and more, "walks over her" to get the drug, and this builds up new grievances between them.

· When she controls his drug use or his treatment, so that the worst does not happen, he takes more and more risks, hoping for her control, but she still cannot foresee everything.

When she lives his life instead of him: “picks up” him at work, in the family, in loans, even in prayer, praying not for him, but instead of him – he fills his life with drug use…

In short, when a mother lives the life of her son who is a drug addict, her contribution serves to increase drug addiction and prevents her son from starting to recover. Mom then becomes an appendage of dependence. Relatives make huge sacrifices for the recovery of the addict, but these sacrifices do not serve the purpose: they are “devoured” by addiction. At the same time, relatives live at the limit of their capabilities, they suffer a lot - but they cannot stop, a certain obsession is also visible in their actions. What makes them do these things? – Their “infection” with addiction, which is called that – codependency.

The most terrible sacrifice that a codependent person makes is love. Is this so, because all these sacrifices are made under the motto "I love him, and I can not do otherwise"? Let's look at the consequences.

· They abuse the drug addict: he no longer makes decisions, everything is decided for him. He lost the freedom to live, which is in no way connected with love. The demon in C. Lewis's "Letters of the Troublemaker" is surprised: how does God love this?! That's when the demon "loves", he seeks to absorb, subjugate, bind the one whom he so "loves", and God loves - and sets him free .... There is nothing like God's love in codependency. There is control, power and absolute disrespect for the person. Man - although he is a drug addict.

· A co-dependent relative loves the addict if he recovers and despises and condemns him if he continues to use drugs. Can love be conditional? Do they only love clean children, and stop loving dirty ones?

· To a co-dependent mother or wife, all means are good to only exercise control over the life of a drug addict. Resentment, scandals, eavesdropping and peeping, manipulation and insults - all in order to achieve the desired goal.

But love disappears not only in relationships with a drug addict. Other members of the family also fall into painful, traumatic positions. Let us now take, for example, a family in which the son is a drug addict, and there is also a husband, grandmother and other children. How can roles be distributed in a co-dependent family?

Mom can become the main lifeguard. She tries to control her son's entire life, including his life day and night, even what he does in the toilet! Is it possible at the same time to remain a mother to other children, a wife to her husband? All conversations, all thoughts, all actions are directed towards a furious effort to stop the son's drug addiction. The rest of the topics are not important: "I'm so tired, leave me." She has a huge responsibility, there is no obedience to anyone, she decides everything herself, condemns and takes offense .... Is it mother and wife?

Husband often leaves…. Maybe he (“traitor”!) leaves the family to a place where they pay attention to him - and he has so much guilt for his son, so much anger at him, and life is so attractive where there is no son! - to work, to another family, to drunkenness. Or he formally remains in the family, but his interest is in TV or the Internet. He does not participate in family affairs in any way, because no one loves him. He does not make decisions, shifting his responsibility to others, looking for joy and peace on the side. It often happens, however, that he begins to win back his wife from his son, becoming a tyrant, driving his son out of the house so that in this house they will again pay attention to him. He loses his place as husband and father.

Grandmother competes with mother. When a mother is desperately strict, a grandmother furtively gives money to her granddaughter “to eat”, as if she had forgotten that her grandson is a drug addict. She shouts to her daughter that she is “not a mother!”, and pampers her grandson. But when he steals her pension, she says in a trembling voice: “Get out, thief!”, as if she does not know that her grandson has not earned a single ruble for the past five years, and at the same time buys drugs. Grandmother does not have a prosperous old age, she is not taken care of, she is not honored. ..

And other children are desperately trying to earn their mother's and father's love, trying to somehow attract attention to themselves. How can you yell at adults? Firstly, if you become necessary, almost an adult, if you help your mother save your brother, then you will be praised and noticed. Earn love... And you will know that this is the only way they love, therefore, when you grow up, you will marry a drug addict so that you have someone to save. Secondly, you can be a light joker, always cheerful and joyful, an outlet for adults. Then they will notice you and smile, and this is necessary. And no one cares what's really inside you. And then someday, inner bitterness and pain will break out, and then they will turn away from you in disappointment: “Something you complicate everything .... That's what you are!" Thirdly, you can simply become a drug addict too, and then everyone will notice you and begin to save you too. Fourthly, you can just despair and go into the virtual world, into computer games, into dreams and just not bother anyone . ... These children have no love, no childhood, and therefore there can be no healthy adult life later.

All these people have experienced betrayal, each of them is trying to "pull the blanket over himself", each is trying to use others for his own good.

Addiction subjugates the life of the whole family, the family gets into trouble and begins to reproduce ill health on its own. This is codependency. But often the family's ill health runs deeper than the influence of the son's illness. It can be passed on from generation to generation, creating a fertile ground for addictions, and not only for them - violence, rejection, despair, dislike. Here are a few symptoms of an unhealthy family:

Healthy family

Co-dependent family

1. Open communication.

1. Closed family, vague, uncertain relationships, only problems are discussed, and in the genre of criticism of someone who has problems.

“Don't talk, don't feel, don't trust”

2. Support each other.

2. Everything says “no!”. Finding flaws, joking, punishment.

3. Respect and cooperation with each other. The presence of a "team".

3. Manipulation (attempts to control each other). Warring camps, sabotage.

4. Trust

4. No trust, suspiciousness, mutual settlements.

5. High quality of family time. Talk about everyone's life, eating together, fellowship, prayer, news stories.

5. Everyone for himself. "I don't have time to talk to you." In the evenings only TV, computer.

6. Educated mutual responsibility.

6. - Indifference to each other


- Overprotective

7. Moral values ​​that can be discussed.

7. Non-negotiable value system (good-bad, black-white, you are bad, I am the worst, etc.)

8. Traditions in the family. "Let's have a party!"

8. No respect for family traditions and the need to have them. No holidays, only duty.

9. An open spiritual life respected by others.

9. There are no common spiritual values, they are not realized.

10. Respect for the privacy of each family member and personal boundaries.

10. Infringement on the privacy of another.

11. Open expression of love.

11. No expression of love, neglect.

12. The value of serving each other in the family and in general to everyone is recognized.

12. There is no value in service. “Why should I bring you tea? When will you bring it to me?"

13. Openness to outside help. The other is a potential friend.

13. Rejection of someone else's help. “Do not take out dirty linen from the hut!”.

So much pain in these families! It can be treated if you start recovery from yourself. There are special self-help groups for relatives of drug addicts, where they work on their recovery from codependency under a special program, prayer groups for mothers; There are psychologists... Many, many families today have stopped codependency, and this has not only saved families from destruction, but also helped the addict begin to recover. This put him in a situation where he faced the consequences of his drug use directly, and thus received a strong incentive to begin the process of recovery. In addition, he saw genuine sacrificial love, the call of which he could not help but respond to.

3. Instruction: set boundaries!

Boundaries are the clear rules of the family, according to which she will now live in such a way as to stop domestic violence. For example, a mother never again eavesdrops on the phone conversations of a drug addict son, so as not to invade his private life, and at the same time not to be tormented by overheard information: you cannot use it, and it is impossible to forget. And the son, in turn, comes home before 24:00, and therefore does not interfere with the sleep of the rest of the family. Violations of the rules are not punishable by punishment, but the violator finds himself in a difficult situation. Mom, standing at the door, may lose the right to hear the answer to her questions - everything! And no one will open the locked door for the son who returned home at 0. 10. It is essential that all members of the family observe the boundaries, and the violation of the boundary by someone puts him in a position outside the rules of the family for a certain time, but does not give the rest the right to violate the boundaries in turn. This is a kind of family constitution, which is usually performed "by default" in healthy families. But in a family where there is a drug addict, many rules need to be approved, because they were mutually violated, and life in the family ceased to be safe.

Borders are the design of every family and there can be no hard and fast guidelines. For example, in one family, there is a specified border on coming home, as in a children's fairy tale about an ant that was in a hurry to go home: "the sun will hide - the anthill will close." Appointed time - be kind to comply. This is very tough, but sometimes it is necessary for the house to be able to sleep. Where you will sleep - decide for yourself, the house is open until 24 hours. In another family, this is unacceptable, and a boundary is set that the drug addict must call in advance, in which case they will wait a bit and let him in. This is necessary so that he learns to take care, negotiate with loved ones. And in a different family, this is impossible: for example, a person prone to suicide cannot be put in very difficult, seemingly hopeless situations. Therefore, it would be good to consult with families who understand the problem - this is convenient to do in self-help groups.

If there is a question about the rehabilitation of a drug addict, then often the borders are very conducive to the fact that the departure to the rehabilitation center does take place. For example, in one family, a son who was a drug addict could not make a decision to start recovering, dragged on and behaved aggressively, until his mother said: “There are no more drugs in our house. If you leave for a dose, you will return home through rehab.” The son left and she locked the door. The son put on a “performance” for the neighbors, slept on the rug, pounded on the door, went to sleep with friends, then repeated all this again ... and then he resigned himself and went to the center. He realized that my mother is adamant in this boundary, and rightly so.

When the addict returns home from the center, the boundaries become a powerful means of keeping him sober, supporting his recovery. Therefore, often the boundaries are spoken even in a rehabilitation center at a family meeting in the presence of a consultant before returning home. Boundaries become a kind of framework, a frame within which family relationships can develop in a healthier way.

Borders are not fictitious rules, they reflect the spiritual laws of love, trust, safety in the family, they are the guarantor of its well-being. Here are some examples - just examples, they need to be considered in relation to this family.

o Nobody uses alcohol or drugs. If you use, you don’t live at home until you complete a course of rehabilitation (for an addict who has no experience of recovery).

o If you have experience of recovery (not only abstinence), but you still broke - you can only live at home sober, and you know how to do it. We are waiting for your proposals for returning home.

o Your family does not participate in consumption. It will be bad, if you ask, we will help you get to the hospital.

o No one eavesdrops, peeps, checks pockets, reads another's notes, etc. Otherwise, there is a lock on the door.

o No one raises their voice in a conversation, does not use swear words. Otherwise, the conversation is immediately interrupted.

o One cannot touch another other than with caress. You can not threaten physical violence. Otherwise, you don't live at home.

o Don't take someone else's. Otherwise, it's a castle.

o Everyone cleans the house: duties are assigned. I couldn’t - agree with another, and then "pay back the debt."

o Everyone in the family has a job to do. You can't be idle. If you don't work, don't eat.

o Everyone tries to spend the night at home, if not, he warns by phone.

o Only the wife can be brought home to spend the night, not the “girlfriend”.

o Prayer and faith are an internal affair of a person, no one dares to force or condemn, ridicule a person in his faith.

And much more... However, it is worth discussing only those boundaries that were violated in the family. Borders should not be too many to remember well. Maybe they should be written down. This is a collective decision of the sober part of the family, and the drug addict is obliged to obey it. The guarantor of their fulfillment is the main member of the family: the father, in the absence of him - the mother, the rest help to achieve fulfillment.

After breaking the boundaries and the corresponding consequences, the addict returns to their frame again. For example, having spent the night on the stairs because he was late, the drug addict enters the house in the morning to benevolent relatives who do not reproach him for being late, but rather sympathize, but do not save him from the consequences, now offering to get enough sleep. No, a new day has begun. A broken drug addict goes to the hospital, and his mother comes to him with a passport and slippers. We help the drug addict to return to good relations in the family.

4. Instruction: Ensure physical and legal security!

Boundaries are the framework within which healthy communication is possible. But it often happens that it is impossible in principle, so much use, such reckless sacrifices are made to it. Then the family must take care of their physical safety.

There must be a way to leave the house, so that the lock can be opened from the inside by turning the bolt, not by the key. The addict can take away the keys and hide them. There must be a plan where in case of possible violence you can escape. It is necessary to agree with neighbors, relatives or friends, there should be money at hand for the trip. The family should have the resolve to yield to force rather than "stand to the death." This is an illusion that a drug addict will not resort to violence against those who love him and his loved ones. He will, because it is his addiction! If you stand in her way, do not expect good. A clear threat of violence with a demand for drug money must, of course, be met with a calm decision to hand over the money instead of fighting. And this absolutely must end with a locked door in front of the returning drug addict so that this cannot happen again in the future. Return - through the rehabilitation center. If relatives are not strong enough, there should be a clear decision to call the police or 911. It is better to call city services and say that you are ready to file a complaint about violence. Better relatives will stop a drug addict in his madness than strangers. Strangers will not care about the recovery of a drug addict.

The madness of a drug addict in active drug use can close his eyes to the essence of what he is doing in an effort to get the drug. The family should not become a victim of this madness, which everyone will bitterly regret later, including the sober addict himself.

Relatives of a drug addict need to clearly understand that the possession, transportation and acquisition of a drug, not to mention its distribution, even for free, are serious criminal offenses for which the relatives of a drug addict can be punished if they participated in this! Therefore, it is not necessary to naively hand over unknown bundles, go to meetings instead of a drug addict, so that he is not arrested. Then they will arrest their loved ones and punish them in exactly the same way. A mother who brings a drug to her son commits a criminal offense, and not only contributes to the development of her son's drug addiction, but also risks prison.

Property documents and valuables should not be kept at home to avoid large losses. The fact that this is the capital of the family will not stop the addict in his madness. You need to be especially careful with potentially dangerous things: potent drugs, weapons. Safety in this case is the responsibility of the main family member.

Loans are a special issue. The drug addict often borrows large sums from banks without any plans to repay them. Interest on loans is growing, banks are calling and threatening ... What to do? First, there is no need to pay off the debts of a drug addict, because in this way he will learn that he can continue to take loans: his relatives will pay. In addition, if relatives repaid his loan, then he himself will never repay it, and will forever remain an insolvent debtor. But it is important to make sure that the property of the addict does not have a share of the apartment or other large property that the bank can take away by court order. Let him take his things, but not what is the share capital of the whole family. Therefore, the calls of the banks should raise the issue of redistributing property in the family, for example, through a donation to a share of property owned by a drug addict, before the family. And he, in turn, thus, will pay for his frivolity. But in this case, of course, the family does not have to pay his loans.

The only exception to this rule is when the addict agrees to go to recover from drug addiction. It is clear that in connection with this, he cannot work and give his money for a long time, and then it would be reasonable for the family to pay the banks in small portions of every month, so that in case of a court case it would be clear that the addict does not ignore his obligations. After the return of the drug addict, he will have to pay the remaining main part of the debt himself.

Protecting your family is the responsibility of sober family members. But this does not mean that they have the right to stop taking care of the drug addict, to leave him to the mercy of his addiction. close can and should help him get well but not continue to promote his use. Under all conditions, you need to try to maintain contact with him.

5. Instruction: help the addict see the truth!

One of the manifestations of drug addiction, as already noted, is the denial of this addiction itself. Therefore, a return to the real state of things, the ability of a drug addict to see the truth will be a powerful factor in his recovery. This is where his family can help. The family can affirm the following facts about their life with the addict and help the addict see them as reality:

o Those close to him love him, whether he is using drugs or recovering. He is loved with unconditional love. He is a personality, and then a drug addict, and they love this personality, and not his recovery. The distortion of human nature as a result of drug addiction still preserves his personal freedom, which is the key to the possibility of his recovery.

o Relatives see and show the addict the negative facts of their common life related to addiction. Both the addict himself and his relatives suffer!

o At the same time, the positive aspects of living together have been preserved. At least rare and small episodes of a good life together still show their love. Not everything is lost, and the drug addict has something to recover for, he has not lost everything to the end.

o An addict can recover because, first, it happens to other addicts, and his addiction is not at all "stronger" than that of others; secondly, in his life there is an experience of recovery.

o But in order for recovery to be achieved and become permanent, unlike previous attempts, systemic outside help is needed, and it exists, is available to him.

o Be careful if the drug addict allows and does not talk about this topic: God helps him and the whole family, which is evident in the manifestations of grace-filled help for the drug addict and the whole family.

6. Instruction: let go of your loved one, stop controlling him - while maintaining love for him.

How can a drug addict be left to his addiction? He can't handle it on his own, can he? He is sick: is it possible to leave one sick person?!

The peculiarity of drug addiction lies in the fact that the addict cannot be persuaded to "leave your nonsense" and begin to recover. The only sufficiently weighty argument for him is presented to him by the addiction itself: if the drug addict is not saved from the consequences of use, he quickly understands that he needs to stop. Too painful to keep using. "Let go" means to leave the addict to the consequences of his use, which will force him to recover.

This does not mean that the family should leave the drug addict to the mercy of fate. We love him, and we cannot selfishly take care of ourselves. But let's honestly admit the fact: the family failed, in spite of all efforts, to get the drug addict out of use, she turned out to be powerless! And the family also could not even make amends for the consequences of the use.

Therefore, the family can finally go about their own business, bring up other children (they need it too!), take care of the spouse, parents - and not support the drug addict in any way. He does not want to recover - therefore, he is left alone with his addiction, and soon this leads him into a crisis. Then he turns to the family with a request to help him - continue to use! Yes, that’s right, even if it was covered with decent phrases: “I need medicine” (but not rehabilitation!), “I need to pay for food” (because he spent all the money on drugs), “save me, the police detained me! » (because I used drugs).

Then the addict is given a choice:

o Either he begins to really recover and the family will help him in whatever way they can, gradually, according to how the addict acts in relation to recovery;

o or he refuses to recover, and then fully accepts all the consequences of his drug use alone. The family is waiting for his recovery, and joins in helping him as soon as he changes his mind.

This is not blackmail, manipulation, because the family acts as honestly as possible: they cannot contribute to the continuation of drug use, but they are ready to help recover with all their might. And consistently carries out this decision in life.

It's very difficult. You will have to endure accusations of dislike, a flurry of manipulations by a drug addict, his rejection of the whole value of the family. It takes a lot of prayer work, the ability to wait and trust God that He helps on the right paths.

Is it possible that a drug addict will die without getting help from his family, and will not want to recover? Yes maybe. Therefore, in those rare cases when its use makes it completely insane and unable to make any decisions, when it comes to actual suicide or passive suicide, when the addict is only sleeping and using in order to “pass out” quickly, you need to take him to the hospital against his will. An ambulance or psychiatric ambulance will put him in a hospital, thus saving his life, but soon he and his loved ones will again have to let him go to the mercy of his illness so that he can finally begin to recover.

Suspension comes, of course, from dependence, and not from a loved one. In addition, drug addiction and codependency kill love in the family. How can you try to keep it?

o Prayer. “The prayer of the mother from the bottom of the sea will raise” the relatives of the drug addict are undoubtedly called to prayer work. Only in this way is it possible to find and preserve true love, turning to the One Who Himself is Love. Prayer “in your own words”, of course, is very good, it opens humility and heartfelt experience for an unchurched person. But it is easier to pray together, and the prayer is stronger, "Where there are two or three gather in My name, there I am in their midst." The Church nurtures the prayer feat of loved ones who are ill, compiling special prayer sequences for such cases. There are joint readings of the canons about the sick, akathists to the Mother of God in front of her icon, especially before the image of the “Inexhaustible Chalice”, prayers and molebens to the martyrs Boniface;, Tryphon; Moses Murin;, the saint, the namesake of the sick, and other saints. The commemoration of baptized drug addicts when reading the Psalter has grace-filled help. Pilgrimages to holy places with the commemoration of loved ones there are also of great benefit.

All this is a lot of work, and, of course, there are two dangers in it. Firstly, relatives of a drug addict, especially those who are not churched, can take on an overwhelming feat of prayer, and therefore soon leave it altogether. Therefore, it is very important that the prayer work be led by a priest , blessing not only prayers for loved ones, but also the prayer's own church path. You can start small and gradually increase your prayer work.

Secondly, loved ones need to understand that the recovery of a drug addict is a combination of his will to recover with the will of God. The grace sent by God calls the addict to God and recovery. God usually works through people, first of all, through relatives of the drug addict. But still, it is impossible to force a drug addict to recover, and the fact that, despite prayers, the process does not move, does not mean that God does not hear prayers. God is longsuffering and hopes for man, and loved ones need to keep the same hope in themselves. In practice, one can often come across a “magical” attitude to prayer and church life: “I will read these “strong” prayers, and then my son will recover.” This is a very harmful belief, completely pagan, fraught with despair and the departure of their temple, so you need to help the relatives of the drug addict not fall into these temptations, especially since such beliefs, unfortunately, are quite common in the near-church environment.

o Little good deeds. A drug addict, like any other person, cannot be pampered; sometimes let him do things that you shouldn't do at all. But you can and should do small deeds of love: bring him a cup of fragrant tea, make a small gift, pet him, cook what he loves ... You can share your little joy with him, support him with a smile, this is already a lot! The fact is that often relatives in the pursuit of the recovery of a drug addict lose sight of him, he becomes not a subject, but an object of influence. First of all, we need to remember that he is a child of God. The image of God in him, although eclipsed by the morbidity of his drug addict nature, exists in its entirety. If we lose sight of this, we lose contact with the addict and with it the opportunity to help him.

7. Family churching.

Recovery occurs in the joint actions of the family, guided and "quickened" by the grace of God. Therefore, churching is an important task for the whole family and the priest who feeds it. It is only necessary to explain this to the family so that there is no misunderstanding: relatives came for help in recovering a drug addict, and the “interested” priest offers them the Church itself. Very often this connection, obvious to church-going people, escapes the understanding of the newcomers, and they run the risk of falling into the trap of a pagan attitude towards the shrine.

Here we should pay attention to the following important points:

o The first meeting of the priest with the relatives of the drug addict: who did they come to? It was to the father: many times we heard gratitude to the priests, who understood the drug addict's mother, found the strength and time to help. Relatives see in this a feat of love, which they rarely meet in their lives. Mom, maybe already old, saw in him the defender of , helping her to stand against drug addiction. Very often you can hear grateful: “He finally explained everything to me!”. Batiushka did not give a lecture, but with God's help he found pearl words that fell on the soul of a suffering mother.

They are truly "sheep without a shepherd." They do not need worldly advice, which they frantically ask for, but really need to see the spiritual dimension in their life and the life of a drug addict, correlate the “horizontal” of their life with what is its “vertical” dimension, and then everything is seen differently, and then a way out of a hopeless, it would seem, situation becomes visible.

o Repentance of parents. In practice, in rehabilitation, we have come across cases when a drug addict stubbornly did not want to - could not? - to recover, breaking down again and again, or even not starting recovery at all, until the parents repented of sins for their entire lives. Since the family is the God-ordained way of life for people, the spiritual ties in it are so close that the sin of the parents affects the well-being of the children. The repentance of the parents, however, must be such that they enter into the Holy Church, and often this is not a one-time action of “general confession”, which, of course, is also very important, but the constant practice of repentance and the communion of St. Mystery. Parents need to be helped in this process, because against the background of an obviously sinful drug addict, they themselves look quite prosperous, and the offer to repent can cause a rejection reaction: “blame it on a healthy one!”. But if you start talking about sin, it turns out that many sins are not considered as such. Fornication, extramarital cohabitation, abortion, contraception, obscenities, drunkenness, theft and lies are called “decent” words with the addition “everyone is like that!” not considered by parents as a possible cause today non-recovery of their son or daughter. Often they are inclined to consider their mistakes in raising children as a possible cause of drug addiction, but if the children did not know about the sin, then it is as if it did not exist. All this is due to lack of faith, and therefore, carefully and persistently, one can help parents to seek ways of repentance.

o The gradual and regular approach to the Sacraments is of no small importance here. It is also important to maintain the necessary distance with the family, which usually seeks to include the priest or social worker as if in their family, hoping that now they will succeed! At the same time, the attention and sympathy necessary to maintain contact with the family, and requiring great strength in daily practice, is a feat of the priest, who included in his ministry the care of the relatives of drug addicts.

o Serving members of self-help groups, sobriety societies, prayer groups of mothers of drug addicts by priests allows them to follow the true church path, their joint work is blessed and gradually becomes churched as a phenomenon not alien to the Church. In practice, priests and graduates of theological educational institutions, who are familiar with the problem of drug addiction and codependency, conduct spiritual conversations with visitors to these groups, organize catechetical seminars, pilgrimage trips, conduct weekly readings of canons and akathists, and generally actively participate in the spiritual path of relatives of drug addicts. In this, catechesis and church practice correlate with the living problems and efforts of mothers (and, more rarely, fathers) of drug addicts. All this can be accompanied by individual spiritual conversations. Then the whole family really manages to recover.

o The deeds of mercy are very important, addressed not only to your drug addict, but to people around you and in general. It is important to see that life is wider than the horizon of their family, that it is full of high meaning. The point is not only that against the background of, for example, homelessness, domestic problems are seen somewhat differently. The main thing is that by helping a suffering person, a relative of a drug addict participates in God's works of mercy, and then this will certainly affect his own soul, and, therefore, through him and the state of affairs within his family.

8. Rehabilitation centers and other recovery assistance

In helping the family of an addict find appropriate solutions to their problem, the priest and ward social worker must sort out the means of assistance. The society offers a wide range of various services to the family of a drug addict, and not all of them are acceptable, as long as the addict does not use drugs. Some of the "remedies" offered, usually promising radical healing at great expense, but even without them, are the soulful practice of sects, witchcraft, and deceit. Indeed, here "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." The good goal of abstinence from drugs does not allow us to use unacceptable means to achieve it. There is an ecclesiastical opinion about certain approaches, and it is important to refer to it in search of suitable rehabilitation centers or other means of assistance.

Recovery is the ability of an addict to live well without drugs. It is good, right, safe, in harmony with oneself and God, as well as with society. It is possible, as the experience of thousands of people recovering from drug addiction shows today. Recovery, therefore, must begin with complete cessation of use.

o No substance use of any kind , in particular alcohol and all drugs. Often an addict can do this on their own within a week or two. If the dose is too high, or in the past there were serious somatic consequences of refusal (problems with the heart, psyche), it is better to seek medical help. This kind of home care is now banned precisely because there are serious consequences, and therefore it needs to be done in a hospital. There are internal instructions that allow you to avoid drug registration for the first time, all this can be found out in advance. In public hospitals, such assistance can be obtained free of charge. The myth that the hospital does not treat, but only in a private clinic for a lot of money you can get decent help, serves to deny the drug addict the opportunity to recover. The hospital should solve the problem of quitting drugs, but it cannot solve the problem of not returning to them again, no matter how wonderful drugs the doctors offer. Fortunately, spiritual problems cannot be cured with pills. Therefore, the next stage, absolutely necessary for recovery, is rehabilitation.

o Rehabilitation.

They say that a sober addict needs to learn how to live soberly. For this, there are special rehabilitation programs, centers in which the precious experience of such a life, recommendations, skills, and ideas about recovery are transferred. The fact is that a drug addict cannot now simply begin to live "like everyone else" - his initial conditions differ from people who are healthy in this respect. Therefore, he needs a special process that builds a healthy life, which is rehabilitation. But in the church frame, we must, of course, clearly understand and explain to the family of a drug addict that this life can be fully built only by God and the drug addict himself in cooperation, which means the churching of the drug addict and the whole family.

o Support programs, resocialization.

The rehabilitation center builds the recovery of a drug addict, but then you need to "sprout" it into life, learn to live not in the "greenhouse" of the center, but in the active and difficult life of society. This also needs help. In addition, the addict, although living a sober and prosperous life, is still a dependent person for life, and not only in that he cannot safely drink a little. The experience of drug addiction makes him vulnerable to any other passion, according to the Savior's word about the unoccupied "clean and swept upper room", where seven evil demons are infused. Therefore, he will have to recover all his life, the addict must always maintain his prosperous state. For this, there is, first of all, the church life, which fills the emptiness in the soul of a drug addict with the true content that should be in it - grace. Confession and communion bring the recovering but still sinning drug addict back to God and give him true food and drink for the soul.

In addition, recovering addicts are encouraged to keep in touch with other recovering addicts, which brings them many benefits. Firstly, there is an exchange of valuable experience on how to build a sober life in a society full of difficulties and problems. A drug addict treats them because of his dependence in a completely different way than a healthy person, so he needs the experience of people like himself. Another recovering addict can understand and help him. Secondly, the spiritual path that the addict goes on must include important events in his life in recovery: one must try to keep in oneself the recognition of one’s fundamental inability to overcome addiction alone, and the need for victory in this struggle with the help of other people and God. He needs to strive to live according to God's will, to repair the damage caused by addiction, to help other beginners in recovery.

9. Actions not sufficient to recover the addict.

Often one can come across attempts by the family, or even the addict himself, to take a “broad” path in order to recover from addiction through a one-time action or shifting responsibility for one's life to someone else. Here are some common mistakes along the way:

o A firm promise, or a strong desire, or even a vow not to use more drugs, either for a specified period (a year?) or even for life - without accomplished churching.

This promise cannot be kept, because a person alone is powerless against his addiction, and the most beautiful intentions and promises are broken by this fact. This is similar to the famous coding, which is recognized by many experts as a harmful practice. On the contrary, such a desire, combined with repentance in the Church, will be the beginning of a new life.

o Hope for a new cure for addiction. Drug addiction is both a disease and a passion at the same time, a pill will not help cure a spiritual illness!

o Moving to another city, keeping in another place for a long time. It is clear that addiction is inside a person, and moves with him. Very quickly in a new place, an active drug addict finds new acquaintances and drugs. Therefore, in itself, such isolation is not a means of recovery.

o Changing the circle of communication, searching for the "enemy" who is to blame for addiction, eliminating him. It cannot help for the same simple reason: addiction is inside a person, not outside of him. It is still terrible and condemnation, spiritual blindness in relation to their sins. The circle of communication will naturally change when the addict begins to recover in rehabilitation, then he will be taught how to do it right.

o Magical actions for the sake of recovery: healers, sorcerers, “grandmothers. This, of course, cannot help: God loves a person and calls to Himself, and does not pay off with him, giving recovery for this or that action.

o Serious conversations, authority figures (“Father, tell him!”), tempting offers, threats. This does not help, because in active addiction, the addict cannot control himself!

So, working with relatives of drug addicts is a big and lengthy job. It is good if not only the priest is involved in it, but he is helped by a social worker, an Orthodox psychologist, voluntary assistants from among the relatives of drug addicts recovering from codependency, and even recovering drug addicts themselves.

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