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The Three Cs of Addiction: Control

The final part of our series on the Three Cs of Addiction is about control.

When it comes to drug addiction, understanding who or what has control is a viciously ironic circle. Many addicts convince themselves they have control over their addiction. They may tell themselves they could stop if they really wanted to, or they put blame for their drug use on friends or family, which gives them the excuses they need to continue using.

Ironically, and as noted in our last blog post, drugs impact the way the human brain functions. Over time, they can take over a person’s ability for rational thought, which means the drug – and not the person – is actually in control.

You may see this clear as day. However, because you know your loved one isn’t able to make decisions rationally, it’s entirely possible that you will choose or have chosen to take responsibility for them. You begin to make decisions for them, and in some cases, enable them into further addiction.

Drug and Alcohol addiction affects the brain's capacity for rational thought, resulting in the addiction manipulating a person much like a puppeteer.

Resources for Family Members of Addicts

The good news is there are resources available that help you not only cope with the stress of a loved one’s addiction, but help you find ways to guide them toward choosing to get healthy again.

While some treatment programs, including The Raleigh House, place a significant level of importance on providing family support and education, there are a number of great online resources you can use as a starting point.

  • Al-Anon Family Groups: For families of alcoholics.
  • Nar-Anon: For families of narcotics addicts.
  • Codependents Anonymous: For loved ones who inadvertently enable the addict’s addiction.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics: For adults dealing with the drug or alcohol addiction of a parent.
  • Learn To Cope: An online support network for moral and emotional encouragement.
  • Parents of Addicted Loved Ones: Local and online support for parents hoping to save a son or daughter.

Control, Empowerment, and Treatment

If your loved one ultimately decides to enter a treatment program, you may feel the temptation to control the decision about what type of treatment or where they should go.

It’s important to remember that you may be doing more harm than good, despite your best intentions. Offering to assist in the selection of an alcohol or drug treatment center that you think might be best for them is a great way to help, but remember, the decision is theirs and theirs alone.

If by chance they feel you are trying to take control of the situation, they may pull back and refuse treatment. When it comes to addiction, remembering that the victim is in control and that you’re there to offer support and encouragement is the best way for you to help ensure a successful, ongoing recovery.

If someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, remember that you can influence – but not directly control – their decision to get healthy again. Contact The Raleigh House at 720-891-4657 today to learn how you can help a loved one get on the path to recovery.


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