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The Three Cs of Addiction: Cause

Welcome to our first article in a series of posts exploring the three C’s of drug and alcohol addiction recovery. In this post we’ll take a look at the cause of drug and alcohol dependence.

Addiction affects millions of people nationwide, so if you’re watching a loved one struggle with substance abuse, you aren’t alone. Still, this doesn’t make it any easier to see the people you care about harm themselves, their families or their friends. However, blaming yourself for a loved one’s addiction doesn’t help you or the situation.


Relinquishing responsibility for being the cause of a loved one's addiction may help the healing process begin. Once blame is let go of, oftentimes it will become easier to find treatment options that fit more effectively.

Drug Dependency Isn’t Your Fault

Of course, it’s always easier to blame ourselves. What did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this? In the case of drug addiction, where addicts commonly pass blame to others, it’s even easier. But, focusing on what you did wrong is never the answer—it places the focus of the addiction on yourself rather than on helping the person in need.

While watching your loved one struggle with drug or alcohol dependence is heartbreaking and stressful, being proactive is essential. The first step to helping any addict is accepting that you are not the cause of the addiction. Doing so will not only help you relieve the incredible amount of stress you’ve been holding onto, but oftentimes will help kick-start the recovery process for the addict. Once you’ve taken the blame off of yourself, you can start looking into treatment options for your friend or family member with greater clarity.

Educating Yourself on Addiction Treatment Programs

Every situation is different. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all addiction treatment program. One thing is certain though: finding and seeking help from a professional rehabilitation center is a critical first step in the ongoing recovery process. It can also be a difficult step – both for you and your loved one.

When considering addiction treatment programs, think about what will make your loved one feel as comfortable and as supported as possible throughout the process. While resistance is sometimes unavoidable, this will help to ensure a long-lasting recovery.

It’s also important to remember that addiction affects the whole person. A holistic program that focuses on mental, physical and spiritual health can make it more likely that your loved one will develop positive coping mechanisms for managing the addiction well into the future.

Taking Care of Yourself

Naturally, seeking care for your loved one is your top priority. But you also need to seek care for yourself. Whether you’re struggling with guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration or any combination of difficult emotions, professional guidance can help you cope. It can also teach you how to offer support to your loved one during and after the treatment program. After all, studies show that recovering addicts who have strong support systems are more likely to maintain sobriety after their program has ended.

Make time. Be patient. And most of all, take care.

If someone you know is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, remember that you are not the cause! Contact The Raleigh House at 720-891-4657 to find a list of resources that will show you how to cope with this difficult situation and provide the support your loved one needs to get healthy again.


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