Addiction is a disease. This disease not only impacts the person struggling with addiction but the entire family and all friends. For those who looking from the outside, the can see how addiction can and has taken over a person’s life which is so dishearting. Drugs and relationships are compeling forces. They both increase a chemical called dopamine in the brain (Aspenridge/article).

Addiction can create a whole environment built on mistrust and resentment. Many who have questioned themselves about while in a relationship with an addict, find it difficult to have it be sustainable long term. Did you know both LOVE and DRUGS produce similar effects in the brain, which a chemical called, “Dopamine” (Apsenridge/article).

A person’s addiction can threaten a partner’s both physical and mental health.

But the hardest part of the relationship for the sober partner is that it forces us to make a choice, whether to stay or to leave. Addiction is hard and leaving someone you love is even harder. It is not easy to just make a “quick” decision…because everyone’s circumstances are different. But one must put aside the thought of love and do what is best for both especially if it is affecting our physical or mental health. So, the question is “what can I do?” Relationship with an Addict | Substance Abuse Education.

Take for example. Alcohol abuse. With alcohol abuse we must remember not only how it affects us but our children and others in the household. There is a high risk for PTSD due to possible traumatizing factors that could take place. If violence does take place, seek help. Hotline numbers for Domestic Violence and shelters for temporary placement.

Here is the list of local HOTLINES in Greene/Columbia Counties

Greene County Hotline-518-943-9205; Columbia County Hotline-518-822-0849;

So, do not get “addicted” to trying to fix someone. But do not enable as well. Get the support and help that all need through family Ala-non and Ala-teen support groups in your area.

St. Mary’s Church 80 Mansion St. Coxsackie, Tuesday at 7:30PM/Ala-non; 6368 Mill St. Rhinebeck, Monday at 7:30PM/Ala-teen Ages 12-15. Online live chats are available due to COVID on

It is Heartbreaking. Addiction is not a disease of character, personality, spirit, or circumstance. It can happen to anyone. It is a human condition with human consequences, and being that we are all human, we are all vulnerable. Addicts can come from any life and from any family. It is likely that in our lifetime, if we do not love someone with an addiction, we will know someone who does, so this is an important conversation to have, for all of us. Often, the best way to respond to an addict have the breathtaking capacity to drown those who love them with guilt, grief, self-doubt and of course, resistance. Loving an addict in any capacity can be one of the loneliest places in the world. It is easy to feel judged for withdrawing support for the addict, but eventually, this becomes the only possible response. Unless someone has been beside you, fighting the fight, being with their heart-broken and their will tested, it is not for them to judge. The more we can talk openly about addiction, the more we can lift the shame, guilt, grief and unyielding self-doubt that often stands in the way of being able to respond to an addict in a way that supports their healing, rather than their addiction. It is by talking that we give each other permission to feel what we feel, love who we love, and be who we are, with the vulnerabilities, frayed edges, courage, and wisdom that are all a part of being human (K. Young, 2020).

Consider an Intervention

When considering an intervention, you might want to consider

1. Establishing a Plan

2. Decide on an Ultimatum

3. Meeting with the Family beforehand

4. Hire an Intervention Facilitator

5. Keep your Cool

6. Stick to the Ultimatum


Relationship with an Addict | Substance Abuse Education › recovery-blog 06/24/2020.

Young, Karen. “When Someone You Love has an Addiction” Heysigmond, 2020.

Kimberly Haley BS, LPN, is the Prevention Counselor-Coxsackie/Athens Middle and High School and works with Twin County Recovery Services Inc. She can be reached at

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