“Why Does My Loved One Love Drugs More than Me?”

Family conflict - husband drinking

This is a question that tortures every parent, spouse, child and sibling of an addicted person. Their love for that addicted person addicted is boundless. But why doesn’t this person return their love? Why are drugs or drinks more important than his (or her) spouse, children or parents?

For the person who is not addicted, it’s an incomprehensible situation. The non-addicted person would give his life up for his children or spouse. But the addicted person is operating by totally different rules. He or she:

  • Steals money meant for food
  • Uses the rent money for more drugs
  • Pawns the tools that were used to make a living
  • Steals and sells the children’s Christmas presents
  • Fails to show up for birthdays or any other events
  • Steals and pawns parent’s jewelry, including wedding rings or heirlooms
  • Lies to and manipulates everyone in the family or anyone brought in to help with the situation
  • Creates life-threatening levels of stress for everyone who loves him or her

Most non-addicted people can and would see the problems being created and revise their conduct appropriately. So why can’t the addicted person do the same thing? Here’s four powerful reasons they can’t.

  1. The addicted person is utterly overwhelmed. He’s overwhelmed by what he has lost and his inability to take back his life. His desperate need for more drugs or alcohol overwhelms his judgment which is why he can harm others he loves more than anything else in the world. You hear stories sometimes of moms who lock their small children in a closet while they go out to get drugs or they sell a child into the sex trade. That’s how completely overwhelmed a person can get.
  1. An addicted person soon becomes buried in his own guilt. As soon as drug or excessive alcohol use become damaging habits, this individual is harming himself and others. He knows he is neglecting his spouse and family. He knows how upset his parents are. He knows he’s committed crimes, stolen property, perhaps assaulted people. He may have sold drugs and watched someone overdose, perhaps even die. This guilt is a terrible barrier to getting sober. The closer he gets to sobriety, the more the guilt shows up to bury him.
  1. Cravings and withdrawal sickness drive the person back into drug or alcohol use when he or she tries to quit. Cravings and withdrawal sickness have different manifestations from one drug to the next but a common denominator is that they make a person feel desperate and crazed. It takes the right physical, mental, emotional and nutritional support to reduce the oppressive effects of cravings and withdrawal sickness so a person can make it back to sobriety.
  1. Drugs and heavy alcohol use have the effect of bringing out the worst in a person and, at the same time, reducing their analytical, environmental and physical awareness. If you love someone who is addicted, you know exactly what this means. You know the brightness, funniness and potential of your addicted loved one. You see that they have become someone you’re now afraid of. Perhaps they are abusive or criminal. Or they lie constantly and steal from you over and over. At the same time, they seem unable to perceive the problems they are creating or their own physical and emotional sickness. This is the effect of heavy alcohol or drug use. It changes people. But they can change back when they get healthier.

What it’s Like to be Addicted

Picture your addicted loved one this way:

A threatening skull seen through smoke.

It’s like he (or she) is trapped in an intricate maze. Around some corners, there are dangerous, snapping monsters that could snuff out his life in an instant.

Around others, there are forces that could send him to jail for decades.

Around even others, there are grieving, sobbing family members.

And in every section of the maze, there are deep pits of sickness, craving and compulsion he’s going to fall into every few steps.

It’s dark and smoky in there and your loved one can’t see his way clearly. No matter how hard he tries, he’s going to keep falling into those pits and encountering life-threatening monsters. He’s going to flee from the forces that can send him to jail and he wants to avoid sobbing family members. But without the right help, most people are not going to be able to find their way out.

That’s the sheer hell of drug or alcohol addiction. Rehab can bring hope to this individual and his or her family. An effective rehab that calms the withdrawal sickness and cravings and helps a person learn to cope successfully with life’s challenges can put a person back in the real world where he can make the right choices once again.

Two Facts to Hold Close to Your Heart

  1. The person you love is still there, buried deep under all the compulsion. If you can get them through a rehab program that puts them back in control, that person can come back.
  2. NO ONE WANTS TO BE AN ADDICT. Some people say that their loved one enjoys using drugs more than they love their family. It’s simply not true. No one wants that life. The individual may fight you when you try to help or get them into a rehab program. See items one through four on the list above for the reasons for that opposition.

To help a person return to a lasting, healthy life, this intricate maze must be dismantled. The pits of cravings and compulsion must be filled in. The smoke must be cleared. Your loved one must recover from the guilt and desperation of addiction so that healthy choices can be made.

The Narconon drug rehab program is built in steps that address these pitfalls, one after another, to enable your loved one to gradually brighten up, regain his or her ability to make the right choices and recover the ability to love and care for family and friends once again. It’s not an instant cure—recovery takes several weeks to a few months of hard work. And it uses no substitute medications, preferring to help people learn how to regain these abilities through better mental, physical and spiritual health.

Your loved one can be returned to your life, healthier and more analytical, with the right rehabilitation program. Call us to learn more about this holistic recovery program.


Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.