Someone I recently met called and asked me if I could help a loved one of hers who is an addict. She told me about his history abusing prescription pain medication and other substances. I’ve seen the man. He’s obviously high most of the time. This woman and the man’s mother both enable him to continue to use. He doesn’t believe he has a problem as he had an accident and was prescribed pain medication for what was, at one time, a legitimate issue with pain. However, it is clear from the man’s demeanor, his inability to find or hold a job, and the sad stories that his loved one shared with me that he is an addict — he just doesn’t see it.

What saddens me about this situation is that no one in the family is willing to step up and see that this man gets help. I’ve offered to help them find out what the man’s medical insurance covers and to give them a referral to a treatment center they can afford, but my offer was gently declined. I think the whole family is quietly wishing that if they ignore the problem, it will somehow go away.

Addiction doesn’t get better on its own. Ignoring the problem only allows it to become more deeply entrenched.

If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, get help for him or her now. Don’t wait. Don’t hope the problem will simply disappear. Your loved one needs you. Your action is part of what will give the addict you love hope.