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For the Families

Is It Okay to Let an Addict Live With You?

Considering letting an addict live with you whether in recovery or not? Even I, an addict with a little bit of sobriety under my belt, live with the fear of my roommate relapsing. The fact of the matter is once an addict/alcoholic, always an addict/alcoholic; no matter how sober we get, if we are not working a program of recovery, we can always relapse. And is the addict isn’t even trying to get sober, the question goes even deeper. There are many considerations for you and the addict when deciding whether to take up residence together.

Have They Gotten Sober?

If you have a loved one who is a recovering addict or alcoholic, you surely still have frequent doubts about how long they will remain that way, especially if they are living under your roof. Your concerns are valid; however, there are some qualifications that a recovering addict will be able to check off to prove that they truly mean this getting sober business. For example:

  • Have they entered into the rooms of a 12 step fellowship?
  • Have they gone to a detox if need be, in order to safely flush the drugs and alcohol from their system?  
  • Have they started working a program of recovery at all? This program can be a 12-step program, or church, or even volunteer work as a way to bring about the psychic change that is needed to recover from addiction.
  • Has the person shown willingness to adjust back into society, i.e., have they shown willingness to get a job, or participate in their probation hearings, etc.

The tricky part is, especially if the person is living at home, is finding people that will motivate and inspire them to continue with their journey of recovery despite the tough times ahead. That can be where you come in! Let me give you fair warning, though, don’t expect to get through to an addict by force or by heartfelt pleadings to attend meetings or calls to their sponsor. Begging and yelling just doesn’t work for us. Instead, we need someone to talk to without judgment. And, although you may not understand what they are going through, it can sometimes just be enough to provide a listening ear. Keep an open mind and an open heart to your recovering addict, ensure them that they are doing great and that you are on their team. Chances are, with lots of love and support, they will continue on their path of recovery just fine.

On the Other Hand, Are They Still Actively Using?

If you’re thinking about letting an addict live with you when they are actively using, think again. This is a whole other situation entirely, and it can be sticky. Let’s start with the general question: Has their addiction started to affect their general morals and decision-making i.e. are they stealing, etc.? Are their actions putting the rest of the home at risk? Drawing on my own experience as a dope addict crack-head, I can confidently tell you that my mother would have saved a lot of money and jewelry if she had kicked me out. My niece would have had a lot more money in her piggy bank, and my little brother would still have the guitar he was so excited to get for Christmas that one year.

caution

Where to Draw the Line

There is a thin line between being supportive and enabling, and while my family tried its best, in the end, allowing me to stay with them during my active addiction only perpetuated my using. I knew I could always go home and raid the cabinets, sleep for three days, and borrow money (or find it in purses and wallets) if the struggle got the best of me. If I had been forced to find my own way, I would say it is pretty likely that I would have hit my rock bottom a heck of a lot sooner. Today, as a sober member of a 12-step fellowship, I get to start making amends for the wrongdoings of my past, and I am grateful for that.

It can be difficult to decide if and when to cut off a loved one, as it becomes painfully obvious as their using progresses that they tend to burn bridges, and as parents, friends, and loved ones, it can often feel as though we are the only hope they have. But when we enable our loved ones by providing them with a home while they are using, aren’t we really just keeping them close so we can try to control them or, at the very least, keep an eye on them?

What if They Just Can’t Seem to Stay Sober, Despite Trying?

Those who have attempted addiction treatment, but failed can often be one of the most heartbreaking varieties. However, if you ask any member of a 12-step fellowship, chances are they will have the same response, that person simply hasn’t given up their need to control their own life. It might sound crazy to an outsider, but if you are living with an addict, who can’t seem to stay on the wagon, I guarantee that while even though they might put the drink or drug down for a few days or weeks, they are probably still “living dirty” in other areas of their life. If you notice that they are still getting involved in romantic tangles or making a dishonest living, or even if their room still looks like a bomb site, as simple as these things sound, they are a huge red flag for a “messy head” as we like to call it.

So the question remains, should you let an addict live with you? Honestly, the answer is a muddled one, and the question seems somewhat loaded. The only way to really and truly know the best move for you is to ask yourself a few simple questions.

  1. Am I willing to put up strict boundaries with this person for house rules?
  2. Am I willing to be gentle, loving, and understanding with their mental and emotional issues, and come from a non-judgmental perspective?
  3. Am I in any danger if I let them stay in the home?
  4. Am I only allowing them to stay so I can hopefully “save” them?

Trust your gut; maybe say a little prayer after you answer the questions, and I think you will find that the right answer will come. It may not be the one you wanted, but if I believe in anything today, as a now sober addict-alcoholic, it is that the answers that come from prayer are always the ones I needed.

Getting Help at Wayside House

If you are a woman struggling with addiction and mental health issues, Wayside House can help. We offer a women-only program and provide a safe, supportive environment. We have outstanding treatments and therapies that are often only found in more expensive programs. We offer inpatient rehab with various therapies, relapse prevention education, outpatient, and aftercare, as well as programs for medical professionals, veterans and members of the Seminole Tribes of Florida. Contact Wayside House at 800-655-0817 to learn more.

Testimonials

  • “Thank you Wayside for being there for her when she needed your help the most!!!”   Woohoo!!! 

  • Wayside taught me how to be a woman and live life clean & sober!

    Alexandra N.

  • “Wayside is more than treatment. It is a home. I grew up emotionally in that little house. I was there for 9 months and they were the best 9 months of my life. To have time to learn about yourself and take the time to focus on yourself is such a blessing. The plants I planted are still there. I see them in the photos. Such a special place!!”

    Amanda O.

  • This is an excellent treatment facility and all women down in Delray Beach, FL. …if you have anything you can send to help these young/older women, believe me anything is appreciated. This place and God did wonders for my girl.

    Amy G

  • Wayside House is where i went to rehab & they are AMAZING!! Its a 90 day program & alot of the girls have absolutely nothing when they move into the house. If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!!  Mandy W.

  • “What a rich heritage Wayside House has!”

    Allen S.

  • “It was so nice to hear from Wayside House.  I am still employed and I love my job!!! I will have 9 months on the 21st of October…..All thanks to Wayside and you ladies at the Posner Center!!!!🤗”

    Rita P.

  • “Tonight’s Wayside House Anniversary meeting and listening to the journey’s with 1,2,6,22,29 and 33 years in sobriety empowered my heart! So happy for one of the girls I sent to Wayside House.”

    Katrin O.

  • “Wayside does such good work in our community.” 

    Jan S.

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      Wayside House

      Wayside House, Inc.
      378 NE Sixth Avenue
      Delray Beach, FL 33483

      What People Are Saying

      • “I have always supported Wayside House — I know women who have come through their program and support all they do. If you don’t know about this fabulous place I encourage you to become involved and find out more — they are an anchor in Delray Beach and their history speaks for itself.” 

        Nancy S.

      • “I went through Wayside House & it was the first place that actually felt like home to me. The staff actually care about their clients and their sobriety. I worked through so much here without fear of being judged. I love wayside & it will always have a special place in my heart along with ALL the amazing women who work there.”

        Mandy W

      • I so wish I could tell the girls how much Wayside saved my life,  and after 31 years sober, it still is just “One Day at a Time” and “The Serenity Prayer.” I will always remember those first days of being at Wayside and how the girls , the counselors , and the House put me back on track to living a fulfilled and Sober life . I followed the AA steps, got a wonderful sponsor and have followed that path ever since. — Pamela R.

      • “Thank you Wayside for being there for her when she needed your help the most!!!”   Woohoo!!! 

      • Wayside taught me how to be a woman and live life clean & sober!

        Alexandra N.

      • “Wayside is more than treatment. It is a home. I grew up emotionally in that little house. I was there for 9 months and they were the best 9 months of my life. To have time to learn about yourself and take the time to focus on yourself is such a blessing. The plants I planted are still there. I see them in the photos. Such a special place!!”

        Amanda O.

      • This is an excellent treatment facility and all women down in Delray Beach, FL. …if you have anything you can send to help these young/older women, believe me anything is appreciated. This place and God did wonders for my girl.

        Amy G

      • Wayside House is where i went to rehab & they are AMAZING!! Its a 90 day program & alot of the girls have absolutely nothing when they move into the house. If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!!  Mandy W.

      • Allen S.

        “What a rich heritage Wayside House has!”

      • Rita P.

        “It was so nice to hear from Wayside House.  I am still employed and I love my job!!! I will have 9 months on the 21st of October…..All thanks to Wayside and you ladies at the Posner Center!!!!🤗”

      • Katrin O.

        “Tonight’s Wayside House Anniversary meeting and listening to the journey’s with 1,2,6,22,29 and 33 years in sobriety empowered my heart! So happy for one of the girls I sent to Wayside House.”

      • Jan S.

        “Wayside does such good work in our community.” 

      • Leah J.

        “I just wanted to thank you for how you and the team make the world a better place.  I won’t claim to understand the things you sacrifice, but you are truly wonderful for doing so.“

      • Janine T.

        “I  highly recommend Wayside Women’s in Delray Beach. My daughter completed their wonderful program, she’ll have 2 years July 1st. They have an active alumni. I couldn’t say enough good things about them, they’ve been doing this since mid70’s.”

      • Stacy J.

        “ Thankful for my sobriety and for Wayside! “

      • Susan B.

        “Wayside House was and is an amazing place to me. I am on a journey that is better than I could have ever imagined. The strength of the women that came before me, that are beside me, and those that are there now teach me how to live “.

      • Lisa D.

        “Wayside saved my life and I will never be able to repay them for everything they have done for me.”

      • Dolores A.

        “Wayside house saved my daughter’s life. She transformed into the beautiful woman I knew she could be. It’s only been a few months but one day at a time she and I are enjoying her recovery journey!!!”

      • Jeanne H.

        “We appreciate all that you do to help individuals in recovery, demonstrating God’s love in our community. Your staff at Wayside House continue to help in so many ways, women and their families that need the love, care and support that you are able to provide. Thank you so much for all you do for them.  May God continue to bless you, your staff and your volunteers each and every day for the light you provide for our community.”

      • Susan C.

        “ Wayside is “the light”! Congratulations on the article in the Palm Beach Post
        for all you do to make the commitment to help those in need.”

      • Lynne B.

        “I will always be grateful to Wayside for giving my daughter the tools and knowledge to live a sober life on the outside. You changed her life thank you thank you thank you, may all the people that pass through your wonderful cozy house succeed in sobriety as well.”

      • Katy B.

        “I am sober and happy today thanks to Wayside.”

      • A.D.

        “Having the opportunity to go to Wayside was the best thing I’ve ever done. They lovingly deconstructed my life so I could put it back together. They are a serious program that gave me the ability to understand myself in a way I never thought was possible. They didn’t baby me and they taught me how to be beautifully authentic with myself and those around me. I really can’t thank them enough.”

      • Susan T.

        “Please keep up your wonderful work; the kids of south Florida need you.”

      • Jaimie K.

        “I am making this donation and thank you for all you do!”

      • Pam H.

        “Celebrating 29 years 7/22/2016. Sponsoring, 3-5 meetings a week, and forever grateful to Wayside House!”

      • Laura B.

        “I will be celebrating my 17th year clean and sober.  PLEASE share with the celebrants that I am with them in spirit even though I can’t be with them.  Wayside rocks!  Remind them to stay until the magic happens.”

      • BH alumni

        “I just want to give a shout out to the Wayside staff and alumni who organized and participated in the first annual gratitude dinner. The entire evening was absolutely devine! Wayside House saved my life and I am so very happy that you are at the helm.”

      • Brenda

        “Just walking down memory lane! I Love Wayside House! I went through twice!!
        LOL!! Clean and sober today! Love to all the women! XOXO”

      • Ashley

        “Thank you to Marlies and the Posner Center because without your guidance I wouldn’t have been pushed to pursue what I love and want out of a job and school. You’re amazing!”

      • Colletta D.

        “Proud to be a donor supporter of your efforts.”

      • Sara W.

        “Wayside House saved my life. It was a place that gave me a purpose to follow my dreams. And gave me a life that I never thought could be possible. It is a place where God lives in the lives of so many recovering women. Thank you.”

      • Andrea S.

        “So many miracles and beautiful souls are at Wayside. It’s a very special place.”

      • Phoebe M.

        “What an incredible gift to have gone to Wayside House.  Keep up the great work!”

      • Kathy G.

        “I’m so grateful to be a Wayside Winner 12/89 . One day at a Time.”

      • Christine D.

        “I have to commend Wayside House. They are a 1st class treatment center.”

      • Christine A.

        “I went through Wayside House in 1991 and have been clean and sober for 23 years. I have had four children, two grandchildren, and am happily married. The aftercare and parenting groups that Wayside had is something that helped me so very much as a new parent who was fairly new in recovery. I now have a Bachelor’s degree in social work and am working on a Master’s degree in counseling specializing in addictions counseling. If I had not been placed in Wayside House so many years ago I would have never been able to achieve the things that I have in my life. I am forever grateful for the blessing it has had in my life!”

      • Jeffrey Lane Esq., Weiner, Lynne & Thompson P.A.

        “Wayside is the benchmark by which I hold other similar facilities too.”

      • John Lehman, President FARR

        “I know many women whose lives have been greatly impacted by the quality support they experienced while enrolled and residing in your program. My first hand knowledge dates back to 1980 and I can attest to Wayside’s long tradition of excellence.”

      • J.L.

        “Wayside House saved my sobriety at a critical time in my life. My HP knew I needed to be there and surrounded by strong women who believed in me. Thank you!”

      • Evelyn H.

        “ My life has changed very deeply. I have been given the gift of life in sobriety and treating it like a present.”

      • Cynthia F.

        “I hated God & tried not to believe in any higher power before getting sober. Now I know that each day is a gift and
        that all things are possible through my spiritual connection. All of life is a miracle and for the ultimate good.”

      • Liz D.

        “I just wanted to send my gratitude and thanks for all you have done for me and thousands of women out there recovering from addictions.”

      • Sally W.

        “God bless your work at Wayside.”

      • T.P.

        “Thank you for all that you have done to make me experience Wayside and the true change in my life through this program. I am grateful.”

      • Cindy

        “To all of you fortunate enough to celebrate the holidays at Wayside, I hope you find peace and happiness.
        My Christmas at Wayside was one of the best ever as I received the lasting gift of sobriety. God Bless you all!”

      • Anonymous

        “ My children have been returned and I have found God.”

      • Anonymous

        “Wayside House and God have given me a life I never thought I deserved.”

      • Anonymous

        “Wayside House played a very big role in treating our daughter. We will be forever grateful for you and our blessings from the Lord.”

      • Anonymous

        “ I have restored relationships with my family and learned how to love others. I am accountable, help and trust others and enjoy living life. I have peace and I don’t worry. I know that everything is going to be OK. I also attend three meetings a week and sponsor several women.”

      • Anonymous

        “ By spending time with my awesome God every morning who saved me by touching my life while at Wayside. God continues to draw me close to him.”

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