Friday, August 29, 2014


To Control or influence a person or situation.

All addicted people will try to manipulate the people around them and the situations they are in so they can get their drug of choice. This is not a maybe or might this is a fact. If you are in a relationship with a addicted person you know this is true. Of course family members of addicts also attempt to manipulate the addict to get them to stop using or go into treatment. This power struggle is a negative consequence of addiction in a family and if allowed to continue will go in only one direction and that is down.

People ask all the time if addicts manipulate.  They just can't believe the addicted family member's change in behavior such as the lies or the stealing they have begun to experience from someone they used to trust.

For an addict the only thing that makes life worth living is getting and using their drug of choice. They are not thinking of career or job or responsibility or their financial security or the future. Of course, other family members are thinking of those things, and they get blindsided when the addicted person they care about does not.

What family members must learn to do is to not trust the addict, and understand that this lack of trust is a healthy behavior for them. It helps to create an emotional boundary between them and the addict. This should not be done out of anger. "Not being trustworthy is just what addicts do"

Family members need to be very clear that if the addicted person's lips are moving, they are lying.  No matter how much family members want what the addict is saying to be true, they need to learn to trust only the addict's behavior, never what they say.

It is also important for family members to understand that addiction is not personal. It feels personal but it is not. The behaviors you are experiencing are the result of changes on the brain as a result of repeated use of the substance they are addicted to. Addicts all over the world display similar behaviors. Again "It is just what addicts do"

It is healthy for family members to stop responding to the addicts attempted manipulation gradually as they are able to. They will be able to do this as the result of a greater understanding of addiction and the choices they have and as the result of developing and maintaining a healthy emotional boundary with the addict. (Boundaries not based on anger and resentment but understanding of the disease and a desire to help yourself and your family).