Unconditional Love Can Heal an Addict


Сan Love Be Wrong?

The word love has become the most used and abused one. People view love as something that can be deserved, bought for money or exchanged. They tend to evaluate love according to someone’s income, position in society, or occupation. Parents give love through encouragement and support only when children act in accordance with their expectations or generally do ‘well’. Once children stop keeping up with parents’ expectations or completely fail, they don’t get that amount of love. It happens because adults are afraid to spoil their children with too much love and acceptance that can decrease their motivation to achieve big goals. Parents, in wanting the best for their children, try to measure certain dosages of love that are needed to keep their kids motivated and willing to achieve success. That’s how unconditional love disappears because of parents’ fears.

What’s the relation between ‘wrong’ love and drug abuse?

How this kind of love is perceived by a child? Probably it feels like emptiness inside that can be filled only when certain goals are reached. The saddest thing about it, is that this feeling gets wired into a personality and stays with an individual forever, even when parents have no influence anymore. To cope with the lack of self-love, self-respect, and self-acceptance in adulthood, one needs something that can provide with inner peace. And one of the easiest ways to find a sense of satisfaction is to take substances. Drinking alcohol, overeating, taking drugs are the simplest ways to calm inner child craving for love and care.

What is unconditional love?

Unconditional love is free of demand for the other. It’s given not to get something like pleasure or satisfaction in return. It means that the other one is not rejected because they don’t meet your needs. It’s based on emotional maturity of two close people and involves responsibility for your emotions and reactions towards another person.

Unconditional love means accepting the other one the way they are, not the way you want them to be. It includes tolerating the differences between you and another person without getting distant when you have disagreements. And that often lacks in our society which leads to addiction epidemics. The good news is that knowing the real matter of state, we can do our best to heal the addicts with unconditional love.

How can unconditional love help people fight an addiction?

Love makes us stronger. Undoubtedly, the more acceptance and respect we get from others, the more powerful we feel. Addicts are in need of strength to combat their addiction. The core things they lack are inner peace and power that go hand in hand with unconditional love.

The only thing that is more powerful than addiction is the strength of unconditional love.

The advantages of true and unconditional love are often overlooked. It’s not usually taken seriously how helpful loving kindness can be for people suffering from substance abuse. But actually, it plays a crucial role in the treatment process. Empathy and true compassion are integral elements of unconditional love. They help to understand what challenges patients are going through. Moreover, empathy helps people undergoing treatment at outpatient rehab centers (read about them) understand their own feelings better and, thus, by becoming more self-aware, to get rid of distressing emotions.

Another reason why addicts need a lot of unconditional love is that because they are typically treated like terrible people with law moral standing. Society doesn’t always view them as individuals suffering from a disease. Addiction is rarely seen as a medical condition. It is mostly perceived as a wrong choice once made by a person. On the contrary, addiction is not a conscious choice, but often the result of other mental issues.

Naturally, it may be too difficult to love a person who tends to addiction or is already an addict involved in an outpatient rehabilitation program. There are many reasons for that. First of all, addicts usually cause a big amount of damage to relationships. They often may be aloof,  rude, unwilling to get in touch, and so on. But it’s important to always bear in mind, that these are just the symptoms of their disease, rather than their true personality. Despite all the difficulties in relationship with them, it’s worth trying to surround them with unconditional love as it’s highly beneficial for the recovery process. On the opposite, assigning blame is the most unhelpful thing during their treatment. Moreover, they cause financial problems which is another reason for criticizing them. Obviously, critique won’t help the situation but will make an addict feel even worse than they did before, and consequently will lead to more troubles. In this case, the last thing they need is the lack of compassion.

The drug is high, but unconditional love is higher

Raising children without unconditional love makes them dependent on you which later leads to dependency on other things such as substances. Addiction is rooted in the lack of unconditional love and may be healed when this type of love exists in addict’s life. It can be got from other people and may also be found within inside.

The warmth and kindness expressed to an addict will definitely aid their way toward sobriety. The only thing people taking substances truly want is the feeling of acceptance and love without conditions. If you have someone undergoing outpatient drug treatment, the best way to backup this person is to show your compassion and understanding. It will ease patient’s way through drug rehabilitation and contributes to their inner fulfillment with happiness.

Don’t lower addicts’ feelings of self-worth that is followed by depression and substance abuse.  Instead, turn your back and give unconditional love, support, and kindness.

About the Author

John Adkins is a professional writer and volunteer who deals with issues of mental health, addiction, and life in recovery. Also, he works with a foundation that helps drug addicts, so he has a clear insight into their problems. John is currently a writer for Addiction Resource.