Addiction:  “You don’t Understand!”


When Addiction Takes Over


“You don’t understand!” is the common response I get from individuals who seek treatment for addiction.  Because most individuals become consumed by their addiction, it begins to take over.  This response, I believe, is the clients’ explanation of how difficult is the struggle.  But, it is also a plea for help!


The Whole Family is Affected


I have helped many individuals and their families overcome addiction and achieve their goals in therapy.  Treatment is, I have found, not an individual problem but a family problem as well.  Families are often the ones that play a key role in enabling the addiction within the user; and, by the same token, helping them to stop continuing the addiction cycle.  The addiction cycle is a problem that begins with the individuals’ choice to use the substances, but ultimately affects loved ones as well.


Addictions Change the Personality


Substance abuse is a problem that imprisons individuals and families alike!  The substance begins to take over—changing personality and impairing judgment—to the point where the individual has lost who they are.  Substance abuse creates a world that revolves around the “high” and this pursuit takes over relationships.  In this way, the substance begins to capture and change the individuals’ mind, body, and spirit; ultimately deforming the personality.   Addiction becomes a vicious cycle of obtaining and use of the substance.  And this focus ultimately can become the central chase of everyday life.  Until this cycle is recognized, and broken the individual becomes captured by the substance and their true self is lost to view.


Yet, There is Hope!


Yet, for many, family, group and individual therapy have become the beacon through which hope, determination, and empowerment bring about a total transformation!  Change can happen, creating new perspectives, fostering individual responsibility, and thus bringing back the loved one you have lost.


Your loved one may tell you, “You don’t understand!”  But, by listening to their deeper voice beyond the voice of addiction, you let them know that you do understand.















Author: Wendy Rafeh, M.S.


Please contact us at the following: (909) 890-4466 | | 1881 Commercenter Drive East, Suite 232, San Bernardino, CA 92408



Please contact us at the following: (909) 890-4466 | | 1881 Commercenter Drive East, Suite 232, San Bernardino, CA 92408