The 3 Cs of Addiction - For Loved Ones

Why this resource is helpful:

"The 3 C"s of addiction:

You didn"t cause it.

You can"t control it.

You can"t cure it."

I know this slogan from the 12 Step program Al-Anon, which is the support group for loved ones of people with alcoholism. This saying can be very useful for people who have a loved one who has alcoholism, but I think it can be useful to just about anybody the person with addiction/ alcoholism themselves, or anybody else.

The 3 Cs of addiction are that you did not cause someone"s addiction, you cannot control someone"s addiction, and you definitely cannot cure someone"s addiction. Let"s get into each of those in a little bit more depth.

First of all, you didn"t cause the addiction. Oftentimes loved ones of people with an addiction - whether they are their parents, spouses, partners, friends, siblings, etc - may blame themselves for the addiction. They will say, "If I had only done this X, Y, or Z thing differently or not done it at all, or if I had done it, then maybe my loved one wouldn"t have developed an addiction."

We know thanks to science that addiction is just as much about nature (DNA) as it is about nurture (your environment in your early life). So sure, there may have been things in an person"s childhood or teen years that may have caused a genetic predisposition they had toward addiction to inch closer to tipping over and to expressing itself in that person. However, there is no one thing that anybody did or didn"t do in that person"s life that caused them to develop an addiction.

Sometimes this guilt is self-induced. It"s a way of being hard on yourself, or trying to feel like you had some sort of control over the situation. However, in some unfortunate circumstances, people also feel this way because the person with addiction explicitly points a finger them and says, "I wouldn"t have an addiction if you hadn"t done this or if you had done this."

It"s important to keep in mind that that is their addiction talking. Addiction involves a lot of denial and rationalization, so instead of taking responsibility for the fact that they have an addiction that they may not be interested in getting treatment for, they point fingers at other people and say, "I wouldn"t have had to drink too much if you hadn"t done blah, blah, blah." Not true. Nobody caused their addiction.

Then let"s talk about controlling it. Nobody can control their addiction except, to an extent, them. No one else can make them stop drinking or using, make them do X, Y, or Z, make them go to treatment, etc. You can"t pray hard enough, you can"t do enough therapy with them, you can"t go to enough support groups, Al-Anon included. You can"t do anything to control their addiction. The person with addiction is the only one who can make the decision to either try to get sober or not. And there"s nothing you can do to control another person"s addiction - point blank, period, end of story. It is not possible for you to do.

Blog Post posted by Natalie Feinblatt on Inclusive Therapists.
Quoted From: https://www.inclusivetherapists.com/blog/the-3-cs-of-addiction-for-loved-ones-596

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