Open Letters For families

It is said that addiction is a family illness.  This is because when any member of a family is struggling with substance abuse or dependency, the entire family is affected.  Often families feel hurt, disappointed and angry with their loved one.  It is a helpless feeling, but there is help for you as a family member, and for your family if you are struggling with addiction.  In our efforts to help, we can do for your struggling family member, all that they need to be doing for themselves. We can cover up, as a family member, lie and enable our loved one in a way that leaves us feeling used and does not help the one we love deal with their problems with substance abuse.


Below is a letter that may help you understand your role in recovery and help you understand what is needed and not needed by the addict you live with.

An open letter to my family & friends:

I am an alcoholic/addict. I need help. Don't allow me to lie to you and accept it for the truth, for in so doing, you encourage me to lie. The truth may be painful but get at it. I have a disorder that makes my using the most important pastime in my life. I will protect it with all my heart.

Don't let me outsmart you. This only teaches me to avoid responsibility and to lose respect for you at the same time.

Don't let me exploit you or take advantage of you. In so doing, you become an accomplice to my evasion of responsibility. Don't lecture me, moralize, scold, praise, blame, or argue when I'm drunk or sober high or clean. And don't pour out or throw away my substances; you may feel better, but it solves nothing in the long term.

Don't accept my promises. This is just my method of postponing pain. And don't keep switching agreements. If an agreement is made, stick to it.

Don't lose your temper with me. It will destroy you and any possibility of you helping me.

Don't allow your anxiety for me compel you to do what I must do for myself.... Don't cover up or abort the consequences of my drinking and using. It reduces the crisis but perpetuates the illness. Each time you pick up the tab for my irresponsible/unacceptable behaviour you buy the next round.

Above all, don't run away from reality as I do. Chemical Dependency, Alcoholism, Addiction, my illness, gets worse as my using continues. Start now to learn, to understand, and to plan for my recovery. I need help from a doctor, an addiction counsellor, a recovered alcoholic, from AA or NA. I cannot help myself. You too can get help from an organization or person who knows about my disorder. ( Nar-Anon, Al-Anon, parent groups etc.)

I hate myself, but I love you. To do nothing is the worst choice you can make for me.

Please help me,

Your Alcoholic/Addict

Referral Process:
Simply call (416) 640-1061 to arrange for an assessment or interview.

Recovery Counselling Services
4211 Yonge St., Suite 302
Toronto, Ontario
M2P 2A9

Just north of York Mills, and the York Mills Subway, just south of the 401 on the east side of Yonge in the building where there is a Swiss Chalet.

Parking Available

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