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People who have loved ones with addiction are often told that they need to stick by them no matter what. I felt guilty and heartless for admitting I needed a break. Now, years later, I know there is no quick fix for addiction. And while my brother has sought additional treatment, the devastating effects of his disease remain.

In Boston alone, at least five people die from opioid overdoses every day. This leaves millions of people who care for a person with an addiction to struggle with how best to help the people they love. Should they support them? Should they show tough love? Some families open their homes to loved ones with addiction so that they have a stable place to live; others shell out exorbitant amounts of money for private rehabilitation clinics. Most exert a tremendous amount of energy helping their loved ones try to kick their habit.

At Alateen learned that it was okay to detach from people whose destructive behavior affected your wellness; I used this method with my brother as a way of gaining myself back.

Read more on The Outline.

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