An addict will say it is not possible to understand them until you have been through experiences they have been through.
They see themselves as a victim of one external circumstance or another and use this stance as an excuse to continue using.
Understanding an addict and the way he or she thinks will not only give insight into their mindset and the self-destructive life they are living, but also allow friends and family members to anticipate and guard against into the behaviors and drama associated with addiction.
Some addicts would not wish their bad addiction-related experiences on their worst enemy. Yet they ask the ones who love them most to try to relate to them on that level.
It is imperative for friends and family to understand that feeling good is not normal to an addict.This is expected because they've taken on the mentality that there is always another disaster around the corner waiting to happen.
This sets up the vicious addiction cycle and the compulsive behavior that goes along with it.
An addict’s manipulation of others thinking to deflect attention away from themselves and their addiction is part of what is called “stinking thinking.” Because addicts are not fully in touch with their feelings it is hard for them to understand human capacity for empathy and compassion. They may see it as an opportunity to selfishly take advantage of those who offer their love or support.
One reason recovery support groups work for so many people is because addicts are helping other addicts recover from the disease of addiction.
Those newly sober may feel more comfortable opening up to someone who has shared similar experiences. In turn those who have been in recovery longer are able to talk to a fellow addict and offer helpful support in dealing with their addictive behaviors.
According to an article from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) it is hard to understand why people become addicted.
As a result, many assumptions are made that question whether people fall into addiction as a matter of willpower or moral principal.
For friends and family of the addict, a first step to understanding can be attending an Al-anon or Nar-anon meeting. These groups exist to educate attendees, allow time for sharing experiences and creatively problem solve.