The most important thing to understand is that it is a disease.
This can be hard to accept. We care deeply about a loved one, but we see patterns of behavior that are baffling and scary. We fear for their safety, and maybe for our own.
We see somebody we may not know. Somebody doing bad, even dangerous things. We can’t understand why they don’t stop using, even when life is falling apart.
We wonder what we did wrong, and we might feel angry. And we have no idea how to fix it.
These confusing behaviors are symptoms of the disease of addiction. Addiction isn’t a lack of willpower or a moral failing. It’s a serious illness that makes people very sick, affecting the brain and behavior.