Notes for Family, Friends and/or Union Members:

If you know someone who you believe "has a problem" or would benefit from counseling, a referral to the EAP is a good first step. As a co-worker, spouse or significant other of a person involved in drugs, alcohol, gambling or mental illness you can easily be dragged into their "pool of insanity." The results of this unhealthy pattern is often one that "drowns" both people.

The key to helping someone with these problems is to find a balance between helping and enabling the problem. The tough love approach, is the sanest approach for you to follow. By following some of the guidelines through the organizations and books referenced below you will not ignore the personís problems, nor will you enable the person by helping them avoid the negative consequences of their behavior

Keeping your balance in these situations is much more difficult than it would seem. The closer you are to the person with the problem (the dependent) the harder it becomes to "detach with love". Al-Anon/Narc-Anon/Gam-Anon are all members of proven 12 Step/Self Help programs to assist friends and family members to cope with these very difficult situations. When needed a professional counselor can be used to assist in an "intervention" to help the "dependent person" by confronting the denial and by supporting a referral to treatment.

If any of these issues are affecting you, start by contacting your EAP or utilizing your State Health Benefits to seek private counseling. A third option is to reach out to the self-help groupís mentioned below to begin your program of recovery and regain the balance in your own life.

References:

Against The Wall, John Hough and Marshall Hardy

Codependenct No More: How to Stop Controlling other and Start Caring For Yourself., Melody Beattie

Courage To Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Al-Anon.

I'll Quit Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Alcoholism Treatment., Vernon E. Johnson

Intervention: How to Help Someon Who Doesn't Want Help., Vernon E. Johnson

Hazelden Web site (www.hazelden.org)