Candace Plattor

Holidays are tough for addicts and their families

Therapist-turned-author Candace Plattor offers tips for families at Christmas

Christmas is “probably the worst time of year” for people with an addict in their life, therapist and author Candace Plattor says.

“Loved ones have a recollection of what the addict was like before the addiction took hold,” she says. “What they want more than anything is to have them (the addict) be the way they used to be.”

But hope alone is not enough, says Plattor, author of Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction.

Spouses, relatives and friends of addicts have to set boundaries if they want to avoid having their holiday disrupted, she says.

Plattor advises telling the alcoholic or drug addict to arrive at the Christmas dinner, party or family get-together clean – and stay that way.

She suggests that hosts says: “During the few hours that you’re with us, you need to be straight and sober.”

And if the addict refuses, tell him or her not to bother dropping by.

“Addiction is not an excuse for bad behaviour,” Plattor says.

The ultimatum doesn’t have to be angry or confrontational, she says.

Simply state, in a matter-of-fact way, “this is what we require,” Plattor suggests. And if the addict balks, say “we’ll miss you, but don’t come.” And mean it.

This kind of discussion needs to happen well in advance of Christmas dinner or any other holiday-related event, Platter stresses.

People who are in the grips of an addiction need to understand that they cannot expect to be treated they way they were before the drugs or drinking got out of hand, Plattor says.

“They need to earn their way back.”

Plattor has given free workshops in White Rock on dealing with addiction in other people for Sources counseling and addiction services and the City of Surrey.

During 16 years of treating people for substance abuse and compulsive behaviors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Plattor says, she came to firmly believe that spouses, relatives and friends of addicts are in just as much need of help.

By the time they contact a therapist, she says loved ones have often invested a lot of energy, time and money in a frustrating battle to get the other person to change.

All too often, what they’re doing isn’t helping.

Plattor says breaking the addiction to the addict’s problems requires recognizing that you can’t help another person if he or she isn’t ready to be helped and you are unable to look after your own needs, she says.

For more information about Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction visit www.candaceplattor.com

Just Posted

Disappointment, frustration after Surrey council votes to approve budget

Decision means delay of Cloverdale rink, other capital projects, and no new cops to be hired next year

Does Surrey need more mounties? B.C.’s top cop thinks so

‘We definitely have the metrics, the evidence and rationale behind that,’ she said

‘Naughty list’ in Surrey includes 10 ‘prolific offenders with outstanding warrants’

RCMP: ‘We are asking for the public’s help with any information on these persons’ whereabouts’

A first look at Surrey’s new ‘Greener’ and ‘Blackie Spit’ street banners

Public Art Street Banner project for 2019 considered by city council Monday

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

Watchdog called after man says Coquitlam cop shut car door on his leg

The Independent Investigations Office is probing an incident that occurred in Coquitlam last weekend

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

Missouri poacher ordered to repeatedly watch ‘Bambi’

Sentence comes from one of the largest deer poaching cases in state history

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Most Read