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

Delta mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

White Rock dog poop conspiracy picks up steam

Opponent says theory is a ‘load of crap’

Surrey MLA slams NDP poverty reduction strategy plan

Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt says the NDP’s poverty reduction plan is ‘underwhelming’

Father thanks Surrey Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

Noted Spanish guitarist in Surrey with VSO and Rodrigo’s ‘beautiful concerto’

‘I love playing it,’ Pablo Sáinz Villegas says of famous composition ahead of Bell concert date

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read