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At My Wit’s End!

mom with kids dad walking away

“My hands are tied,” writes AiR member Buttercup123

“I desperately need my child's father to go to treatment, but he is not ready….but he can not live in the home we share as housemates – my hands are tied on what I can do – I need to focus on my continued recovery as well as my child's wellbeing! Been to DCF, can't Section 35, police can't assist… At my wits end!”

Since the police and DCF (Department of Child and Families) don’t see a problem for which they would be wiling to intervene, I will assume your ex is not abusive. Yet both your own recovery and your child’s wellbeing are jeopardized by your ex’s behavior.

Is DCF saying the police can’t help and that you can’t section him? If so, I wouldn’t just take their word for it, but would pursue a restraining order and a Section 35 order.

I am also going to assume that you lack the money or resources to leave your ex and move out of the house. While this would feel highly unfair, your wellbeing and that of your child is the priority. Your own recovery must be placed above everything else. If there is any way to get out, consider doing so.

This site teaches an approach called CRAFT that is the pathway for getting your ex into treatment. The approach emphasizes safety, and maintains a focus on your own quality of life, while laying out step-by-step how to create an immediate environment around your ex that is respectful, calming, and motivating.

I suggest you start with Modules 1 and 2: the introduction and the safety module. From there, choose what is most challenging at the moment:

  • Understanding his patterns as well as your own (Module 3)
  • Communicating (Module 4)
  • Learning to recognize and reward moments when he is not using (Module 5)
  • Responding to his active use (Module 6)
  • Your worry, frustration, anger, and other difficult feelings (Module 7)
  • How to get your ex into treatment (Module 8)

Our approach was developed by psychologists who studied families caught in the turmoil of a Loved One’s addiction. There is nothing else like CRAFT, nothing as well studied. There is much opinion about what to do when a Loved One is struggling and consequently causing pain and havoc in the family. There is only one scientifically-validated approach.

CRAFT gets 70% of people to go to treatment, an outcome unparalleled in the intervention world.

CRAFT does so much more though, it teaches you how to be in a relationship with someone you love who is struggling with alcohol or drugs; how to reduce conflict; how to communicate and respond; and how to move them towards treatment.

So consider watching and doing the exercises laid out on this site. Trust that this is the most loving and successful way to move your ex into treatment. It will take a couple months to complete the training, but you will see improvement in your situation from the moment you open the first module.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)