How do you set boundaries with an addict? Walter shares his own story of addiction and helps us navigate the choppy waters of confronting an addict as well.

“Basically what we had to do is say is, here is our plea to you and then these are the consequences if you don’t. The consequences had to be real and they had to be backed up.”

“Now is the hardest part because I’ve heard some scary statistics that there’s a good percentage of people that say, ‘Well, take your ultimatums and you know what you can do with them.’ And the next thing you know, they’ve told the family to disband and see you all later, and ‘I’m breaking off all communication with you guys because my addiction is much more important.’

Walter acknowledges that confrontations and interventions are uncomfortable.

“That’s the scariest thing going into it – not just that you’re going to be confronting this person and it’s going to get personal, it’s going to get ugly, you’re kind of prepared for that – you don’t know what they’re going to say. This animal, this beast that has them is hanging on for dear life at this point in time and it knows that the jig is up at this point in time.”

“It’s a demon and it’s got a personality and it’s got plans.”

Walter reiterates the importance of sticking to your guns when confronting an addict, and relays his own fears about confrontation.

“You do have to be prepared to make good on – they’re not threats – promises. And the scariest part for me was that perhaps my wife might say, ‘Fine, see ya!’ I think that’s what a lot of people fear and maybe that’s why they’re reluctant and they delay doing what needs to be done because, ‘What if that person tells me to get lost?’ You’ve got to be prepared for that. You can’t live like this and neither can they.”

Confronting an addict