And as the addict begins recovery, there's another stumbling block to overcome: repairing actual healthy relationships with others; where in the past everything revolved around "getting high", from the substance to sex, and using others "to get high". It takes a complete overhaul: ********Really Naked: How intimacy changes when you get sober Clearly, it is next to impossible for individuals who abuse alcohol or drugs to keep up healthy relationships, either with new acquaintances or with loved ones. Since the road to recovery requires a renewed dedication to sobriety, it also requires a commitment to recovering the intimate potential of relationships. Of course, the level of intimacy varies person-to-person and relationship-to-relationship. However, there are several hallmarks of an intimate relationship that everyone should look for: An expectation of a continued, long-term relationship The tendency to think of ‘us’ rather than ‘me’ An expectation of fair treatment Expressed affection, love, and care for one another Extensive knowledge of the other person in the relationship Trust One of the major hang-ups for individuals on the road to recovery is an innate fear of intimacy. This is not necessarily caused by a fear of intimacy itself, but rather what intimacy can bring – including the perceived danger of the relationship and the potential of either being hurt or hurting others. It is this fear of the outcome of intimacy that leads recovering alcoholics to avoid intimacy altogether. Individuals with a fear of intimacy may certainly value love and intimacy, but are attempting to protect themselves or others by keeping at a distance. This applies to both emotional and physical intimacy, and is only compounded when the two converge. ****** The move needs to be, perhaps, from viewing others as objects to use or avoid, and instead as beings to interact with on a level playing field. I also note here that tipsycatlover's observations that "addicts don't and never will care" could be wrong. Why would an addict fear to hurt someone if they didn't care?