VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Evan James battled the bottle for years, but today the son of former NDP leader Carole James is clean, sober, and the father of a one-year-old boy.

The 28-year-old began drinking at the age of 16 and his family was often at a loss as to how to help him.       
Addictions therapist Candace Plattor says his story highlights the need for more support for those around an addict.

“If you think about it, for every one Evan, for every one addict or alcoholic, there are so many people who are affected,” she explains. “When I look at what happened in that family, what I see is a family who didn’t know where to turn for help.”

The struggle for loved ones ranges from whether they are being too hard on the addict or merely enabling them.

Plattor says addicts don’t become addicts by themselves, and don’t clean up on their own either.

“You’ve got mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and bosses and colleagues and friends and teachers,” says Plattor. “There are so many people that are affected for one addict’s addiction and until very recently, there wasn’t any place for them to go.”

Plattor is the author of Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself:  The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction.