How to Help Someone Struggling With An Addiction

How to Help Someone Struggling With An Addiction

How To Help Someone Struggling With An Addiction

When someone you know and love is struggling with an addiction, it’s hard to just sit by and watch them struggle. You’re going to want to step in and help. It’s such a delicate situation, though, that you have to be careful. We understand how you feel, so here are some tips on how to help someone struggling with an addiction.

How To Help Someone Struggling With An Addiction

Educate Yourself About Addiction

First, it’s important to understand what this person is going through. Take time to learn about the nature of addiction. Often times, the addiction is due to an underlying disorder, such as a mental health issue or chemical imbalance. Remember, it’s okay if you don’t become an expert in addiction overnight. At least understanding parts of addiction will be beneficial for both you and the person you’re supporting.

Offer Your Support But Do Not Enable

Enabling comes in many forms. Some of which may come as a surprise. It’s important to know which actions are enabling, and stop them immediately. A couple common ways to enable are:

  1. Supporting them financially. Letting them live in your home rent-free can allow them to continue to pay for their addiction without the worry of where they will sleep hanging over their heads. Also, lending them money when they ask for it can enable them to fund their habits. They may give you plenty of reasons to give them money, but ultimately, each path will unfortunately lead to them somehow buying the substance they are addicted to.
  2. Making excuses for them. In your eyes, by doing this, you’re sparing them the humility they would face if people knew they were an addict. It might seem harsh, but by not making excuses for them, you could help push them toward the road to recovery.

Establish Boundaries

Setting boundaries is difficult and emotional. When you’re ready to set them, make sure they’re realistic and that you’re serious about them. You have to be able to stick to them, otherwise your word won’t mean as much in the future. Also know why you’re setting these boundaries. You should never set boundaries to try to control or change the addicted family member’s behavior. Instead, set boundaries that protect your family from the addicted family member.

Avoid Lecturing or Guilting

Addiction is complicated and requires counseling, professional help, and lots of work to figure out the underlying causes of the behavior. Yelling at the addicted person can cause them to turn to their drugs or alcohol for more self-medication. Treatment for addiction requires patience, support, love and empathy to help your loved one make it through.

Encourage Them To Seek Help

Your loved one might not be ready to accept help right away, but it’s still okay for you to talk to them about getting help. Staging an intervention is always a good way to do that, especially if they are deep into their addiction. As these can be difficult to do, you can always ask for a professional’s help setting it up.

Say they are ready to get help, but don’t know where to start. You can show your support by looking up rehab centers for them and helping them figure out which one is the best fit for them. Even if they aren’t ready to accept they need help, you can still have a list ready for them when they are.

Be Involved In The Recovery Process

Even after they have entered rehab, be there to support them. It’s vital that you remain involved. Show them that you will continue to be there for them every step of the way. If you stop showing your support now, it can have a negative impact on their progress through this step.

To Help Them, You Must Help Yourself

Addiction affects the family and friends as much as it affects the addict. This is why it’s so important for you to seek help as well. You don’t have to go through this alone. If you’re supporting your loved one, who is supporting you? There are support groups for families and friends of those who struggle with addiction. Join one of those groups and talk to people who are going through the same thing as you.

Make sure you take care of yourself as well. Don’t let their addiction take over your life to the point where you don’t get enough sleep, eat right, or live an overall healthy lifestyle. Still take time to see your family and friends and live the life you want. Remember, their addiction is not your responsibility. Just continue to love them and do the best you can to help them.

Do you have any questions regarding how to help someone struggling with an addiction? Please call us at 855.981.2020. We’re here to help.


Artesian Recovery & Wellness Centers, LLC is all about recovery that lasts. Our holistic approach is what sets us apart from traditional treatment centers.  A fresh start is a beautiful thing, so let us join you on your path to recovery.  Contact us today.

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