How to help your loved one with addiction


Supporting a loved one with addiction can be a difficult balance to maintain.

When a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can take an intense toll on your emotions. Juggling feelings of anger, pain, love, and resentment can be confusing and isolating.

One of your greatest challenges may be understanding what your loved one is really going through. It can be heartbreaking and frustrating to watch the cycle of addiction spiral out of control. Here are some important things to remember while you struggle to support your loved one and yourself:

1. Acknowledging the addiction is the first step to recovery.

The most important step can also be the hardest. Your loved one is addicted when they’re, “physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.”  Acknowledging the issue and giving it a name can be the first step in actively and positively seeking a solution.

2. No one can fight the addiction but the addict. 

Keep in mind that whatever’s happening, it’s not your fault. Addiction has a life of its own. Being supportive is different than trying to take control of the situation. At the end of the day, you cannot fight your loved one’s fight for them.

3. Communication is key.

Establishing an open and honest channel of communication can make a world of difference. Communicating your love, support, concern, and worries will allow your loved one to feel comfortable doing the same.

4. Set Boundaries in Your Relationship 

It can be difficult to set up boundaries when you’re worried about the safety of your loved one. Remember that self-care does not equal selfishness. Keeping yourself active and productive outside of the addiction battle ensures that you can give all of yourself to your loved at specific times when it seems most necessary.

5. Determine a Treatment Plan

Starting out on a treatment plan can require a great leap of faith. Encourage your loved one and be open to what they feel they need most. Sometimes, taking care of the practical aspects of treatment–such as booking appointments, researching therapists, etc.– can really help give an addict the extra “push” needed to begin recovery.

Reach out now

J.D. Murphy is a Christian therapist in Pineville, Louisiana. If you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, reach out today.  You can call now to make an appointment, or just fill out the contact form and click Send.