Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Sensitive Subject: What to Do When Your Loved One is an Addict

Addiction is a monster that can wreak havoc not just on the life of a user, but also their loved ones. If you care for someone who is addicted to substances, you might feel at a loss of what to do. You want to support them, but you also want to help them overcome their addiction. Here are four tips for what to do when your loved one is an addict.

1. Focus on their recovery

If you love an addict, the best way to show your love is to help them get away from drugs and alcohol. This is something of a conditional love. You might love them no matter what, but you won’t be able to plan your life around them if they’re unwilling to get help.

Look into treatment programs at places like the Brightside Clinic that can help them to get better. You both deserve a relationship in which each of you is at your best in terms of health.

2. Don’t enable

Enabling an addict means you’re supporting their lifestyle, either directly through providing them with the substance they’re addicted to, or indirectly through ways like looking the other way when they use. Enabling is typically done not out of maliciousness but out of a misguided belief that your love for the other person will overshadow their addiction problems.

3. Set boundaries

In order for an addict to recover successfully, they need to understand what their responsibilities are. They cannot fall into the trap of declaring they’ve quit without any sort of plan. As the loved one of an addict, you need to do your part to keep them on the right track.

You can’t control their decisions and you shouldn’t try to, but you should make it clear what sort of behaviors will not be tolerated. Should your loved one violate these with a clear understanding of what their transgression was, you should leave them.

4. Listen

Going through addiction is incredibly hard. As a partner, you don’t need to support their addiction. However, you do need to support them as they go through this struggle. Listen to their concerns and ask how you’d be able to help. You might realize something you hadn’t otherwise considered. By showing your support for your partner, you can help them in their fight against addiction.

We hope these tips have given you a good idea of what to do if your loved one is an addict. Addiction can be a profound struggle, but it can be overcome. By offering the proper support, you can help your loved one overcome their addiction.

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