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.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

Find Us on Social Media

Yesterday, we put out an appeal for One Can Feed donations, so that we could replenish our Canned Pasta shelf in the IFCS Food Market. Well, our friends David and Ann came to the rescue. They made a monetary donation, so that we could purchase 125 cans at a deep discount. There will be lots of kids and kids-at-heart that have a quick meal. We are 125 meals closer to our goal of providing 130,000 meals of groceries this year. #OneCanFeed

Want to Feed the Need -
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

IFCS was so pleased to receive backpacks from PEO Chapter DH of Denver and Joan Clayton this year. Their mission of furthering girls and women’s education is inspiring! To learn how you can support this important mission, please email ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Our canned Ravioli & Spaghetti shelves are empty! We want to refill this family favorite by taking your One Can Feed monetary donations and shopping for those things we need most. Can you feed the need, by contributing to the campaign? #OneCanFeed
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

IFCS On Twitter

#OneCanFeed…Seniors! 1 in 7 Colorado seniors struggle with hunger (deciding between Food and Medicine). One Can Make a difference – learn more at

#OneCanFeed…Families! Nearly 1 in 7 Coloradans struggle with hunger, facing times when there is not enough money to buy food. One Can Make a difference – learn more at

We are pleased to announce the launch of One Can Feed! This is a fundraiser for IFCS to help collect financial and food resources to help others in need. Check out today to see how you can make a difference! #onecanfeed #dogood #charity #colorado

Load More...

Key Sponsors

Our Affliations




Sign Up for our eNewsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

IFCS follows the USDA non-discrimination policy. Learn more by clicking here to read the statement. (PDF)