How Can You Help a Loved One Struggling With Substance Use?



The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 21.5 million people in the United States aged 12 or older needed treatment for a substance use disorder in 2014. Of those, only 2.5 million people (11.7 percent) received treatment at a specialty facility, such as The Hope House. If you have a loved one struggling with substance use, you may be wondering how you can help. Keep reading for some tips on how you can support your loved one through their recovery.

Talk to Your Loved One

If you are noticing that your loved one is struggling with substance use, it is important to talk to them about it. Addiction is a disease that can be treated, but it requires the person to want to get better. You can provide support and resources, but the person will need to take the first step. If your loved one is resistant to getting help, you can try to provide information about the disease and how it is affecting their life. You can also express your concerns and offer to go to counseling or treatment with them. It is important to be supportive and positive but also firm in your insistence that they get help. If your loved one agrees to get help, be sure to follow up with them and offer support. Recovery is a difficult journey, but it is possible with the right resources and support.

Seek Professional Help

If you are worried about a loved one’s substance use, the best thing you can do is seek professional help. Substance use disorders are serious mental illnesses that require treatment. Professional help can provide your loved one with the support they need to get better.

There are many different types of professionals who can help with substance use disorders. Therapists, counselors, and psychologists can all provide counseling and therapy for people struggling with addiction. There are also many programs specifically designed to treat addiction, such as rehab centers and 12-step programs. Professional help is essential for treating addiction. It can provide your loved one with the guidance and support they need to get better. If you are worried about someone’s substance use, seek professional help today.

Don’t Enable Them


It can be difficult to see the person you love struggling with addiction, and you may be tempted to enable them in order to make them happy. However, enabling exacerbates the addiction and makes it more difficult for the person to overcome it. Enabling is any behavior that allows an addict to continue using drugs or alcohol. This can include providing the addict with money, shelter, or transportation or helping them to cover up their addiction. Enabling also includes making excuses for the addict’s behavior or ignoring the addiction altogether.

Enabling an addict only allows them to continue their addiction. It does not help them to overcome it. In fact, it can actually make things worse, as the addict will become increasingly dependent on others to help them feed their addiction. This can lead to fights, resentment, and a breakdown in relationships.

Create Boundaries

There are few things more difficult than watching a loved one struggle with substance abuse. It can be hard to know what to do to help them, and you may feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells, trying not to upset them or make them angry. It is important to remember that you cannot force your loved one to get help, but you can create boundaries to help protect yourself and ensure that both of you are safe. Some things you can do to create boundaries if your loved one is struggling with substance abuse include:

  1. Establish rules and expectations for how you want your loved one to behave. This could include things like not drinking or using drugs in your presence, not coming home drunk or high, and not arguing or fighting with you.
  2. Communicate your rules and expectations clearly and consistently. It is important that your loved one knows what is expected of them and that you are not going to tolerate any bad behavior.
  3. Stick to your rules and expectations. If your loved one breaks a rule, don’t hesitate to enforce it. This may mean setting limits on how much contact you have with them or even kicking them out of the house.

Substance use disorders can be very serious. However, there are many ways that loved ones can help their loved ones struggling with substance use. Overall, loved ones can provide support, love, boundaries, and understanding, and they can also help their loved ones find treatment if necessary.


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