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Published on August 23, 2023

Helping Your Dear One Fight Addiction: Do’s and Don’ts for Family Members

Millions of people are struggling with addiction in the world. An addicted person isn’t the only one who suffers because of addiction; family members and close friends of a person also do. 

Family members often play a critical role in the recovery journey by offering support and guidance. However, the journey to recovery isn’t an easy one. That is why one should know the dos and don’ts to help your loved one overcome addiction. 

Before advising anyone about their behavior or solving any problem for that matter, you need to know the situation in depth. The causes of addiction can vary from person to person, which is why every individual needs special care. 

Understanding “Addiction”

To consider addiction as a matter of weak willpower or a lack of moral character is wrong. Addiction is more like a chronic brain disease, in which a person knowing the consequences, can’t stop taking the substance. 

Several factors can compel a person into becoming an addict, such as mental health issues, trauma or the environment. Sometimes what may begin as a curious experiment can turn into dependency. That’s why it is advisable to track the occasional drinking that might be progressing into addiction. 

How to Deal with a Loved One’s Addiction?

Dealing with a loved one suffering from addiction needs patience and courage. In some cases, an addict can understand the concern of their loved ones, while in others, they might not acknowledge it. To avoid heated arguments and find a peaceful solution, follow the below-mentioned points. 

Educate Yourself

For someone who is not addicted to a substance, addiction is merely a choice. Under the issue of addiction and the perspective of the addict, educating yourself is crucial.

You need to understand the person’s emotions and the science behind the addiction, which involves knowing about the challenges they might face during recovery and researching rehab centers. 

Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help

Having family members or friends on a journey to recovery can encourage the addict to do better, but that is not enough. 

To recover completely from the addiction, one needs professional guidance. A person suffering from addiction might find it hard to search for the best rehabs, so assisting them would be a good option. 

Finding the perfect rehab can be challenging but ensuring your loved ones get good treatment and facilities is essential. To ensure that their loved ones have a comfortable experience, family members can search for a top Tampa Rehab Center that provides facilities like sports and recreation, spacious rooms and flexible programs. 

Open and Honest Communication

Scolding or judging an addict won’t help. To truly understand what your loved one is facing, provide them with a safe environment to share their problems.

While communicating with your loved one about addiction, you need to note a few things to avoid an argument between you two, like blaming them by saying things like, “Your drinking habit is too much for me.”

Listen to what they have to say without interrupting them or getting angry. Politely express your empathy and concerns. Show them that you care about their well-being. 

Set Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is essential to limit access to the substance and protect yourself from the addict’s manipulation. 

Compassionately, you can also inform the addict about the consequences if they cross the boundaries like telling them that “I want to be there for you but I can’t allow you to carry on the substance abuse” or “ I care about you and that’s why I can’t lend you money anymore as it’s enabling your addiction”. This practice will make them think twice before taking any action. 

What to do if Your Child, Spouse or Close Friend is Suffering from Addiction?

Dealing with an addict in different kinds of relationships needs a different approach. For instance, if your spouse is an addict, you might want to consider couples therapy, but you’d need to follow a completely different approach if it’s your child. 


Dealing with an addicted child would require extra care and a delicate approach. The guidelines to help your children are pretty much the same as the above but there’s one slight change.

Rebuild Your Relationship

Children with abusive pasts, low self-esteem, and trouble with family or at school tend to develop a habit of taking substances to reduce pain and anxiety. They seek escapism through alcohol and drugs.

But providing them with a non-judgemental environment to talk about the core issues and helping them find the solutions can bring the child out of addiction. Explaining to them the consequences of addiction in age-appropriate language can help. 


Supporting a spouse through addiction can be emotionally draining. While the addictive behaviors of the spouse might upset you and fill you with thousands of thoughts and uncertainty about the future, it is crucial to understand that your partner is as alone in this journey as you are. 

Couple Therapy

Therapy provides a safe space and also guides you to move forward. Taking a couple’s therapy can show your partner that you are willing to put effort into saving the relationship. This way, you can rebuild trust and start life afresh. 

Self-Care for Each Other

Dealing with your spouse’s addiction can also drain your energy or frustrate you leading to angry outbursts. To avoid all that, you need to find some activity that both of you can enjoy. 

While you support your spouse during the hard times, prioritize your mental and physical health. Seek support from friends you trust, family members, or therapists who can counsel both of you fairly. 

Close Friends or Relatives

To help an employee, a friend or a relative, you can follow the below-mentioned guidelines. 

Be a Role Model 

It is easier for people to follow an example. If you adopt healthy habits, it will motivate people around you to do the same. To bring a positive change in your surroundings, you can start by changing yourself. 

Encourage Them to Make Good Social Connections

People start or continue to consume the substance under the influence of others. To free your loved one from addiction, encourage them to change their social group. 

Additionally, isolation can negatively impact one’s mental and physical health. Thus, engagement in social activities and making good friends is necessary for a person going through recovery. 


Although supporting the journey to recovery can be difficult, it can be transformative. Understanding your loved one’s challenges and giving them the support they need can bring out positive change in them. 

Remember that seeking professional help is crucial for you and your partner to overcome the addiction and keep your mental health fine. Together, you can overcome the addiction problem. 

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