5 Tips for Supporting Someone Recovering From Addiction

Managing a relationship with someone grappling with substance and alcohol addiction can be a protracted and taxing ordeal. It can sometimes become so overpowering that it feels as if disregarding the person and their predicament is the only option left. However, choosing to overlook the issue and pretending everything is fine can lead to amplified problems and inflict harm on you, your family members, and most importantly, the person struggling. Although it might be distressing, be patient and consistently motivate the individual to seek assistance.

Remember Addiction is a Medical Condition

Substance and alcohol abuse can significantly alter the brain’s wiring, disrupting its normal functioning and fostering dependency. This often leads to a warped value system that prioritizes sustaining substance use.

5 Tips for Supporting Someone Recovering From Addiction
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Feeling exasperated with your loved one is understandable when you witness them engaging in behaviors detrimental to their health. For your own mental health, limit your interaction if they are actively indulging in substance or alcohol use.

Avoid making them feel isolated. This could induce guilt and make it harder for them to seek help. Once they embark on their recovery journey, you can gradually increase your communication with them, when it feels right. Strive to comprehend how substance misuse became an integral part of their daily life and inquire about the best ways you can offer support.

Have Practical Expectations

Avoid preaching or lecturing to the person struggling with addiction. Their ability to fully comprehend your words might be hindered. Continue holding them accountable to expectations and provide guidance towards the required treatment. Don’t anticipate them to keep promises, as their disease often inhibits such capability. Refrain from responding with pity or anger, entangling you further with the individual battling addiction.

If your loved one is prepared to seek assistance, check online resources to learn more about obtaining a referral and assessment. Additionally, you can contact an inpatient drug rehab within your locality to determine eligibility for their services, or they could guide you towards someone who can offer help.

They Need to Learn from their Mistakes

Those who stand by individuals battling addiction frequently desire to extend more assistance, and the inclination to do so can be strong. However, let the person learn how to tactfully turn down enticing proposals independently.

Allow them to cultivate the skill of discussing their substance use issues without feeling embarrassed. As a part of their support network, your function is to aid them in case of relapses and consistently provide them with love and motivation.

Increase Your Knowledge on Addiction

Your awareness is bound by your knowledge. Without familiarity with addiction and its symptoms, it’s easy to ignore the obvious signs. Addiction’s complexity can be overwhelming, and it’s acceptable not to grasp everything immediately. Yet, dedicating time to comprehend your loved one’s affliction and its effects on them can be enormously rewarding for both parties. This understanding also heightens your sensitivity to indications that your loved one may need help.

Don’t Enable

When addiction grips a loved one, it’s challenging for the family. Frequently, families unknowingly facilitate the individual’s addiction. Do not shield the addict from the repercussions of their actions. Often, individuals can’t make changes until they’re compelled to confront their issues.

Refrain from financially aiding the addict or their addiction. Despite good intentions, when family members or friends provide groceries, financial help for legal fines, or rent payments, it generally only extends the duration of the addiction as it allows the addict to evade the consequences of their actions.


Your loved one may experience multiple setbacks before discovering a treatment plan that works for them. Achieving stability is challenging for anyone, let alone someone battling addiction.  Never forget there are countless individuals who once struggled with alcohol or other substance dependencies and now lead joyful and rewarding lives.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 29, 2023

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