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What YOU CAN DO If Someone You Love Is Struggling With Alcoholism or Drug Addiction

by Kailey

I know for myself, finding out my loved one had an addiction was like a slap in the face. It left me lonely, sad, angry and confused amongst many other emotions. I wish I could have gotten more advice from people that were going through the same thing I was. That's why I feel like anyone going through this needs as much support and guidance as they can possibly get, hopefully my experiences can help you too.

Drug addiction is a family disease. I feel like family members with good intentions go to great lengths to help their addicted loved one - almost so far that their efforts are often directed more towards keeping that “addicted person” out of trouble, rather than addressing the drug problem in itself. First off, you must learn the facts- FLAT OUT ...

The more you know about their disease the easier it will be to help them. We must also remember to refrain from rescuing our addicted loved one. Consequences are what led them to get help in the first place. When family members remove these consequences - the addict loses ALL motivation to get help, which obviously doesn’t help anyone. And whatever you do DO NOT support them financially. Addiction is expensive, and, in the end most often is burdened by the family.

Always tell yourself, NO ONE is to blame - addiction is a disease, not a choice so DON’T analyze it. One of the most important things to remember when helping an addict is don’t under any circumstance make idle threats. You must say what you mean and do what you say. Addicted people DO NOT respond to threats - they have been rescued before and they do not believe family will follow through on threats.

Next, addicts are incapable of keeping promises - its a proven fact. So don’t expect them to. They may sincerely want to but their disease prevents them from doing so.

Don’t preach, lecture, or try to reason - its a waste of breath. NO ONE can talk an addict enough to make them seek recovery - they must find this within themselves in order to truly recover. Remember that only consequences are powerful enough to break the hold addiction has on their brain.

Another thing, do avoid reactions of anger and pity. No matter how angry you may get there will always without a doubt be a feeling of immense pity following this. Anger is easily endured and manipulated by the addicts disease - so it’s never a good option.

In addition you must remember almost undeniably the most helpful way you can better your addicted loved one is to NOT ACCOMMODATE for their disease. Addiction is a subtle foe and it will gradually infiltrate a families home, lifestyle, and attitudes in ways that often go unnoticed. Examples of accommodation include, locking up valuables, not inviting guests for fear that addicted person might cause embarrassment, adjusting ones work schedule to be home with the addict, and not taking vacations for fear of not being available for your addicted loved one.

These things seem like they may require a lot of hard work and commitment - and I will not glamorize it, because it is more work than you’ll ever know until you actually experience it for yourself. But in the end - it couldn’t be more worth it.

Lastly, families and friends must remember when helping an addict to recover, it is your job to focus on your OWN life and responsibilities. Families must identify areas of their own lives that have been neglected due to their focus on someone else’s addiction. It is important to reclaim one’s life or the disease will hold the family hostage as well as the addicted person.

Take time for yourself, and come to accept that your loved one has a disease they will carry with him/her for the rest of their life. It’s up to THEM, their decisions and choices will decide if the rest of their life will be clean and happy.

You must also accept you are merely there as an emotional support who can help guide them down the right path. The choice is ultimately up to them - and you CANNOT under any circumstance allow their choices in life effect your well being. Stay strong and smart. I did, and with that anythings possible. Good luck!


This is all excellent advice by Kailey and everything she says is absolutely spot on. So if you're looking for more detail and specifics on the points she's raised, get yourself Help Me! I'm Love With An Addict: How To Survive A Relationship With An Alcoholic or Drug Addict. It expands on everything Kailey has said and tells you exactly what you need to do if you also find yourself involved with an alcoholic or drug addict.

Comments for What YOU CAN DO If Someone You Love Is Struggling With Alcoholism or Drug Addiction

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Sep 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

i really enjoyed reading your message just would like to know what you mean when you say acommodation!and what do you do when you do want to invite friends/ family over and dont in fear of embrassment.

Aug 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much!!!

Aug 03, 2011
sadly every word is so true, im there as we speak
by: lost soul

my partner is a ice addict and its very confusing,very hard to get your head around and the emotional roller coaster u go on is just crazy.
i was lost to where he was.
so i wanted to understand and have some knowledge on it before i judged it.
i spent countless hours researching the in's and out's of effects it has, the mental and emotional reaction it gives also the way it grabs hold of that person and demonises them in there own life.
i spoke to people with past full on additions asking everything possible.
Support workers, counsellers, doctors people who are affected and in that same place of addiction.
he is now getting help and really wanting to. :)
but unlike the methadone program for heroin addicts there is NO medications or a "symptom re-leaf" medication for that withdrawal stage where is psychically hurts cos the body WANTS it.
he has rang rehab fauclitys from A-Z in the phone book and they have not yet (government study and research) released it or if they even have put in practice this drug 'ICE'.
i don't think No one can really know how to dyacknowes this drug unless they really know its true effects not what a book says it is.
Governments every where need to pull there finger out and get on top of this its almost becoming sociably accepted its wrong.
the worlds suspenseful rate not of getting clean but staying clean is a failing rate of 70% because of no real help medically.
In Australia alone its at 93% fail.
So it leaves most helpless .

Aug 03, 2011
Great Advice
by: C-P

Great advice and thanks for sharing. It's critical to follow your suggestions to not only ensure your own sanity and well-being is preserved, but to give your addicted loved one the best possible chance of turning their life around. Enabling keeps them sick, so by creating consequences and putting boundaries in place they're far more likely to reach a point where they're ready to accept help and make the changes they need to, if they're ever going to overcome their addiction. Excellent post ... thanks again.

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