Watching a loved one deteriorate through drug and alcohol abuse can be extremely tough. An addiction is a highly engulfing condition, which can unpredictably impact health, behaviours, decisions, and actions. Due to this, it’s normal for your relationship and perceptions to change.

Although your relationship may be damaged or may feel under pressure, and although you may negatively judge your loved one, your role and presence are significant right now. Your support will be invaluable through addiction and the possible commitment to long-term recovery.

Whilst it may feel easier to ignore your loved one, whilst it may feel easier to enable their behaviour, or whilst it may feel easier to continue through everyday life, ease isn’t attached to addiction. The most proactive step you can however take is to support your loved one, through addiction, with our advice here at Ocean Recovery.

Here’s some advice on how to support a loved one with addiction, covering the approach and actions that you can take. We will be here for you, with full support, to guide you through your efforts. Reach out to begin a family and friend referral, to disable the addiction process.


The Value of helping a loved one with Addiction

Addiction is not only a physical and psychological condition. It’s also an emotional one, which can be extremely testing to live through. Whilst a loved one may seem tough and may come across like their coping, in reality, they may be living in denial, justifying their actions, or hiding the truth from you.

Mental health issues, self-destruction, poor self-awareness, and value, and depression are all common emotional responses to addiction. Your support can help to add some warmth, some light and some purpose to the addiction recovery journey.

Although there are easier ways out, as an onlooker, there’s no easy way out from addiction, apart from rehabilitation. You can ease this process by offering quality support, empathy, and trust, as someone to rely on, as a shoulder to lean on and as a listening ear.

Here’s some advice, on how to support a loved one with addiction, from your levels of awareness to the expectations that you set. Your approach can reduce the suffering, self-sabotage, and negative behaviours that your loved one may be experiencing around substance abuse.


How to Support a Loved One with Addiction – Our Advice

  • Be fully aware of Addiction

An addiction is a complicated illness, with many different layers to it. Instead of assuming or following stereotypes, it’s important to be fully aware of its symptoms, its hardships, its causes, and its recovery rates. With awareness, you’ll be prepared for what’s ahead.


  • Find the right approach

In order to support a loved one with addiction, you must firstly find the right approach. Every person is different. Some will benefit from some tough love, whilst others will react positively to trust and empathy.

You know your loved one best. Yet it is found that an empathetic and compassionate approach is best when discussing the topic of addiction recovery. Although you can be insightful, it’s important to approach with a sensitive nature.


  • Build and maintain trust

The importance of trust is recognised whilst supporting a loved one. You need to build and maintain a trustworthy relationship for them to rely on you and consider your concerns.

Addiction recovery is a personal, sensitive process that will benefit from trust and privacy.


  • Communicate compassionately and empathetically

Although you may feel negatively towards the choices and behaviours of your loved one, this isn’t the time to judge. It’s the time to offer both compassion and empathy whilst they work through one of the hardest conditions to encounter and recover from.

Your approach should be soft and caring, yet you must also be reliable and credible with your recommendations.


  • Set realistic expectations

It’s vital that you expect difficulties. Supporting a loved one can be extremely tough. Your relationship may take the brunt of it. You may experience some emotional moments. You may also encounter some pushbacks. All can be worked through, which is why you must set some realistic expectations.

Your support will make the process easier and will likely motivate greater progression. Yet you must be considerate, and you must be patient.


  • Be present

It’s easy to get ahead of yourself whilst supporting someone else. This is a very significant time for your loved one, which will naturally carry some challenges. By being present you’ll be aware of how they feel, of how your approach is benefitting them and of how much time/energy you’re giving them.


  • Look after yourself

Our advice on how to support a loved one with addiction reasonably focuses on their needs, emotions, and recovery process. Yet the process is also about you. You should look after yourself, to make sure that you are strong enough and capable of offering ongoing support.

Self-care will be a great way to work through any challenges that you may be facing, along with the difficulties of witnessing addiction.


  • Run through some appropriate treatment options

Addiction treatment should be the end goal of your support. You should have some available treatment options ready to recommend, to offer some motivation and guidance. Although this can be a long process, your continued efforts will help to increase their acceptance.


  • Consider a Rehab Referral

A rehab referral will be very beneficial if you are struggling to get through to your loved one. You’ll be able to complete a family and friend referral here at Ocean Recovery, and even an intervention if needed.


  • Accept Family Therapy

Once drug and alcohol rehab is accepted, family therapy will be a treatment option. We encourage you to accept full involvement, as this can strengthen your relationship, understanding and ability to support your loved ones long-term recovery journey.

Therapy will also benefit you if you’ve also been affected by your habits and choices.


Support for Families and Friends here at Ocean Recovery

At Ocean Recovery, we appreciate how difficult this time can be. You’ll want to support your loved one, yet you may feel out of your depth. We’re here to guide you, through our supportive services.

Knowing how to support a loved one with addiction understandably isn’t a natural, everyday responsibility. Yet with our guidance, we can help you invest your efforts, to improve their experiences of addiction and recovery. We also offer addiction treatment programmes, all ready to welcome your loved one once they are accepting.

Reach out for our advice, benefitting both you, your family and your loved one.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: October 15, 2021

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.