How to Help Someone Who Has an Addiction

Is there someone in your life suffering with addiction, yet you don’t know how to help them? Does it feel like every time you talk to them about it, everything you do just makes it worse? These are understandable feelings. There’s no way to be prepared for a loved one to deal with addiction. However, there are some actions you can take, some thoughts you can hold, that can make it that much more likely that the person you care about will get the help that they need.

What to Remember

Addiction isn’t someone’s “fault,” it’s not that they had some kind of moral failing or anything of the sort. They didn’t’ choose to be addicted. It’s a disease. Specifically, it’s a disease of the brain. Now, this can be perhaps the hardest thing to keep in mind when someone you care about has let you done again, done you wrong again, all due to their addiction. At those times, one of the best things you can do is to be optimistic, for yourself and for them. It can also be of great help to get a therapist for yourself. After all, you deserve to be supported, too.

The Opposite of Enabling

“If I try to help them, aren’t I just making it worse?” That can happen, yes, but only if you help them in such a way that covers for or hopes to eliminate the problems caused by their substance abuse. If they don’t feel the consequences of their actions, odds are that they won’t try to stop, quit, or seek help on their own. When you minimize the consequences of their addiction, in a very real way, you’re minimizing the addiction itself. That’s the last thing either of you want.

The Right Kind of Supportive

You want to be there for them, you want to be supportive in the right fashion – that means setting boundaries. Moreover, it means standing by those boundaries, too. If you don’t, then you can make it worse for both of you, as again, they’ll know that there aren’t consequences to their substance abuse. There are few things more difficult in life than seeing someone you love struggle with addiction. To learn about all of the different ways that we can help, or just to get more information about what you can do, you can reach us at

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