How Families Can Help a Loved One with Addiction

How Families Can Help a Loved One with Addiction

Many families struggle to help a loved one with addiction. It is hard to know what to do to support the person without overstepping boundaries into enabling. Alcohol and prescription drugs can be equally as devastating as heroin or other drug addictions. Family members need to learn how to support without enabling and address underlying problems. This is the best way a family can help a loved one with addiction.

Reasons to Help a Person with Addiction

The person who has addiction may not realize it but he or she desperately wants help. Asking the individual who had addiction to list three reasons why the person will not get help may help engage the loved one long enough to bring clarity and hope. Ask for the three main reasons why the person will not get help and, once answers are given, write down the responses on a sheet of paper. This will come in handy later.


Be Solution Focused


Once the three reasons are outlined, get a professional or expert to find solutions to the issues. Share solutions with the person with addiction. Try to get rid of the person’s fears and increase chances of getting help. Having a solution focused mindset can keep loved ones from overstepping boundaries and trying to do too much for the person who has addiction.




Be honest with the person about what has been noticed and the hard work required to get better. Let it be known that, without help, the individual will suffer. The person struggling is likely scared and needs help to overcome fears and resistance to receiving help. An open conversation may help allay fears. Learn how to set positive boundaries which can also be quite helpful


Explore Consequences


Another way to discuss addiction treatment with a loved one is to lay out what consequences will occur if the person does not seek treatment. Someone who has been there (an expert on addiction) may be more able to reach the individual and explain what will happen. The expert should warn the person of all the consequences faced if things don’t change finishing with the fact the person may die as a result of addiction without help.


Seek Help


Professional counselors or even an individual who is in recovery may be able to support the loved one into the decision making process. The goal is to reason and talk with the person to seek help. This may include planning for an intervention with family members and a specialist to tell the individual he or she is loved and special but addiction needs to stop and treatment is the only option.

Families can be very helpful in guiding loved ones into treatment. The key is persistence and focus on the goal: getting the person to see addiction has a stronghold and it is time to give it up for something better.

The Villa has resources and information to support individuals who are thinking about treatment. If you have a loved one who needs treatment for addiction, call us for support. We will help guide you to the right place for your individual situation.