6 Ways You Can Help A Loved One With An Addiction

There’s a high possibility that you’ll be confused about how you can help if one of your dear friends or a close relative is struggling with addiction. Given that you’ll always have the interest of your loved person at heart, there’s that tendency that you’ll be a bit unsettled as you’ll be perusing some ideas or ways you can play your part in helping out. Your support can actually be very helpful in increasing the chances of your loved one overcoming their addiction. However, it’s vital that you understand that not all situations are the same, and, of course, each situation requires a unique approach. 

Here is a guideline for some general do’s and don’t’s, to start with:


  • Respect your loved one’s privacy
  • Be honest. Don’t cushion your words – your loved one needs to hear the truth at all times.
  • Focus on building trust


  • Expect immediate change. Let time work the magic gradually.
  • Criticize
  • Threaten

Ways to Help A Loved One With An Addiction

Expect Difficulties

Helping someone so dear to you who’s struggling with an addiction may not be a smooth ride because of the difficulties you’re likely to encounter. Here are some reasons why; 

Your loved one may be engaging in his or her addiction just to avoid dealing with another problem. Your loved one may find it awkward to discuss his or her issues with a counselor, a doctor, or any other professional. He or she may want to avoid being a burden to anyone or may avoid discussing his or her addiction with you or others because of possible feelings of embarrassment. 

They may also fear the possibility of the consequences of the addiction, which may be going to prison or losing a job. There is also a good chance that your loved one may not want to change what he or she is doing, or may not agree that he or she has a problem

Know that it requires determination and willpower to overcome addiction and there’s no easy way or a shortcut to follow to help someone who’s dealing with an addiction. 

Establish Trust

To help your loved one dealing with addiction, think about change. You must be able to establish trust. However, as you plan to establish trust, you should also make sure that you consciously avoid these things;

  • Engaging in addictive behaviours yourself
  • Exaggerating, name-calling, and yelling at your loved one
  • Nagging and criticizing your loved one

Get Help For Yourself First

Developing stress management strategies will be very helpful for you because it’s often stressful to help someone who’s dealing with an addiction. 

Identify Treatment Options

Treatment options vary; what works for someone may not be the recommended option for another. While some people may have to go to a rehabilitation center, some may just have to see a therapist privately. And, whether you’re looking for a rehab in Alberta or wherever your location is, make sure that you make proper research about the place before you take any steps. Nevertheless, don’t forget to be honest about your feelings before you go to counselling with your loved one. Ready your mind to keep working on establishing trust and also be conscious of these things; 

  • Stay calm and listen with an open heart and mind. Don’t let what the person says about their addiction which involves you make you react badly. Be prepared for blame. 
  • Simply say what it has been like for you. While in counselling, don’t humiliate, criticize, or blame that person. 
  • Be honest about what you want to happen next once the person has been able to overcome the addiction and how his or her addiction has been like for you. Be honest about your feelings. 

However, if that person makes a decision to pursue treatment on their own, be conscious of these things; 

  • Understand that no change happens overnight and there are several approaches to addiction treatment. Practice patience. 
  • Don’t be too pushy for them to tell you how it went if they don’t want to talk about it. Respect their privacy in therapy. 
  • The treatment the person is undergoing shouldn’t be what you’ll keep informing every other person about. Make sure you respect their privacy in everyday life.


If you communicate honestly without being domineering or intimidating, there’s a high chance that your loved one will be open to thinking about change. But, know that the decision to change is theirs and the decision isn’t up to you. 

Educate Yourself

Know all the things you need to know about the kind of addiction that person is dealing with. Educate yourself well on the subject and treatment options. 

It can be scary and confusing to help someone with an addiction but with these few tips mentioned, you can begin to make a change in that person’s life.