How to Help a Loved One Struggling With Addiction.

How to Help a Loved One Struggling With Addiction

Addiction impacts all members of a family and can leave an aftermath of frustration and sadness. It can appear that when our loved one is battling addiction, it’s no big deal. Or we might even pass it off as a choice they have made solely on their own. Although this may be true, it does affect us. The negative impacts that addiction has on loved ones and families can be reflected by chaos or division among family members due to the addiction of a loved one.

Seeking help for ourselves can be one of the best things we do. This can help us understand and help our loved ones. The way we respond to a loved one’s addiction can have a negative or positive impact on them getting treatment. If we fully support them in getting treatment, it can make them feel more motivated.

If we only express frustration and anger, this can make them feel discouraged, and they can feel no purpose in getting treatment. If we are going to be supportive, we need to be patient and maintain our support throughout. Our love and support can influence our loved one’s treatment process.

Understanding Can Help Your Loved One Through Their Addiction

When we are able to gain knowledge about addiction and what it entails, we can gain the tools necessary to help our loved ones. Being educated can increase the development of how to use proper interventions with our loved ones. We can learn how to assess challenging situations and how to respond to them. If we create patterns of consistency with our loved one, it can make them feel more confident during treatment.

Our loved ones are looking for us to understand and support them, not to be judged. They will be able to feel more secure when they know that we can address their addiction with solutions and not problems. Showing understanding can be done in many ways. Understanding each other is a key factor in family attachment and nurturing.

Replace Frustration With Love and Understanding

An essential factor when helping our loved ones is to take care of ourselves as well. If we are not in a positive mindset, then we are not mentally prepared to take on the emotions that addiction will bring. As we learn about addiction, we can learn that it is a real disease with real strongholds.

Recognizing that there is a lot to be learned about addiction can open our minds to all the ways to deal with addiction and the treatment options available. The more we know about addiction and addiction treatment, the less frustrated we can become.

When we replace frustration with love and understanding, we provide the much-needed attention that family needs. Since each member is affected in their own way, it is important to display love and understanding rather than discord and confusion.

The Impact of Addiction on Children

Children process things differently; therefore, they are impacted differently. Children who witness a loved one’s addiction and consistent substance use have a greater risk of developing an addiction as an adult. We must educate our children—within reason, taking age and maturity into account—about addiction as well.

Talking to children about addiction is no easy task. They are, however, a part of the family. As the adults of the family, we must educate ourselves before we can help our children understand what addiction is. When we prepare to talk to our children regarding this issue, we need to be sure that they are age appropriate and that it’s the right time. We must remember to explain addiction in terms that they can understand.

Children who are at the age of understanding need honesty. Being honest with them is healthy and can create emotional stability for the situations they may encounter. When children understand what addiction is and the negative outcomes it can have on a person’s life, it could lower the risk of them forming an addiction themselves.

Overcoming Frustration and Healing With Your Loved One

Whatever addiction your loved one is battling, there is help. Help can begin with us. When a loved one struggles with addiction, they already feel unwanted and helpless. Our loved ones want to connect with us because we are the safe place for them. Sometimes, it is easier to shut them out of our life because of the addiction.

Displacing our loved ones from our lives creates the potential for them to spiral into a deeper, darker place of addiction. When we are educated and understand how we can help, we can be more compassionate toward them. We must embrace the opportunities presented to us to help our loved ones overcome their addiction. When we do this, unity, understanding, and healing can be brought back into our family.


If your loved one is struggling with addiction and you have found yourself frustrated, there are options available. Your loved one is not the only person affected by addiction; it impacts all members of a family unit. You can find treatment and resources for both yourself and your loved one at Brazos Recovery Center. Here all members of the family can gain knowledge and tools to help understand what your loved one is feeling. Brazos Recovery can create a treatment plan the whole family can benefit from. They provide a safe and confidential environment so you can open up and be honest about how addiction affects you. Call Brazos Recovery Center today at (254) 232-1550 to start healing.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.