How to Support Someone With Addiction

There’s a good chance that you know someone who has overcome addiction or that you know someone who is currently battling addiction. Whether they’re a close friend or someone you don’t know very well, it’s important to understand how to support someone with an addiction.

Not only can an addiction ruin the addict’s life, but it can also ruin their friendships, families, and careers. Knowing how to help someone with an addiction can significantly improve their situation and speed up their recovery.

A national survey found that 20.4 million adults aged 12 and older had a substance use disorder (SUD) in the previous year. Additionally, data from the previous year revealed that only about a tenth of people with SUD received the necessary care.

So how can you help an addict receive the treatment they need and support them on their journey to sobriety? Be straightforward. Be direct. Be black and white.

Rely on Our Addiction Experience

Every situation is unique and different. There is no manual for an intervention. The best advice we can give you is to be black and white about it. Addicts don’t want to talk about the black and white issues – they only want to talk about the gray areas in between.

Be straightforward. Be direct. Be black and white. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Tell them to get help – period. We can tell you from experience that they’ll usually get help.

In fact, we’ve found it’s much more difficult to convince family members to be black and white about the issues than it is to convince addicts to get help. It’s okay if they get mad; that means they’re going to make a change. They may put up a fight, but probably not a very good one. They’re waiting for someone to say NO to them and make it stick. We tell families to love them unconditionally in ways that support them in a positive way.  If someone asks for help that supports their recovery efforts, it’s unconditionally yes but if someone asks for help that only supports furthering their addiction, for example, giving them a place to stay, lending money or paying their bills, it’s an unconditional no.   These are very difficult situations for families & friends to find themselves and sticking to your decision is even tougher.  Unfortunately, the reach of addiction affects more than just the addict themselves and the people taking the brunt of it are always those closest to them.

Once you talk to them, the best thing you can do is seek counseling for both you and the addict. Find a substance abuse facility like Bay Area Recovery Center that provides treatment for the individual and their family. Family therapy for substance abuse disorders and Al-Anon meetings are great channels for family and friends to find support.

How to Help With Drug Addiction

Follow these expert tips to learn how to support an addict the right way.

Don’t Enable

When you’re learning how to help someone with drug addiction, the last thing you want to do is make decisions that support their ongoing addiction. Be clear and specific on the ways you’re willing to help them and on the ways in which you are not.


Encourage them to seek professional help.  Substance abuse disorder is a complex illness that requires specialized treatment, and more often than not, successful recovery cannot be achieved without the guidance and support of a qualified treatment specialist.

Look After Yourself

One of the best things you can do to support a loved one with addiction is to take care of your overall well-being. By putting your own physical, emotional, and mental needs first, you’ll be more able to support your loved one through the strenuous and long recovery process.

Educate Yourself

Recognize that addiction is an illness. Alcohol and drugs may cause changes in the brain’s neural pathways, causing disruptions in cognitive function and dependence. These changes can ultimately lead to the development of substance use disorders. Learn about addiction and understand its effects on the person’s behavior, thoughts, and actions.

When you’re supporting a family member with an addiction, just remember you’re not alone. By seeking professional assistance, you can gain access to the resources and network of supporters you need to help support your loved one in leading a sober lifestyle.

How We Can Help

Bay Area Recovery Center has been providing successful treatment for individuals and families struggling with drug and alcohol addiction since 1992. Throughout the years, we have had the privilege to consult with numerous families regarding hosting interventions for their loved ones.  We understand that this can be a difficult and overwhelming process, and we are here to provide our expertise and support to help guide you through it.

Our approach involves listening to your concerns and providing guidance on how to best support your loved one through their struggles.  We believe that every individual is unique and requires personalized care to achieve success in their recovery journey. Once your loved one agrees to seek treatment, we offer a full spectrum of services to support and treat those with the illness of drug and alcoholism.

Our services include:

We understand that seeking professional assistance for substance abuse can be challenging, but we want to assure you that our team is here to provide compassionate and comprehensive care to help you or your loved one overcome addiction.  We encourage you to take the first step towards recovery by contacting us today at (281) 508-1352.

William Smith

LCDC, SAP, ADC, Admissions Director

William, better known as Billy around here is head of our admissions team. If you inquire about any of our treatment services, you will most likely speak with Billy in some capacity. Billy is one of the most passionate people when it comes down to recovery. You don’t have to have a long conversation to understand how much he cares about helping others. A recovered addict himself, he knows how miserable it is for those and their families who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. He has been a part of Bay Area Recovery Center since 2008.

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