Bougainvillea Manor

Twelve Ways to Support Someone in Recovery

When someone you care about is dealing with addiction, it can be challenging to know how to provide the right support. However, there are several things you can do to help encourage recovery and provide much-needed support. Here are some essential steps to consider:

  • Recognize addiction as a disease: It is crucial to understand that addiction is a disease that requires medical and professional treatment. Avoid shaming or blaming someone for their addiction and instead approach the situation with empathy and understanding.
  • Understand the recovery process: Recovery is not a straight line, and there may be setbacks along the way. Encourage your loved one to persevere and provide support even when they may not seem to be making progress.
  • Educate yourself on addiction and recovery: Learning more about addiction and recovery will help you better understand your loved one’s condition and identify the resources available to them.
  • Listen actively: Listening without judgment is essential in helping someone with an addiction. Allow your loved one to share their thoughts and feelings and provide a safe space for them to do so.
  • Encourage treatment: If you suspect your loved one has an addiction, it is essential to encourage them to seek treatment. You can help them find resources for treatment, such as addiction treatment centers, support groups, and counseling services. Keep in mind that someone with an addiction may be resistant to the idea of treatment, so it is crucial to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding.
  • Avoid enabling behavior: Enabling behavior refers to actions that inadvertently allow someone with an addiction to continue their behavior. Examples of enabling behavior include giving money to someone with an addiction or covering up their behavior. It is essential to avoid enabling behavior and instead encourage your loved one to seek treatment and take responsibility for their actions
  • Encourage healthy habits: Encourage your loved one to adopt healthy habits such as exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. You can offer to participate in these activities together as a way to show your support.
  • Take care of yourself: Dealing with someone’s addiction can be emotionally draining, so it is essential to prioritize self-care. Take breaks when necessary, engage in activities that make you feel good, and set healthy boundaries.
  • Don’t give up and be patient: It’s crucial to continue providing support to your loved one even when they may resist help. Let them know that you care and are there for them, and be persistent in offering support and encouragement. Recovery is a long and difficult process, and there may be setbacks along the way. It’s important to be patient and supportive during this time. Don’t expect instant results, and don’t be discouraged if progress is slow. Every step forward is a step in the right direction.
  • Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is an important part of supporting someone with an addiction. This may involve establishing clear guidelines for behavior or limiting contact with the person if their behavior becomes harmful or unsafe. Setting boundaries can be difficult, but it is essential for both your well-being and that of your loved one.
  • Consider attending family therapy: Addiction can affect the entire family, not just the individual with the addiction. Family therapy can be a useful tool for helping family members communicate effectively, learn coping strategies, and work together to support their loved one’s recovery.
  • Stay positive and hopeful: Recovery from addiction is possible, and it is essential to remain positive and hopeful throughout the process. Celebrate small victories, such as completing a treatment program or attending a support group meeting, and offer encouragement and support throughout the journey.



In conclusion, supporting a loved one with addiction is not easy, but it is essential. By recognizing addiction as a disease, understanding the recovery process, educating yourself, actively listening, encouraging healthy habits, taking care of yourself, encouraging treatment, avoiding enabling behavior, setting boundaries, considering attending family therapy or support groups, staying positive throughout the recovery process and not giving up, you can provide the essential support that encourages recovery and helps your loved one lead a healthier, happier life.

Remember that addiction is a disease, and recovery is a journey that requires patience, persistence, and support.

Sources Cited

  • 2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases | CBHSQ Data. (2020, September). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • Magill, M., & Ray, L. A. (2009). Cognitive-behavioral treatment with adult alcohol and illicit drug users: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70(4), 516–527.                                                    
  • Vowles, K. E., McEntee, M. L., Jones, P. S., Frohe, T., Ney, J. P., & van der Goes, D. N. (2015). Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain: A systematic review and data synthesis. PAIN, 156(4), 569–576.

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