Substance Use Disorder is a disease—not a character flaw.


Supporting a Loved One with Substance Use Disorder

If your loved one has Substance Use Disorder, it’s very important you learn how to support them in a way that is helpful and positive in their recovery journey.

Be a part

Show up for your loved one. When you take an active role in family therapy and join the conversation, you show your loved one that they are not alone in their journey to recovery, and remind them that you are willing to invest your time into them.

Be a voice

Communication with a loved one struggling with Substance Use Disorder isn’t always easy, especially if they don’t seem like themselves to you. To avoid heated arguments, use all communication as an opportunity to show your support for their recovery and find a method of communication that works best like phone calls, email, or in person conversations.

Be a shoulder to lean on

Recovery isn’t easy, and your loved one needs your support. When they are down, give them encouragement for the future and celebrate their successes.

Be careful

Show your support for your loved one through commitment, love, and trust—but be cautious of problematic, old behaviors, or habits. They need your consistency.


Beware of Codependency.

Your relationship with your loved one will be impacted by Substance Use Disorder. It’s important the relationship remains healthy and doesn’t develop into codependency. Codependency is when you try to support your loved one, but accidentally enable them to continue using substances – often by protecting them from the consequences of their actions. Navigating your relationship with a loved one when they are in substance use recovery can be challenging. If you find yourself making excuses for your loved one or falling into patterns of condepency, it’s important to let them face responsibility for their actions and always encourage them to get professional treatment support. This behavior isn’t cruel, it’s lifesaving.