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How to Support an Addict: 5 Quick Tips by Denovo Recovery

How to Support an Addict

Understanding the Gravity of Addiction

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re facing the challenge of supporting a loved one through addiction. It’s an overwhelming experience, fraught with emotional highs and lows. However, understanding how to support an addict is crucial both for you and for your loved one’s journey towards recovery. At Denovo Recovery, we aim to provide you with the best practices and compassionate solutions for this difficult path.

1. Educate Yourself About Addiction

The first step in offering effective support is understanding the nature of addiction. It’s a complex condition that involves both psychological and physical aspects.

Key Points to Understand:

  • Addiction is often a symptom of deeper emotional or psychological issues.
  • It is a chronic disease that often requires long-term treatment.
  • Relapse is common and is not a sign of failure but rather a part of the recovery process.

2. Open and Honest Communication

One of the most significant hurdles in helping an addict is initiating that first open dialogue.

Communication Tips:

  • Choose a time and place where both parties feel safe.
  • Use “I” statements to express your concerns without laying blame.
  • Be prepared for defensiveness and don’t push too hard; this is a sensitive topic.

Remember, your words can make a massive difference, but they need to be carefully chosen.

3. Setting Boundaries and Limits

While it’s natural to want to do whatever it takes to help, setting healthy boundaries is vital for effective long-term support.

  • Don’t Enable: Providing money or making excuses for their behavior might seem helpful but often exacerbates the issue.
  • Be Consistent: Inconsistency can send mixed signals, making it difficult for the person to take your boundaries seriously.
  • Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure, consult experts on how to establish healthy boundaries.

4. Offer to Help Find Treatment

The end goal of any support strategy should be to guide the addicted person toward professional treatment. At Denovo Recovery, we offer personalized treatment plans that integrate medical, psychological, and holistic therapies.

  • Direct them to reliable resources.
  • Offer to help with logistical arrangements like transport.
  • Understand that ultimately, they must make the choice to seek help.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Supporting an addict can be draining, both emotionally and physically. That’s why it’s vital to take care of yourself as well.

  • Self-Care: Engage in activities that promote your well-being.
  • Seek Support: Join a support group or speak to a therapist for guidance.
  • Educate Yourself: The more you know, the better you can manage the emotional toll of supporting an addict.

Engage in Long-Term Support

Recovery from addiction is a long-term process. Ongoing support from family and friends can make a critical difference in successful long-term recovery. If you have more questions or need specialized guidance on how to support an addict, Denovo Recovery is here to help. Reach out today to understand how we can assist you and your loved one on this journey towards healing.


1. Can I force my loved one to seek treatment?

While the urge to push your loved one into treatment is understandable, the reality is that the decision to seek help must ultimately come from them. Forced treatment is generally less effective and can even strain your relationship further. However, professional interventions can sometimes be beneficial. In such scenarios, an intervention specialist guides a carefully planned meeting to help your loved one recognize the need for treatment.

2. How do I know if I’m enabling the addict?

Enabling is a complex issue that can be hard to recognize. If you find yourself consistently making excuses for your loved one’s behavior, lending them money without accountability, or otherwise providing resources that make it easier for them to engage in substance abuse, you may be enabling the addiction. It’s crucial to seek professional advice to clearly identify and change enabling behaviors, ensuring you’re part of the solution, not the problem.

3. Should I attend support groups?

Absolutely, yes. Support groups like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are specifically designed for family members and friends of individuals dealing with addiction. These groups provide a confidential environment where you can gain insights from others who are going through similar situations. They offer emotional respite, coping strategies, and sometimes even educational resources that can help you better understand the nature of addiction and how to provide effective support.

4. Can I trust them again after relapse?

Trust is a complex and sensitive issue in the context of addiction. While relapse is often a part of the recovery journey, it doesn’t necessarily indicate deceit or a lack of commitment to getting better. Relapse can happen for various reasons, like exposure to triggers or extreme stress. Rebuilding trust takes time and is often aided by open communication and professional guidance. It’s essential to balance skepticism with encouragement to help your loved one stay committed to their recovery journey.

5. How can Denovo Recovery help?

At Denovo Recovery, we offer a multifaceted approach to addiction treatment, which includes individualized therapy, group therapy, and holistic treatments like yoga and meditation. In addition to the treatment programs for the individual, we also provide family support programs. These programs include family therapy, educational workshops, and specialized resources to equip you with the tools you need to effectively support your loved one on their path to long-term recovery.