3 Tips to Support Loved Ones Struggling with Substance Use

Many people struggle with substance use and nearly all of them have family members and friends hoping for their recovery while struggling along with them. Loved ones can play a crucial role in the recovery process, so it is important for spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends, and other significant others to understand how to help.


If you’re the loved one of someone struggling with substance use, you probably have many questions such as,


How do we help them?

What can we do?

Is there hope for their recovery?


The truth is, this can happen to anyone — even in families filled with loving people. Family members and friends are often as directly impacted by substance use as the person using. By having a good understanding of this illness, loved ones can better provide the type of support a person needs in order to heal, while prioritizing their own health in the process. Here are our top 3 tips to get started.


1. Education is Key

First things first, we recommend learning everything you can. A common misconception is that addiction is a choice, coming from a place of weakness when in fact, addiction actually stems from changes within the brain. Having a better understanding that this is a disease can help to better understand your loved one. Their behavior makes sense to them. Once you understand, you can help.


2. Learn What You Can Do

You can change your loved one’s behavior by changing your own. That sounds pretty strange, right? But you can learn how to better communicate with your loved one. Fighting, pleading, arguments, and tears won’t help you or your loved one. But learning that you do have a great deal of influence on your loved one, and how to apply the right skills can change everything for both of you. Your life will be better, and it will increase the chances your loved one will get the help they need.


You can also learn to prioritize self-care, and make life better for you, regardless if your loved one gets the help they need or not. But keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy can better enable you to support and love the person struggling with substance use in your life.


3. Connect with Understanding Peers

Supporting someone struggling with substance use can feel isolating. It can feel like no one understands. But you’re not alone. Connecting with others that understand can help. At Arbor Place, we have a program specifically designed to support the families of those struggling with substance use. This program provides a safe, nonjudgmental place where you can learn, discuss, and connect with others. You will learn the skills you need to help your loved one, and yourself. It can also help you decrease stress, lessen family problems and bring back some peace in your life.


Our family support program is designed to teach family members positive communication strategies, while offering support, understanding, and guidance. This program focuses on positivity and constructive communication over uncomfortable interventions and ultimatums.


For more information and to sign up, visit us here.


Support from family members and friends can be an integral part of a successful recovery, and learning how you can offer that support is the first step towards recovery. You don’t have to walk that path alone. Arbor Place will be there for you from the very first step. Contact us today to learn more.