Freephone Advice Line
Free from mobiles & landlines
Confidential Impartial Accredited

Coping with drug addiction in the family


Coping with drug addiction in the family can have an effect on everyone concerned. Living with an addict can be exhausting and family members are often torn between what to do with a drug addicted family member and how to avoid being sucked into the addict’s world themselves. In this informative and supportive blog, Port of Call, private rehab and drug rehab specialists, look at how to cope with drug addiction in the family and how to treat a drug addict family member.

What to do with a drug addicted family member

No matter what happens, you must never assist or help your loved one to obtain drugs or to support their addictive behaviour. Even if they are begging, you must remain strong and learn to say no. Remember that addiction can take hold of anyone and that, even though it hurts, the addict in your family probably has no specific intention of causing anyone else pain.

On the contrary, addiction is often a sign that the person is suffering internally and needs help. Avoid any exposure to situations where they might feel tempted to use drugs or drink, and avoid putting them in uncomfortable situations where they might want to “escape” by doing drugs later on. Above all, try not to blame yourself for a loved one’s addiction. While you can and should be concerned, the ultimate decision to go into recovery will ultimately be theirs.

How to treat a drug addict family member

Even if the drug addicted family member will not seek therapy or rehab, it is important that you get help when you need it. It can be very tiring and stressful living with an addict and there are many organisations out there that are dedicated to helping family members to cope with this kind of situation.

See if you can try to understand what might have caused the addiction and why it happened. Understanding can place you in a stronger position to provide more support for your loved one and be more compassionate. Set boundaries that you all agree on. The goal of boundaries is to improve the health of the family as a whole but never use these boundaries to punish or shame.

The three C’s of dealing with drug addiction

Much as you may wish to, there is no easy way to help someone to achieve recovery from addiction. When you love someone and they have changed their behaviour due to their addiction, it can be all too easy to wish for that person to be back as they were in the old life you had together. But it can be the old life that has triggered or led to the addiction. It is far healthier to create new space and a new life together – one without addiction – where you can all live together.

Always remember:

  • You didn’t cause the addiction.
  • You can’t control the addiction.
  • You can’t cure the addiction.

If you need help to cope with a drug addicted family member, then why not make Port of Call your first point of contact. We can advise you on all the treatment options and support available, helping you, and the person you might be caring for, to get access to the right help at the right time. Take your first step today by speaking to one of our advisers for free on 08000029010.

Call today for free & confidential advice on 08000029010 (International: +44 161 674 9049)

Call back request

Call back Widget - Rehabs

“I wanted somewhere caring and compassionate. Not a boot camp approach. I’m sober 6 months on”

Susan from Wolverhampton

Our Promise


  • Help with the next step in tackling your addiction.
  • Support in helping a family member or colleague with an addiction.
  • The right help at the right time based on your needs.
  • A confidential assessment by an addictions specialist.
We work with all the major insurers:
Call us now