Do's and Don't(s)



First, it’s important to remember you didn’t CAUSE it, you can’t CONTROL it and you can’t CURE your loved ones addiction. Only they can choose to get the recovery they need through therapy and step work programs.

If the addict in your life is still actively in their addiction its important to learn what TO DO and what NOT to do. This includes replacing your old unhealthy behaviors and treatment of the addict with new healthy ones:


Do Not...

treat the addict like a child but rather consider this person as if they are suffering from a disease like cancer. Remember to hate the disease but not the person. They are sick.




take care of YOURSELF and be TRUE to yourself on what your needs are.


Do Not...

check up on the addict and see how much they are using, drinking or gambling. Protect yourself but remember they have their own journey in life and you have yours.



what you can to avoid behavior that is hurting what you want in life.



Do Not...

nag the addict about their addictions and never argue with them while they are intoxicated or high.




continue to visit this site and get active in the online community.



Do Not...

lecture, fight, or yell at the addict.




attend Al Anon Family GroupsNar-AnonGam-anon, etc. meetings specifically targeted to families of alcoholics and addicts.



Following the above recommendations can make your situation and life easier to deal with. Remember to KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOURSELF.

It’s important to understand that addicts suffer from feelings of guilt and regret. Just like you may feel like you are going insane dealing with your loved one and their lies, deceit and destruction, they really don’t want to use or hurt you. Reminding them of how they screwed up and failed with family, friends, jobs etc. only makes matters worse. Don’t get me wrong, it feels good to point out “the facts” and unload your frustration and anger but it really only has an opposite effect.

You may also want to threaten the addict. Do not threaten them unless you are 100% COMMITTED to following through. Often out of anger and frustration we make threats and promises only to see it back fire because we don’t follow through.

Believe it or not letting the addict have the dignity to fail can often be the best thing for them. The reality is you can’t control their choices anyway. As hard as it is to be a spectator of consequences with those you love the reality is by them getting arrested, losing a job or having other negative consequences from not getting help with recovery may be just the thing to help your loved one get out of the denial that often leads them further into their disease. It’s important you do not rescue them or make it your full time job to “fix” their problems. If you do this your enabling will simply drive them further into their disease. It’s important to not fix financial issues or lie to cover up for them. Step 1 of most recovery programs is “we admitting we were powerless over alcohol/the addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.” If your life is unmanageable right now we encourage you to keep coming back to this site for support, inspiration, strength and courage.

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary future.
— C.S. Lewis