helping my loved one through addiction

We are here for you, too

Witnessing a loved one struggling with addiction can be stressful. You might feel at a loss for how to help them, and even want to blame them or yourself for their addiction. At Eleanor, we are here to help both you and your loved one through this.

A man helps a loved one struggling with drug abuse
a few helpful tips

How you can help your loved one

In a given year, there are 23.5 million people over the age of 12 who need treatment for substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. So remember - you are not alone. More importantly, your loved one's addiction is nobody's fault, and is not a moral failing or character flaw.

Rather, addiction is a treatable chronic illness, just like diabetes or heart disease, that has rewired the reward center of their brain. This rewiring tells the brain that using a particular substance such as opioids or alcohol is a behavior that should be remembered and repeated. Check out this helpful article to understand more about the science of addiction.

The first step in supporting your loved one is to continue to love them unconditionally, and point your hurt or anger at the illness rather than the person. Feel empowered to have open and honest conversations about their substance use, and also hold them accountable for their actions. Most importantly, don't feel guilty about prioritizing your own health and wellness. To best help your loved one, you need to first get help for yourself.

Your loved one may not be ready for treatment right now, and that is okay. In the meantime, get educated about harm & stigma reduction, and encourage your loved one to use safely and always have Naloxone (Narcan) on hand. Learn more about how to reduce the shame and stigma of addiction here

start making a change today

Here are some things that you can do today to support your loved one

Take an online course at We the Village

This online course gives you the knowledge and skills to finally help your loved one get through addiction recovery.

Find harm reduction resources near you

The National Harm Reduction Coalition connects poeple who use drugs & their loved ones to resources and community.

Lean on Eleanor Health

We can offer therapy and other support to ensure that you are mentally ready to support your loved one. Not ready for our care? Download our e-book for some useful information for how to help your loved one through their journey.


Not sure what type of treatment your loved one might need?

Treatment is not a one-size first all approach, and there are different programs and types of support available. Shatterproof, a non-profit aimed to reduce stigma in addiction, created an assessment to help you navigate the different care options and identify what type of program might work best for your loved one.

Krista, an Eleanor Health community member, talks about her struggle with alcoholism and her recovery journey

I no longer feel controlled by addiction or like a prisoner to my disease.

starting treatment at eleanor

When your loved one is ready, we hope they will join our community

We provide whole-person, evidence-based care designed to help your loved one achieve long-term recovery. Their personalized care plan will include medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms, medication management for co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression, and support from peers with lived addiction experience.


Give us a call to make an appointment. With verbal consent from your loved one, you can make the appointment on their behalf.


We'll work with you to verify their insurance or review other payment options.


Your loved one will receive emails & text messages with appointment information and reminders.

contact us

We're here to help

We know reaching out can be hard. Call today to speak with one of our recovery specialists. We will listen, learn, and offer support – without judgment. We welcome every person in need of support.

resources & information

Read more about supporting your loved one through their recovery Explore our blog

  • Help my loved one
  • May 25, 2020

How do families get help when a loved one has alcoholism?

  • Addiction & recovery
  • May 28, 2020

What is Addiction? | FAQ about Addiction

  • Help my loved one
  • November 21, 2022

How To Help Someone Through Drug or Alcohol Withdrawal