Substance Abuse Treatment: How to Support Your Loved Ones

When one person falls into substance abuse it affects the entire family. During this trying time, it’s important for all involved to be there for one another. Here are seven ways families can show support to a loved one in substance abuse treatment:

  1. Listen: When you have a family member going through addiction issues, listen to what they’re saying and identify with them. This will let them know you are there for them. Chances are they are sifting through a ton of emotions and thoughts and forcing them inside will not help them move on, so be a sounding board. The underlying issue may not be what they want to talk about at first, but they will open up and expose the true problems they are facing internally and externally.
  1. Clean: If there is anything in your home or lives that can be a hindrance to your loved one’s recovery, clean it out or remove it. Even minor changes can show major support. As time goes on, it’s ok to reintroduce items so as not to create an unrealistic world for your loved one. In the beginning though, do everything you can to help. Making a few small sacrifices in your home and life can do wonders to help their recovery.
  1. Visit: If your loved one is in a treatment center, visit when permitted during visiting hours.  A familiar face can bring a sense of comfort during a difficult time. When you do visit, talk about news from home and positive topics. This keeps them connected and provides a balance for the tough choices they must contemplate while in rehabilitation. If a visit ends on a sour note, don’t give up, just give a little space. Loneliness can eat at a person and worsen the situation.
  1. Educate: Often when someone enters treatment, the family is also found floundering. Take some time to educate yourself on the addiction your loved one is fighting. This will help you understand their plight more, as well as being understanding when speaking to them.  
  1. Adapt: Things are going to be different for a while. If you remain flexible and adapt to the changes everything will flow much better. It’s not going to be easy and being stubborn will only make things worse.
  1. Counsel: Seek counsel for yourself, your entire family, and the person going through treatment. There are others going through the same emotions and talking it out with those who understand can do wonders to ease your mind, which in turn will help you become a better support system for your loved one.
  1. Love: This is the most important one by which to abide. Don’t just say you’re going to love them through it and think that by not completely abandoning them you’ve succeeded. Show your support the best you can and remember how much you love them; it will make everything else come naturally.

During this emotionally demanding time, keep in mind there are several ways families can show support to a loved one in substance abuse treatment. Doing so will help everyone come through treatment together.  


Alcohol or recreational drug use often turns into abuse and addiction. If you or a someone you know needs help for alcohol or drug abuse, we are available to speak to you about your recovery options. We offer Out Patient Substance Abuse Counseling serving patients in Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Pierce and Ware Counties. Need Help Now? Call: (800) 342-8168

Unison Behavioral Health

empowering people to improve the quality of their lives.

Unison Behavioral Health is a leading provider of mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services in southeast Georgia, serving residents in Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Pierce, and Ware Counties. Unison Behavioral Health is not affiliated with the Unison Behavioral Health Group of Ohio.

Need Help Now? Call: (800) 342-8168

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Unison Behavioral Health
1007 Mary Street, PO Box 1397
Waycross, GA 31503

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