In my years of working at treatment centers, I will never forget the shared plights of the families whose loved ones were sitting in a treatment chair. Always they wanted to know, “what can I do?” and “Is it my fault”. My answer of “not much” and “no” respectively, was usually met with disdain. So, for today’s blog post, I am going to share with you some insider tips on how to be helpful when your loved one’s are suffering in active addiction or recovery.


If you take nothing else from this list remember this piece of wisdom from a dear friend of mine, TAKE CARE OF YOUR DAMN SELF. ITS A FULL TIME JOB. Most likely, your life has become centered around your loved one. Their well-being and waiting for the next phone call that chaos has struck. Well, that is not doing them any good or you either. What our loved ones need from us most is an example of what it looks like when someone takes care of themselves. There’s a reason why a core principle of 12 step recovery is “attraction not promotion”. Think of someone in your life who has really influenced you in a positive and powerful way. Was it what they said? Was it what they told you not to do? Probably not. We learn by watching others. Teach your loved one that there is more to life than drugs and misery by making your life about something besides drugs and misery. What are the things that make you happy and fill you up? GO DO THEM.

  1. In case you’re strapped for ideas, here are some of my go-tos:   

Being in nature


Connecting with someone amazing and supportive

Go to a meeting

Paint or engage your creative brain

Cook a new recipe

Share with me what some of the things that make you the kind of life that boasts attraction not promotion. When you are living your best life, people around you will notice, trust me.

***Disclaimer: This blog post is solely the opinion of the author. It is not a substitute for mental health services nor does it constitute a professional relationship. If you are seeking mental health services, please contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing and emergency, please dial 911***