How to Support Your Young Adult if They’re Struggling with an Addiction

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When a person is struggling with an addiction, it can affect everyone around them. When that person is a member of your family, everyone’s lives can be turned upside down, which is why it’s important you know the best ways to support them.

Parenting can be very challenging at the best of times, and it’s not always easy to know what to do. You may already know it, but it’s worth stressing that you have an important role to play in their recovery.

Here are some of the best ways you can help your young adult recover from their addiction.

Educate Yourself

When a member of your family is struggling with an addiction, it can be very difficult to stay focused. Before you try to help them, it’s important for you to learn as much as you can about the subject. You’ve probably got a whole host of questions, such as what has caused such behavior, but by pressing someone with a substance abuse disorder, you can cause them unnecessary stress. Take the time to research yourself so that you do not overwhelm them with questions.


It’s vital for lines of communication to be kept open at all times. This can start with a discussion about regular substance use and the consequences, but it’s also important to let them know that they don’t have to struggle on their own and you’re there for support at all times. Stress that someone dealing with a substance use disorder doesn’t have to struggle on their own. You want to support them and there are various organizations that can be approached for additional support.

Don’t be Judgmental

Your approach should be a non-judgmental one because the fear of being judged or the feeling of shame can be a huge obstacle for anyone looking for help and treatment. Talking to your loved one is essential, but allowing them time and freedom to talk openly is equally important. Make your child feel comfortable talking about their feelings and thoughts. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to help them open up.

Encourage them to Seek Treatment

Getting a young adult to seek help can be difficult, however, there are plenty of useful resources available that can provide assistance. For many, the first professional to visit will be the family doctor or a trusted pediatrician. Discussing their substance use disorder with a professional can make them more comfortable. A doctor is also going to have a list of referral sources that can be approached for treatment. These can include addiction counselors, interventionists or school counselors. Support is available in varying degrees, depending on an individual’s needs; for instance, there are inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs from organizations like The Recovery Village. Together with long-term support for both the individual and their family, they can be sober again.

The Whole Family Can be Involved in Recovery

It can be very helpful if the whole family is involved in supporting the young adult to become sober. Family therapy is available for teens and young adults, and it can help make communication easier.

One last tip is to remember to look after yourself while you’re supporting your family member recover from their addiction. Your role is extremely important, so make sure your own needs are met as well.

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