Loving An Addict? (11 Do’s and Don’t For The Situation)

Last updated on July 4, 2022 by April Maccario

Whether you’ve had a long relationship with someone that’s recently become an addict or you’ve just fallen in love with someone and realized that they’re an addict, it’s an incredibly painful and emotionally confusing situation to be in. 

Regardless of whether they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, or something else, seeing someone that you love be so dependent on their addiction is heartbreaking, and as the person by their side, you feel responsible.

When it comes to addiction, each situation is so different that you need to handle the situation according to what in particular is going on, but there are some general do’s and don'ts that you should definitely be aware of. 

In this article, we’re going to share the 11 most important do’s and don’ts when you love someone with an addiction, no matter if it’s drug addiction or alcohol abuse. So, let’s take a look at these ground rules that you should be sticking to, and hopefully, they will be the guidance you’re looking for in this painful situation.

11 Ways to Love An Addict

1. Do understand you’re not to blame for their addiction

The most important thing you need to do is understand that you are not to blame for their addiction and you’re not responsible for the fact they’re an addict. 

People that love an addict often blame themselves and often try to think back to the time the addiction started so they can take responsibility for it. People typically do this as it psychologically puts them at blame in their own head, and forces them into sticking by their loved one who’s an addict.

So, make sure that you don’t do this! If you do think you’re to blame, then completely destroy this idea! The person you love chose to engage in substance abuse and is an addict by their own choice. Take away any blame from yourself and understand that you’re loving an addict, but that’s not your own doing.

2. Do try to think about the root of the addiction

Although you definitely shouldn’t take any blame for this person becoming an addict, it’s a good idea to try and think about what the root of this addiction is, especially when you’re loving an addict. Most people use substance abuse to take away the pain from their sober life. So, it’s a good idea to think about what’s really going on, underneath the addiction.

 What sparked the addiction? Did a family member die? Did they lose their job? Is there a group of friends that got them into this? What is this person avoiding in their life? What went wrong?

Once you’ve tried to answer these questions, you might be able to understand this person more.

3. Do realize that when they’re using, they’re not themselves

You might have a hard time conversing with this person when they’re high, or they might have changed completely since they became an addict, and this is normal. So that you don’t start confusing this person’s real personality and the addicted personality they have, it’s important to differentiate between the two.

Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for them to treat you differently or cause you harm, but it will help to straighten things out in your own head.

4. Do show support, if you’re strong enough to

do show support if youre strong enough to

If you are mentally and emotionally strong enough to show this person loving, kind support at this time, you should. As said above, this person isn’t themselves and they are suffering. So, you should try and show them support in any way you can, whether that means showing them different places that they can receive addiction treatment, finding the best treatment center, or just vocally letting them know that you support them

5. Do set boundaries

It’s absolutely vital that you set boundaries so that you don’t get hurt. Obviously, to each person, the boundaries will be completely different, so you need to think about what boundaries you are going to set. Whether you don’t want to be around this person when they’re high, or you won’t contact them until they’re in a treatment center, it’s up to you to set your boundaries, and this person has to respect them. 

6. Do practice self-love

When you love an addict, it’s incredibly hard on your well-being, so you need to make sure that you are showing yourself enough self-love and self-care. Self-care and self-love are different for everyone, but whatever brings you joy, makes you feel happy and comforted, do it! A lot of the time when dealing with this kind of situation, self-care is as simple as opening up to someone and chatting over coffee. Just make sure you spend time on yourself and actually take care of yourself, not just everyone else.

7. Do seek help and support

As mentioned above, speaking to someone can be a great kind of self-care. However, you should also speak to someone and reach out for help if you are feeling concerned, scared, worried, or stressed about the situation. It’s just important for you to seek help as it is for an addict to seek help, because it’s as emotionally strenuous, and you can't be there for them if no one is there for you.

If you have a trusted friend or family member that you can speak to and receive help and support from and you feel like that’s enough, then that’s great. Otherwise, you might want to get help from a professional such as a therapist or counselor.

8. Don’t force them into rehabilitation

dont force them into rehabilitation

You should never force an addict into rehabilitation. Of course, you can find the best addiction treatment centers and support them to get help, but you can’t force them. An addict first has to receive that they have a problem and that they need help before they will actually be open to receiving any kind of help. So, never try to force an addict into addiction treatment or to get help, even if you really want to - it has to be their choice to get help.

9. Don’t let yourself be treated badly

Regardless of whether your loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, you can not allow yourself to be treated badly. You will feel sorry for your loved one and you will want to help them, which means that you will most likely put up with pretty much anything for them, but you shouldn’t, because you simply don’t deserve it. Protect yourself at all costs, and never let this addict make you feel like their behavior is acceptable when it isn’t. Addiction isn’t an excuse.

10. Don’t think that they won’t relapse

If your loved one has actually gone to get help and received addiction treatment and has come out of the other side of their drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or both drug and alcohol, it’s essential that you don’t just believe that they’re treated instantly. 

The road to recovery for an addict is long, and it often has many setbacks, so don’t expect them to be squeaky clean after finishing their addiction treatment. Hopefully, they won’t turn back to substance abuse, but if they do, be prepared for it.

11. Don’t let it hold you back

As much as you might love this person, it’s vital that you don’t become addicted to them and their addiction. You have to live your life and enjoy your life, without being worried that you’re loving someone that has an addiction. You can’t let your love from this person hold you back, so as harsh as it sounds, you need to actually evaluate whether this person is still benefiting your life and whether you think they actually will get better soon, or not.


Can you be addicted to someone like a drug?

You can be addicted to someone like you can be to a drug, and if you are, it can create a lot of problems for you. If you’re addicted to someone, it means that you’re codependent on them and the feeling that you have when you’re around them. You don’t have to be in a relationship with someone to be addicted to them, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in love with someone either. 

What does it mean to be addicted to something?

If you’re addicted to something, it means that you have a need to do something or use something. For example, if you’re addicted to abusing drugs or you have problems with alcohol abuse, you’ve built up a tolerance to a substance and you can’t stop abusing it. If you did stop taking the substance that you’re addicted to, you would experience withdrawal symptoms and you will most likely relapse without help.

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Is love just an addiction?

Love isn’t an addiction, but when you’re in love with someone, you may feel like you’re addicted to them. If you’re in love with someone and it’s really intense between the two of you, you might feel like you’re experiencing some kind of high, and being away from them might feel like you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

What’s the most addicting thing in the world?

The most addictive thing in the world is ranked as heroin, with alcohol and cigarettes being near the top too. Heroin is incredibly addictive, and one of the most dangerous substances because the amount that would kill you is only five times the amount of a dose that would get you high. Addiction treatment is possible for heroin. 

Does love make you high?

When you’re in love, and when you come into contact with someone that you love, your body releases oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. This hormone can make you feel as if you’re high. Intimate contact such as cuddling and having sex also makes your body release endorphins that could make you feel high too.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has helped you gain some understanding of what you should do when you’re in love with someone that has an addiction. You have to remember to look after yourself when you’re in this situation, no matter how much you care for the addict that you love.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments and feel free to share with anyone you think would find it helpful!

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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