Addiction is truly a family disease. Why do we say that? When a family member abuses drugs and/or alcohol, everyone in the family feels the effects. And substance abuse impacts every part of society — all races, cultures, ages and genders are adversely affected. Families, jobs, lives and communities are destroyed every day by alcohol and drug addiction. Although mental health and substance use disorders are common, not everyone receives the support they need to recover. Despite the prevalence of these conditions, recovery from mental health and substance use disorders is possible.

Support from families is essential to recovery. If you have loved ones who are in recovery, there are things you can do to show your support:

  • Casually check in on their mental health. A call or visit from a loved one can be crucial to help keep someone in recovery on their journey. This also helps you keep track of how they’re coping, and gives you an opportunity to offer support and a shoulder to lean on during the difficult times.
  • Remember that like any journey in life, recovery is not always easy. Resilience is not only key to someone in recovery, but to the loved ones in their lives as well. There will be setbacks, ups and downs and trying times. The listening ear of someone with compassion, empathy and a lack of judgment can help restore hope. This small gesture goes a long way.
  • Don’t offer advice, but do offer resources that can help. Finding out what help is available is a great way to connect and show care. Arming yourself with the tools to start conversations about prevention, treatment and recovery is important. Learn more about how you can support your loved one through recovery at

Helping a family member through addiction