What To Do When a Loved One is Addicted to Drugs

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One of the most helpless feelings in the world involves watching a loved one addicted to drugs and not knowing how to help them. When someone’s spouse, child, parent, family member, or close friend find themselves lost in the world of addiction, the people who care about them want to know what concrete steps they can take to offer help. We’ve assembled a list of ideas to help address the situation and try to provide and inspiration.

Recognize What It Means When a Loved One Is Addicted to Drugs

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they have a substance use disorder. It may be easy to think the individual doesn’t exercise self-control and could get better if they just stopped using drugs, but the situation is more complicated than that. Substance use disorders impact the brain and a person’s ability to think clearly. Their brain chemistry becomes accustomed to the effects of drug usage, often usurping the natural abilities of the brain and body.

Telling a loved one to simply stop using drugs and everything will be okay will not work. They need to enter formal treatment in order to receive guidance and monitoring while they work on beginning recovery. Taking the focus off demands to simply “snap out of it” and replacing them with attempts to point the person in the direction of agreeing to get help work better.

Offer to Find Help for Loved Ones Addicted to Drugs

A person consumed by addiction may want to get help but does not possess the ability to seek out the right program and get started on beginning it. Their mental abilities may be compromised, as well as energy levels. Their loved ones can ask a doctor, therapist, or other clinical professionals for references to treatment programs. They can offer to help the individual contact their insurance company and take notes on the information given to them. From there, the family member or friend can assist in making phone calls, asking questions about treatment plans, filling out paperwork, and helping get their loved one signed up for the treatment they deserve.

Provide Reasons That Excuses Not to Get Treatment Aren’t Valid

A loved one addicted to drugs learns to become an expert at making excuses for why they can’t get sober. They are coming up with weak ideas or they may truly believe staying sick is their only option, but their loved ones can counter each justification with a dose of reality. Examples of this can include:

Excuse: Treatment is too expensive. I could never afford it.

Response: You don’t know that until we investigate all the possibilities. Checking with your insurance company, asking for referrals, and contacting treatment and government programs can give you the information you need. Even pricing, coverage, and availabilities you previously learned about may have changed over time.

Excuse: I’ve tried to quit before and it never works.

Response: Many people don’t successfully become sober on their first try. If you go into treatment with an attitude that it can and will work, and take advantage of the support you have from people who care about you, this attempt at recovery can be the one that becomes permanent.

Excuse: I promise to get help after (a certain event happens or hurdle is overcome). Leave me alone until then.

Response: There will always be a reason you can think of to postpone treatment. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will be able to handle any event or hurdle in life without using drugs.

Excuse: I can’t leave home for treatment or spend several hours a week in outpatient treatment. I have responsibilities at home.

Response: Let’s make a list of what you would need assistance with in order to create the time for you to get help. People love you and are willing to help with things like child care, pet care, housesitting chores, and transportation to and from treatment.

Do Not Assume Responsibility for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs

Often a loved one addicted to drugs finds themselves entangled in a co-dependent relationship with a loved one. The other person may try to take the blame for the reasons the individual turned to drug abuse or offers excuses to others as to why they cannot help themselves. Ultimately, the responsibility to decide to get help and stick with it belongs to the person with the addiction. While it can be painful to watch a person struggle and fall down repeatedly, it does them no favors to agree that getting sober is too hard or can be put off yet again. Regardless of the age of the loved one addicted to drugs, only they are responsible for their current station in life and where they go from here.

Drug Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

Getting help for addiction to drugs can seem scary but Launch Centers can help walk you through the professional options we offer to help you or someone you love get sober. We provide treatment for substance use disorders and mental illnesses that combines clinical and holistic treatment to provide a well-rounded approach to getting healthy. 

If you are ready to get help for addiction in Los Angeles, contact us now and let us answer all your questions. 

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

treatment team los angeles ca

Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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