How Loving a Drug Addict Affects Your Life

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The world of dating is often a confusing, heartbreaking, and frustrating landscape. In a swipe left or right culture, it can feel like a fairy tale when you find someone that you have a real connection with. You want to hold onto that person and live out your happily ever after. But what if your knight in shining armor is battling a dragon of his own? — The monster of drug addiction. If you’re in love with an addict, or are currently loving an addict, it can effect your life in may ways. 

This was probably not a part of your dream for falling in love. Your mind is likely spinning with a million questions upon finding out this information. What does this mean for your relationship? Should you stay or go? How can you help him? Can love alone conquer this beast?

Though no one else but you can make these decisions, there are ways to become more informed about addiction and how it may impact your relationship. 

Loving A Drug Addict: The Basics

Addiction is a chronic disease that, however unfortunate, is often characterized by relapse. In order to continue your relationship, there likely needs to be a focus on recovery in addition to the normal maintenance a partnership requires. This can be a challenge to balance your own needs while the aftershock of your partner’s addiction could be taking a toll on you. You see the potential for a future and want to help, but you may not be sure how. The road to sobriety is hard and can be difficult without outside help including therapists, doctors, counselors, and recovery coaches. 

Road to Sobriety

Getting Help

Your role can be one of love and support by encouraging them to prioritize their recovery and even valuing it above the relationship. You could begin by starting the conversation about going to treatment. 

It is important to remember that you and your partner are not alone. According to a  2017 report, about 19.7 million Americans were struggling with a substance use disorder that year. It is normal and suggested to seek outside help and your partner’s willingness could be a good indicator for their motivation to change. 

Learning Triggers and Relapse Prevention

Although relapse is a definite concern, it is not inevitable. To avoid relapse, your partner needs to develop a strong game plan and make daily actions towards recovery. When there is a plan both of you can feel more confident about how to act. 

You will need to have ongoing communication about their triggers, which are potential temptations for use. Not addressing triggers can make even the most motivated person fall back. This may mean sacrifices in your own life, like not having alcohol in the house or modifying where you go on dates or even which friends come around. 

Recovery is an Ongoing Process

There is no end date where a person can say “I don’t have to think about my addiction anymore”. What recovery looks like will most likely shift and change through time, but it will never be out of sight. 

To commit to someone who is or who has struggled with addiction is also committing to being invested in recovery. This could take up your partner’s time by going to support groups or the potential for more treatment in the future. It could also involve feeling fearful of relapse when life circumstances become more challenging. To commit to this person means committing to being an active participant in communicating about maintaining sobriety. 

Loving A Drug Addict Requires Prioritizing Your Own Needs

  • It is not your responsibility to save anyone. 

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, helping someone can become hurtful. If you notice that you are in a cycle of enabling behavior, this is a red flag. 

Enabling is protecting a person from the natural consequences of addiction such as paying their rent or making excuses for them. You cannot force someone into recovery and it is not helpful to want their sobriety more than they do. This type of support is not going to get the results you want and will leave you feeling drained. 

  • Set personal boundaries. 

Take time to consider your limits and make that clear for yourself and your partner. This will help protect you from being in situations you do not want to be in. If a boundary has been pushed, there will need to be a consequence for that as well. This can look like not allowing them in your house if they have been using. 

  • Seek your own support. 

To help you make the actions that are best for you, you may want to consider your own personal counseling. This is a stressful time and you could benefit from having space to air out your own concerns. There are also resources like Al-Anon, so you can connect with other people who love someone in addiction. Going to support like this can help you identify what is actually in your control and make decisions healthy for you. 

  • Continue self-care. 

It can be very easy to get swept up in caring for your partner, when you’re loving a drug addict but throughout this your self-care is key. This can look like basic things like making sure that you are eating and sleeping well and also engaging in the hobbies you enjoy. Relieving stress and being involved in your interests can help you feel more in tune with yourself to make needed decisions. 

  • Take time to consider your feelings.

Have you felt emotionally in this relationship? Loving a drug addict can put a large strain on a romantic partner and could lead to arguments due to the increased stress. You may need to ask the question of if you are feeling satisfied in the relationship as it currently is or if there is the hope of it getting better. Do you really want to stay or is it too hard to leave? Your feelings and mental wellness is just as important as your partner’s in recovery.

Loving an Addict is Possible with Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

Every relationship will have its ups and downs and loving an addict can feel like a rollercoaster. A healthy relationship is possible, but that’s only if this person is willing to pursue their lifelong recovery. People in recovery can have incredible insight and awareness due to the self-work they have pursued. 

Love alone cannot slay the dragon of addiction, but knowledge of triggers and coping skills, being active in the recovery community, and a willingness to accept help are positive places to start. No matter what you decide to do in your relationship, make sure you are listening to your own needs. 

If you or someone you know is needing help addressing their addiction, our addiction treatment centers in Los Angeles are here to help with many treatment options. Contact us today for more information and support

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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