If someone you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is hard not to get sucked into the emotional roller coaster of their addiction, which is why it is crucial that you set boundaries with them. 

Setting boundaries

You need to set healthy boundaries. What are healthy boundaries? Healthy boundaries allow you to get close to your loved one, share your thoughts and emotions with them, and still protect you from harm.

Boundaries help keep the relationship healthy. Once limits are set, and both parties know what those boundaries are, it can help build trust that helps strengthen the relationship. 

Choosing your boundaries

Choose your boundaries by what you will allow in your life, what you will not put up with, is a great starting point. Once you have the limits decided on, then you have to set them up. Setting up the boundaries may require some uncomfortable discussions. Be honest and upfront about the restrictions. Let your loved one know that you will not tolerate certain things for your mental and emotional health. These are the boundaries they cannot cross and explain the consequences if they are.

You must maintain your boundaries, or it will become meaningless, and what you say will no longer matter or be taken seriously.

For example, if one of your boundaries is no one can be in the house who is not sober, or they will have to move out, and then you allow them into the home when they are not sober they will no longer take what you say seriously, and that boundary is now meaningless.

Some boundaries that often set are:

  • No drugs or alcohol around you or in the home
  • No drug or alcohol using friends allow in or around the home
  • There will be no lending of money
  • You will not bail them out if they end up in jail due to their drugs or alcohol use
  • You will not lie for them, cover for them, or call their work to call them out sick
  • No abusive behavior physical, mental, or emotional 
  • No more waiting on them, if they are not there when it is time to go to dinner or the movies you are going without them and do so 

Let them know that you love them and will give your moral support through recovery. You are willing to attend counseling to help work through issues that have been caused by alcohol or drug addiction. But, do not force them into recovery as that is only setting the addict and you up for failure. They must enter rehab with an open mind and heart for change to truly happen. 

449 Recovery has a monitored detox program and counseling. Call us (855) 435-7449 to learn more about the life skills and tools your loved one will learn to use throughout their lifetime to help achieve and maintain their recovery and reduce the risks of relapses.