A loved one's substance use can cause emotional, financial, legal, and medical problems, and can also affect your relationship with others. Understanding the roadblocks to acceptance and identifying reliable solutions are essential.

Everyone Defines Problems Differently

People experience and respond to problems in various ways. While your loved one's decision to use is not unique, resist the urge to compare your situation to others. Monitoring your response and defining the problems on your own terms can lead to breakthrough solutions.

Using Affects Everyone

The problems lie in the negative consequences. Both of you may blame yourself, deny there is a problem, deny the magnitude of the use, or even feel embarrassed by the behavior. 

What's important is to understand how much this behavior affects each person's life. Pinpointing how you feel about the consequences is a step towards acceptance.  

What Can You Do?

If you find it difficult to accept the problems,  these daily reminders can help:

  • You can only control your reaction and your attitude

  • You can influence your loved one, but you can't change their behavior

  • No matter how bad things get, you may bend, but you won't break

Focus On Positive Outcomes

People use different substances, for various reasons, with different effects. You must be aware of these differences to know how to help. 

No one factor can predict behavior, and solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Identifying how you respond to the problems caused by a loved one's use can help you find answers.