Love someone with an addiction? You’re not alone.

Most of us are affected by addiction at some point in our lives, whether it’s a family member, a loved one, or even ourselves. Whatever the situation may be, it’s important to realize that addiction is real, addiction is a disease, and addiction is treatable.

Addiction is real.

Yes, it’s real. People can’t just quit, no matter how many times friends suggest that. It’s not that simple. A person with an addiction will not just snap out of it. Behaviors can be deeply rooted in our lives, and the dangerous ones require more than a lecture to shake.

Addiction is a disease.

Yes, it’s a disease. Since 1987, the American Medical Association and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have agreed, calling addiction “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” With addiction, brain circuits dysfunction, affecting a person biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

Addiction is treatable.

Yes, like most diseases, addiction is treatable. But no single course is right for everyone. We believe that effective treatment requires a specialized plan of counseling and psychotherapy, sometimes with medication assistance.

How to talk to someone with addiction.

It may be the most difficult thing we do in our lives. We’re afraid to say anything. Afraid we’ll say the wrong thing. 
Afraid to not say something. We feel powerless.

If you’re in this situation with a family member or loved one, we can offer some advice on how to take this difficult but necessary first step: a step that could be the turning point for them to seek help.

Before talking to your loved one, remember that they may resist what you have to say, denying they have an addiction. The best thing to do is listen, ask questions to keep the conversation going and allow them to talk about what’s going on. By opening this line of communication, you may help your loved one feel supported and more likely to acknowledge they have a problem.


Start gently with something like, “I’ve been worried about you lately.” Focus on your own observations, such as “I noticed you’ve been drinking a lot lately and I’m wondering how you’re doing.” Once you’ve started the conversation, and it’s going well, you can go further with questions like, “Have you thought about getting help?” and “What can I do to support you right now?”

Keep in mind that your role is to support and encourage. You alone can’t fix the situation, so listen and respond with encouragement. Try something like, “I’m here for you and will help you in any way I can.”


Most importantly, don’t make this about you. Don’t blame yourself or think you’re not loved. Don’t try to reason with someone while they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never participate in drug or alcohol use with your loved one, because that tells them there isn’t a problem and that you are ok with their substance use.

When speaking with your loved one, avoid harsh words and guilt trips. Don’t give ultimatums. Don’t threaten or lecture.

Most of all, don’t give up on them.

Common questions, honest answers.

  • How does medication-assisted therapy work and why is it used?

    When you stop using any addictive substance — from caffeine to opiates — your body can go into withdrawal. This occurs as the body adjusts to functioning without the use of the substance on which it’s become dependent. This can cause unpleasant symptoms such as pain, nausea, chills, vomiting, and more. Medications are then utilized to help reduce these symptoms, which in turn reduces the craving to use.

  • Does MAT just replace one drug for another?

    A common misconception associated with medication-assisted therapy is that it simply substitutes one drug for another. Rather, medications are utilized to reduce psychological cravings, block intoxication, and/or stabilize withdrawal from a substance. When given the proper dose to overcome the dependency and as part of a holistic care plan with therapy, MAT is clinically proven to improve recovery outcome.

  • Will all co-existing mental health conditions be treated?

    Upon entering the program, you will be screened for co-existing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. If necessary, our board-certified psychiatrists will assess your condition and provide the necessary course of treatment that may include psychotropic medications and/or other therapies. If your condition cannot be safely treated in our outpatient setting, we will help guide you to the facilities that can address those conditions.

  • How long will treatment be?

    At Cleanse Clinic, we believe that you are an expert in your own recovery and we are just here to help. You get to make many of the decisions regarding your treatment, including how long you wish to stay in the program. We recommend staying engaged in your recovery long enough to accomplish the goals defined in your individualized treatment plan.

  • Are all treatment services offered at every Cleanse Clinic location?

    Treatment services offered may vary between clinic locations. You may contact the clinic location directly to obtain specific information related to service offerings.

We’re here for you.