Having a loved one that struggles with an addiction can be a challenge for an entire family as well as their social circles. In many cases, it can be difficult to understand how best to help a loved one struggling with addiction. Their wants and needs may differ from yours, and yours may differ from professionals who can treat them. The holidays can be a hard time for those struggling with addiction. Valentine’s Day in particular can be extra challenging. For loved ones of those struggling with an addiction, here are some key steps to consider as Valentine’s Day approaches and feelings of loneliness are amplified.


Addictions can be caused by a number of underlying root issues. In some cases, people who struggle with addiction feel unable to control their lives. In many cases, loved ones can jump to conclusions and suggestions when issues arise. Often times, just being around to listen can be a big help during recovery.  If an individual expresses the desire to be alone on Valentine’s Day, their desire is valid. On the flip side, if they indicate that they are lonely and need someone around to comfort them, making time for support could be a good idea as well.

Be Supportive, Not Judgemental

It can be difficult to temper internal feelings about a loved ones addiction while they are enduring the pain of their addiction. While professional treatment should always be one of the first steps to recovery, those suffering from addiction will often need to arrive at the desire to enter treatment with the help of loved ones.This is not a process that can be forced. If done incorrectly, those who need treatment may stray away from recovery if they feel judged and admonished. Finding the delicate balance between support and tolerance can determine when and if a loved one is ready to enter treatment.

Be Prepared

When a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it is important to be ready to lead them to a treatment program when they are ready. Preparation could include visiting treatment center options, meeting with counselors and therapists or potentially getting a loved one on a waiting list in anticipation treatment. The more information that is one’s disposal when a loved one is ready to accept help, the more likely they will be able to enter treatment sooner than later.

Valentine’s Day can be particularly painful for anyone struggling with an addiction, but it can also provide a space for breakthrough and present opportunities for loved ones to jumpstart the recovery process. By offering love and support and being prepared, loved ones can help those struggling with substance abuse tackle the emotions that the holiday brings and be ready for action when their loved one is ready for treatment.