Family and Friends

Addiction Services

Family and Friends

Are you the family member, friend, or significant other of someone who has a problem?

It can be difficult for someone to admit that he or she has a substance use or a gambling concern. You might realize that there is a concern before they do. They may be avoiding facing up to it. They may be telling themselves that everything is okay when it isn't.

For these reasons, it’s often difficult to talk to someone about their substance use or gambling. It can be even more difficult to give them support.

Being pressured or made to feel guilty by others will not help someone with a substance use or gambling concern change their behaviour.

There are ways you can support them. The most important step is to educate yourself about the process that usually occurs before people change behaviours.

If you are not sure this is what you want to do, if you think this will be hard to do, or would like to talk about your plans, please contact your local Addiction Services office. They can talk it through with you.

Substance use and gambling can also affect other people. It’s not just the well-being of the person who is using or gambling that is at risk. It can affect the lives and feelings of parents, children, other family members, friends, and co-workers.

When someone you care about has a substance use or gambling concern, it’s easy to focus on their problems and forget about your own health and well-being. Neglecting your own health – and that of your children and other important people in your life – won’t help anyone.

Whether your loved one decides to get help or not, help is available for you. You might want to talk to your doctor, a clinical therapist or a counsellor about your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As a first step, you could talk to someone at your local Addiction Services office and they can provide you with support.