If a partner, family member or friend is using drugs or alcohol, it can affect you and your relationship with them. It can be hurtful to see someone you care about using drugs and alcohol, especially if this behaviour is starting to hurt them. It can even be frustrating if they can't see it themselves, or they don't seem to care how it affects you and their other loved ones. It is important to remember that your feelings are valid, and that there are a few things you can do.

Help them get help

This can be difficult, particularly if they have never asked for help before. They may also be worried about being judged for their drug or alcohol use, or concerned about what will happen with the law. It is important to let them know that you are there for them, but there is also other support there if they need it. If they are nervous about having an appointment, you can offer to go with them, and you can also help them decide where to go. It is important not to pressure your loved one if they are not ready though, as they will struggle to make the change unless they really want to.

Spend positive time together

It can help you and your loved one to spend positive time together, as it can help your loved one to challenge or break bad habits, and it can also help to heal your relationship if you feel their use is starting to affect your relationship. Being together can help to give them the space to talk, as well as meaning that you can both do something that you enjoy. Try suggesting a mutual hobby, or seeing if there is anything they like doing (going to the cinema, walking in the park etc).

Look after yourself

It can be very difficult to try to support someone who is using drugs or alcohol, and sometimes this means you can put their needs before yours. It is important to remember that you still have needs and still have a life. Make sure you take care of yourself and still spend time doing things that make you happy as well, and still see other friends.

If you are feeling more isolated, try coming to our SMART Recovery Group for Concerned Others, Friends and Family, which runs every wednesday 6pm - 7:30pm. You can also email louise.mcivor@lgbt.foundation or call 0345 3 30 30 30 for more support.