It can be devastating to watch a loved one struggle with addiction. It\u2019s painful and personal and brings feelings of helplessness, anger, fear and hurt.\n\n\n\nYou want to do everything in your power to help them get well, but when it comes to addiction, there\u2019s a fine line between helping and enabling your loved one.\nWhy You Can\u2019t \u2018Love\u2019 an Addict Into Sobriety\nThough your intentions are in the right place, some of the ways you may think you\u2019re helping your loved one could actually be keeping them stuck in their addiction. Many of us try to \u201clove\u201d the addict well. We think if we can just give them what they ask for and prove our love for them they\u2019ll stop abusing drugs or alcohol. We think we\u2019re helping them by giving them money, paying their bills, giving them a place to live, helping them get out of various \u201cjams\u201d and other well-intentioned efforts.\n\nThe truth is, if you could \u201clove\u201d your loved one well, they\u2019d be well. A tough reality to accept is that all of the energy you\u2019re putting into trying to protect them and \u201cloving them sober,\u201d could be doing more harm than good. Often, it\u2019s not until addicts feel the repercussions of their behaviors and really understand how they\u2019re impacting their loved ones that they are motivated to get well. Think about it. If someone is always around to clean up your messes, why would you be motivated to change? Studies have shown that people are usually motivated to stop abusing substances when the negatives of their addiction outweigh the positives.\nHealthy Ways to Help Your Addicted Loved One\nThough it might be difficult, there\u2019s something to be said for \u201ctough love.\u201d By setting boundaries and holding your loved one accountable for their actions, you\u2019re helping them \u2014 and yourself. Here are some ways to set healthy boundaries with your loved one:\n\nDon\u2019t Make Excuses for Them \u2014 If your loved one misses work, school or personal obligations, don\u2019t make excuses for them. They need to address the questions and consequences that result from these absences. If they don\u2019t feel the unpleasant outcomes that result from their drug or alcohol use, why would they want to stop their behavior?\n\nSet Boundaries, and Keep Them \u2014 Set firm, healthy boundaries and maintain them. Decide for yourself which of your loved one\u2019s behaviors are unacceptable. Examples of boundaries commonly set include not allowing them in the house when they\u2019re using, not paying their bills or loaning them money, not allowing them to disrespect you or other family members, and not bailing them out if they get into financial or legal trouble. It\u2019s useful to write these down and have your loved one read and sign the document (when they are sober). Don\u2019t waiver in your boundaries. If you go back on the rules you\u2019ve set, it will take longer to gain any ground you\u2019ve made.\n\nHelp Yourself \u2014 Addiction is a disease of the family and everyone must recover in their own way. A big part of this is getting help and support for yourself so you can help and support your loved one. Seek out support groups created for loved ones of addicted individuals such as Nar-Anon, Al-Anon, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) and Adult Children of Alcoholics. You may also consider seeing a mental health counselor who can help you sort out the complex emotions that come with loving an addict. Additionally, don\u2019t let self-care practices fall by the wayside. Exercise, yoga, proper nutrition, and activities and hobbies that give you pleasure can do wonders for your mental and physical health.\n\nBe Vocal About Your Support \u2014 Holding healthy boundaries doesn\u2019t mean that you shouldn\u2019t be emphatic about your support for your loved one. Let them know that you love them and want to help them get better. Let them know that the boundaries you are holding are because of your love for them and your hope that they\u2019ll take action to get better. If they\u2019re actively trying to get sober, some of the ways you can show your support are by driving them to treatment, participating in treatment as requested by their clinicians, visiting them, and working with their treatment team.