5 Ways To Set Healthy Boundaries With People Who Have Addiction Issues

Serious talk

It’s difficult and heartbreaking when a loved one is struggling with drug addiction and refuses to seek treatment. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you may feel lost, helpless, or unsure of what to do next. But know that you’re not alone, and there are resources available to help.

If your loved one is in this situation, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and compassion. Avoid using judgmental language or ultimatums, as this could cause them to become defensive or shut down. Instead, express your concern and willingness to support them in their journey toward recovery.

When dealing with individuals who have addiction issues, setting boundaries can be an important part of maintaining your own mental health and well-being. However, it can also be a difficult and emotionally charged process. Here are some tips on how to set healthy boundaries with loved ones struggling with addiction.

1. Identify your own boundaries: Before setting boundaries with others, it’s important to identify your own limits and needs. This can involve reflecting on what behaviors you’re willing to tolerate and what you’re not, as well as what you need to feel safe and supported.

2. Communicate your boundaries: Once you’ve identified your boundaries, it’s important to communicate them clearly and assertively. This can involve setting limits on what behaviors you’re willing to tolerate and what you’re not, as well as expressing what you need from the other person in order to maintain the relationship.

3. Stick to your boundaries: Setting boundaries is only effective if you’re able to stick to them. This can involve enforcing consequences if the other person violates your boundaries, such as taking a step back from the relationship or seeking support from a therapist or support group.

self care

4. Practice self-care: it’s important to prioritize your own mental health and well-being when setting boundaries with loved ones struggling with addiction. This can involve engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Remember, setting boundaries is not about punishing or controlling the other person but rather about taking care of yourself and maintaining healthy relationships. With the right tools and support, it’s possible to set boundaries that allow you to maintain your own well-being while also supporting your loved ones in their journey toward recovery.

5. Lastly, a major thing to consider is staging an intervention. This involves gathering a group of loved ones and a professional interventionist to confront the individual about their addiction and encourage them to seek treatment. However, it’s important to note that interventions should only be done with the guidance of a professional and should never involve threats or coercion.

If you or a loved one need help or advice, please call our team at Narconon Ojai.


  • “Setting Boundaries.” National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Setting-Boundaries
  • “Boundaries and Addiction.” Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/boundaries-and-addiction


Fabian Padro

Narconon Ojai, the premier Narconon center in the United States, is led by Fabian Padro, AS, RADT. After starting a career in International Business and earning an Associates Degree, Fabian changed course and has now dedicated his life to helping those trapped in the downward spiral of addiction.