Treatment for substance abuse problems focuses on helping an individual learn to cope and live without a dependency on alcohol and drugs. Part of the process also entails repairing relationships that have deteriorated as a result of the addict choosing the alcohol or drug over their family and friends. It's important though that addicts in treatment learn to set boundaries with these people and not become dependent upon them. Instead they need to recognize they can make healthy decisions and choices for themselves.

Things You Will Need

Support from family and friends
Support from mental health counselor

Step 1

Arrange a time to talk to family members or friends. When setting boundaries it's important that you clearly state the boundaries you have with family members and friends, so they know what to expect. Many find it easier to do if they set up a specific time to discuss it. If you feel uncomfortable going it alone, ask your treatment counselor to set in on the discussion with you.

Step 2

Know what boundaries you want set. Before talking to family and friends, take time to examine what boundaries you need in place in order to be successful with your substance abuse treatment. Physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual boundaries should all be set by yourself and conveyed to those that care about you.

Step 3

Enforce the boundaries once you've discussed them with family and friends. The boundaries you've set in substance abuse treatment were created to help you maintain your sobriety. If a friend or family member violates any boundary you've set, don't be afraid to confront them on it. They may not realize they have done so, and it reinforces your commitment to being alcohol and drug free.

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Tips & Warnings

If you feel uncomfortable discussing your boundaries by yourself, ask your treatment counselor to set in on the discussion with your family and friends.