Addiction can take over a person’s life, including how the person behaves towards family and friends. The first and last thing on a person’s mind with addiction is getting that next high or substance. Logic is pushed aside and the individual will try to get the substance by any means necessary, including hurting loved ones in the process. Some of the following tips can help family and friends try to avoid manipulation by a loved one with addiction.

Understand Own Rights

To avoid manipulation, a person must understand his or her own basic human needs and rights. People have the power to tell loved ones with addiction the individual is in violation of personal boundaries. Some of these boundaries include:

  • Being treated with respect
  • The right to express feelings, opinions and desires
  • Ability to say no without guilt or shame
  • Right to take care of and protect oneself from being threatened physically, mentally or emotionally

Keep a Distance

An important way to avoid manipulation by a person with addiction is to separate oneself and avoid engaging with that person except in situations where it is necessary. The person with addiction may wear many faces depending on who the person is in contact with. While people with addiction may seem charming, the person may turn on a dime. Healthy space can create boundaries and help individuals realize it is not their job to be responsible for the loved one’s happiness.

Be in the Spotlight

Master manipulators often request to do things that are unreasonable and will keep addiction going. Try putting the focus back on the manipulator by asking a few probing questions including whether there is a choice to be involved, what is expected and is it reasonable.

Take the Time

People with addiction want things right now, this instant. It is about gratification at the present moment, whether it is money or using someone’s car or getting money. The person with addiction will pressure others into a decision and it requires personal leverage to take power back by saying things like more time is needed to think about it.

The Power of No

Saying no is a matter of respect. When people can say no to a loved one with addiction, this is clearly stating boundaries with respect and standing ground while leaving the door open to hopefully work out a better way that benefits everyone.

Let Go of Self Blame

A person with addiction will exploit personal weaknesses and hit below the belt. To avoid this hurtful situation, keep in mind others are not the problem: the problem is the person with addiction. Let go of self blame and realize it is not anyone’s fault but the person with addiction.


Cypress Lake Recovery understands the power of addiction over a person’s life, including family and friends. If you are struggling with addiction or are seeking help for a loved one, we are here to support your journey. Contact us to find out how we can help you navigate our excellent programs, resources and treatment options to support recovery. Call us today at 1-866-217-2636.