Question the possibility of substance use. Search for reasons why changes are occurring in your loved one or reasons why this may have happened.
Question the loved one & accept the answer that they are NOT using.
Deny that substance use is occurring or that substance use is a problem. Grieve for the loss of dreams you once had for your loved one. Common feelings include frustration and anger toward yourself and for your loved one. You may feel guilty for not realizing problems sooner or be afraid of what the future holds.
Accept that substance use is the cause of the observed changes in your loved one. Understand that while we can provide guidance, your loved one will be the source of their own action to achieve recovery. Realize that one does not have to accept unacceptable behavior forever.
Learn about the nature and risk factors for substance use disorder and the available resources to support family members. Begin to distinguish the difference between behaviors related to the substance use and your loved one themselves.
SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School