Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

Should You Ask Your Addicted Loved One to Leave the House?

Should you ask your addicted loved one to leave? One of the most painful and confusing situations for a family dealing with a loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction is wondering if and how to ask them to leave the house.

[This post originally appeared on our Member blog, where experts respond to members’ questions and concerns. To become a member of Allies in Recovery today and get trained on how to reduce the chaos of addiction in your family, click here.]

In some ways, a decision like this seems nothing short of cruel — like kicking someone when they’re already down. Perhaps they’re as low as you’ve ever seen them. Perhaps they’ve regressed to a helpless state, unable to follow through with any sort of responsibilities. And you’re supposed to ask your addicted loved one to leave?!

I would ask you to look beyond this initial hesitation, this cocktail of fear and guilt that often paralyzes us and prevents us from seeking real solutions.

First, Remember Your Ultimate Goal: Getting Them into Treatment

Getting your loved one into treatment is where your energies must be focused. This is the most important role you could possibly play. If your loved one is no longer taking things into their own hands, someone needs to step in and gently, lovingly, guide them towards a place where they can begin to deal with the addiction.

So, with that ultimate goal of treatment in mind, consider next whether having your loved one living at home is supporting their use, or their non-use. In other words, is their living at home making it easier for them to use, or pulling them in the opposite direction? You know the situation well, so you’re probably well qualified to make that call. Letting them know that there are consequences to their drug or alcohol use is one important way you can support your loved one and guide them to seek treatment.

If They Stay at Home, Are You Enabling their Addiction?

If you determine that having your loved one stay is supporting their use (enabling their addiction), then to ask your addicted loved one to leave may be the next step. This can be seen as a “natural consequence” of your loved one’s addiction and behavior. They are making bad decisions for their self, and it follows that they will then stumble, and even fall. And that fall, as scary as it feels to stand back and let it happen, may very well be part of what ignites their motivation to seek help.

If you decide you must ask your addicted loved one to leave, use positive communication techniques and choose a calm moment to explain your position. You might say something like:

“I want our relationship to work and would like you to stay living here. But I’m not comfortable with it, because I am inadvertently supporting your alcohol/drug use. I love you, and I can’t continue to have you living here while using. Please consider these options for help. When you’re able to stay sober, you can come back.”

If you choose to use leaving as leverage, and your loved one still says no to treatment, back off for a couple weeks. In our experience, loved ones often reconsider during this grace period.

Mean What You Say – Follow Through and Ask Your Addicted Loved One to Leave

But if this technique does not sway your loved one to enter treatment for their drug or alcohol abuse, you must be willing to follow through and ask your addicted loved one to leave. In the case of a son or daughter, you can help them find their way out of the house by paying for their first few months of rent.

Remember that clinging to an unacceptable situation out of fear that something might get worse often translates to enabling your loved one’s use. Channel your love for them, and your faith that things can and will improve, into a determination to let natural consequences occur.

Become a member of Allies in Recovery today for full, unlimited access to our training platform, expert guidance, and the chance to connect with others in your situation. Learn more here.


Related Posts from "Communication"

“What We All Require Is To Be Heard”: Kayla Solomon On Effective Communication and Connection

In March 2023, Allies in Recovery’s very own Kayla Solomon led a 90-minute ZOOM conversation with leaders of the East Bay chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) based in Sacramento, California. The result was a dynamic primer on the use of CRAFT, the Allies approach to building trust and connection with Loved Ones, and the vital role of listening and affirming when supporting a Loved One with mental health and/or substance use challenges. Click above to watch the recording.

Trusting A Loved One in Early Recovery

Her husband is in early recovery, but he doesn’t want to share details with her. She’s nervous and struggling with trust due to his history of SUD and lying. She’s reluctant to let him come home, and unsure how to talk to him about it. Dominique weighs in with an idea of what to say based on the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach that we use at

How CRAFT Can Help: Supporting Your Partner to Successfully Moderate Opiate Use

His partner is trying to moderate her use of heroin and methamphetamine with no formal support. Her use consumes so much of his partner’s life that it’s hard to see her “moderation” as progress. But his loved one wants him to acknowledge how “well” she’s doing, and there hasn’t been room for more discussion. Read on for suggested strategies from to engage his partner into treatment, using the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach.

How to Use the CRAFT Approach to Communicate with a Loved One Living with Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder can often involve volatile emotions on all sides. When family members use the CRAFT approach that we teach at, it can help disentangle emotions from practicalities, leading to greater calm and more effective outcomes. This mom recently had an exchange with her son who is struggling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), but held back from responding in fear it would end in a heated argument. So, she to turned to Allies for guidance. Read on for some pointers on how best to communicate with a loved one in active addiction using the CRAFT approach.

Real Allies in Recovery Success Stories: Families Share How CRAFT Helped Their Loved Ones with SUD

Read real success stories from families who used the CRAFT approach to help their loved ones with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Learn how CRAFT helped them engage their loved ones into treatment, and how it improved their relationships and reduced stress levels. Discover how you can use the CRAFT method to help your loved ones find recovery, and visit for more stories and resources.

How Do I Prepare for My Daughter with SUD to Come Home? And What About Her Boyfriend?

Her daughter is involved with a man who may be sabotaging her efforts to stop using substances. But she’s expressed some readiness to get help, and mom wants to support her in any way that she can. Mom’s working on ignoring the bad-news boyfriend while setting up guidelines for her return home. She needs guidance on the details…Allies in Recovery weighs in with some CRAFT-based tips.

Collaboration Vs. Ultimatum

When your loved one is returning, communicate and collaborate about your expectations, concerns, and plans. Keep on collaborating over time, so if concerns arise your loved one can take responsibility, have agency, and you’re not running the show on your own. Without their “skin in the game,” little can change. Model engagement, which is also part of the treatment process.