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Advice for Sisters of Addicts



When someone has an addiction problem, it generally affects the entire family, including sisters. If you have a sibling who is also an addict, you know exactly what we are talking about. You know how addictive behaviour hurts both your sibling and your entire family. What’s more, your sisterly instinct is to step in and save the day.

As a sister, you are genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of your addicted sibling. And rightly so. After all, you grew up together; you share the fond memories and the close-knit bonds that are part of every family. So what do you do now?

First and foremost is to understand that you and your family are not alone. Addiction is often classified as a family problem because it affects parents and siblings alike. There are countless families just like yours all over the UK. We know; it is our mission to help such families get the assistance they need. We can help you as well.

Living with an Addict

When circumstances dictate you must live with an addicted sibling, life can be nearly unbearable. Sometimes the addict is manipulative and controlling. Other times your brother or sister might steal from you in order to support a drug addict habit. And in some cases, you might even be facing physical or verbal abuse at the hands of your sibling. That’s never a good position to be in.

As a sister, you may be wrestling with mixed emotions in addition to all of the other problems your addicted sibling causes. Those emotions can include guilt, anger, resentment, confusion, and extreme sorrow. However, it is important that you not allow your emotions to rule your decision-making.

Instead, a better course of action is to contact Addiction Helpline. We hope your sibling will one day make the decision to get his or her life in order. However, even if he/she doesn’t, we have access to support services that can help you protect your own well-being and survival. If you are also caring for older parents, you will need support for them as well.

Helping Your Sibling

Your inclination as a sister is undoubtedly to step in and save your sibling. Unfortunately, you cannot. The addict made the choice to go down that road; the addict makes the choice every day to continue living there. Only he or she can make the choice to bring the addiction to end. However, that does not mean you need to sit back and do nothing. There are some things you can do.

First, contact Addiction Helpline so we can familiarise you with all of the available options. We are a referral service with contacts all over the UK and abroad. We work with private rehab clinics, charities, outpatient programs and so on. There are enough choices available that we can certainly provide you with options for your sibling.

The second thing you can do is enlist the help of other family members and friends to conduct an intervention. An intervention is an organised confrontation intended to bring the addict face-to-face with his or her addiction. Nevertheless, please bear in mind that an intervention must be conducted in the right way in order to achieve the intended results. Addiction Helpline can advise you on the appropriate course of action in this regard.

Be aware that a successful intervention should result in your sibling deciding to seek help. You will need to move quickly once the decision is made. So make sure you have all of the information regarding treatment options ready to go.

The last thing you can do is perhaps the hardest of all. You must make a conscious decision to avoid anything that would enable your addicted sibling. In other words, in your earnest desire to protect your loved one you may be creating circumstances that encourage him or her to continue their addictive behaviour. You need to stop doing those things.

In the meantime, please take advantage of Addiction Helpline and the services we offer. You can call us on the phone or send an e-mail message, whichever you prefer. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we will be able to help both you and your sibling.

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