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Substance use disorder (SUD), also known as addiction, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic, relapsing brain disorder. The Mayo Clinic explains addiction as a disease “that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication” without regard for consequence. An individual that struggles with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her drug cravings above all else. This can wreak havoc in all facets of one’s life, causing a plethora of adverse effects, including physiological complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal challenges, employment issues, and more. It is also highly common for individuals living with an addiction to have problems with boundaries. The development of substance use disorder does not occur immediately, nor will recovering from addiction be achieved instantaneously. Treatment for addiction will require an overhaul of one’s mental and behavioral health.


Personal boundaries are vital but not always easy to establish, and respecting boundaries can be particularly challenging for people struggling with substance use disorder and those close to them. Nevertheless, boundaries play a fundamental role in addiction recovery, as defining and implementing personal boundaries can inform treatment outcome. Personal boundaries are physical, mental, and emotional limits and rules that people set for themselves to safeguard their overall well-being. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation explains:

  • Healthy boundaries: help people define who they are to ensure relationships are mutually safe, supportive, and respectful.
  • Unhealthy boundaries: are thoughts or behaviors used to manipulate or control relationships.

Our boundaries are based on our personal values and needs and create a standard by which our self-worth and our integrity is communicated. According to Rokelle Lerner, who is an expert on family dynamics, codependency, and addiction recovery, the meaning of boundaries can be boiled down to this succinct phrase: “What I value I will protect, but what you value I will respect.” Establishing healthy boundaries in recovery has many benefits that can help an individual maintain motivation and encourage long-term sobriety.  

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.