4. Communicating Effectively with your Relative and Setting Limits

Personal boundaries

Protecting boundaries


Healthy people protect boundaries and set limits in healthy relationships. It is particularly important to maintain your own boundaries and set limits in your relationship with your relative who has a substance use problem. For example, people with substance use problems at times may take advantage of and violate others’ boundaries when they are focused on getting and using substances.

Protecting boundaries involves:

    being aware of your feelings and needs
    knowing your boundaries
    setting limits on others’ behaviour with respect to your boundaries
    informing others of these limits and asking that they respect them
    ensuring that others do respect your boundaries.