We all need someone to lean on, especially when we\u2019re in crisis. In a poll conducted by Promises Behavioral Health, a network of addiction treatment centers, people in recovery were asked: \u201cWho loved you enough to help you recover from addiction, and what did they do to help?\u201d The poll confirmed that family and friends play an integral role in helping people get into drug rehab programs and onto the path of recovery. Based on responses from over 400 participants: \t28.4% were helped by a sibling \t25.5% were assisted by spouses and partners \t23.3% were helped by mothers or both parents \t12.2% found help from friends Another 28.4% reported receiving help from \u201cother,\u201d which included non-primary family members, such as aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers and step-mothers, as well as employers, lawyers and spiritual advisers. Therapists and social workers were cited as helpers, as were psychiatrists and physicians, though to a lesser extent. To someone struggling with addiction, people who want to help at first may be perceived as nags. But in retrospect, many people in recovery recognize that they may have never gotten help if it hadn\u2019t been for the people who cared to intervene even when it was difficult to do so. \u201cMy mother and father supported me with my recovery, attended treatment, and provided some financial support,\u201d said one poll respondent. \u201cThen, they encouraged me to get on with my life.\u201d 10 Ways Loved Ones Help Addicts Those polled shared many ways that people helped them recover from addiction. Here are 10 common threads from the survey responses: \tUnconditional love. It doesn\u2019t always require dramatic action to make a difference. Some people find their way into recovery because someone never wavered in their love and caring. \u201cMy parents provided unconditional love and support,\u201d said Kimberly. \u201cThey were able to separate the real me from my disease and know that my behaviors were not intentional.\u201d Several people said loved ones could see they were sick, not bad. \tTough love. Many people said their families helped by refusing to enable them. Parker recalls refusing help, even as his addiction was spiraling out of control quickly. \u201cWithout my parents, I certainly wouldn\u2019t be where I am today,\u201d he said. \u201cIn fact, there\u2019s a good chance that I wouldn\u2019t be alive.\u201d As much as it pained them, they kicked him out of the house with an ultimatum: \u201cYour way doesn\u2019t work, so try something else.\u201d Setting this boundary, he says, moved him to completely change his life. \tNever gave up. Many people reported that they are in recovery today because of the tenacity of people who cared for them. Dan says he struggled for three decades with addiction. It created havoc in the family, yet the love of his children made him turn his life around. \u201cThey never gave up on me,\u201d he says. \u201cI now have a new, healthy marriage and a great relationship with my kids.\u201d Another participant pointed out that their partner \u201cbelieved in me when no one, including myself, did.\u201d \u00a0 \tAvoiding judgement\/control. Shame and guilt go hand in hand with addiction. People with addiction often are afraid to open up or ask for help for fear of judgement from others, especially those they\u2019ve hurt. One participant referred to her spouse as an angel and said he got her through because he \u201cstayed supportive and non-judgmental through the whole process.\u201d He also stepped in to help in day-to-day life. \u201cHe took care of small things that seemed too big for me in bad days, such as chores, meals and errands,\u201d she said. \u201cHe was incredibly patient and monitored me without being controlling.\u201d \tEncouragement. Addiction mires people in negativity and unhealthy behaviors. Everyone affected can start to feel hopeless, unless there\u2019s someone who consistently believes in the possibility of a better life. \u201cMy spouse let me vent and also gave me reassurance that I can overcome this addiction,\u201d said one respondent. Being able to share the truth was freeing and relieved some of the burden. Another person shared that their partner created a \u201csafe space\u201d in which they could share what was going on. \tTrue and honest friendship. People with addiction often surround themselves with other addicts, but some people reported that there was one friend who stuck by them, despite all the reason not to, and told them the truth. \u201cMy friend told me to stop or I'll die,\u201d said one participant. Others surveyed mentioned that sometimes the words of a friend cut through the fray of all the voices pulling in the opposite direction. \tSpirit and compassion. Some people mentioned the importance of soulful helpers. One person surveyed said it helped him to have a spiritual friend who could discuss spiritual topics. Chris shared that a Catholic nun was his best support system. \u201cShe helped me the most, because she listened,\u201d he recalled. \u201cI counseled with her and completed the first 5 steps in AA. That was in 1981 and I have been sober since.\u201d \tGot them to a meeting. People surveyed remembered loved ones who helped them into a support group such as the 12-step program. One person mentioned a loving spouse who made sure he had time to go and drove him to meetings. And John pointed out that the key to his recovery is attending meetings and regularly spending time with others who have gone through the recovery process and are living sober. \u201cYou need to include others,\u201d he said. \u201cYou can't recover and stay sober on your own.\u201d \tTook them to drug rehab. For many people, getting into addiction treatment is what saved their life. \u201cMy partner took me here and paid,\u201d said one participant. \u201cI could not get myself here on my own.\u201d Others expressed that friends and relatives helped to physically bring them in for treatment. \tEncouraged self-help. \u201cI wish I had help, but I did not,\u201d said one participant, echoing the thoughts of several respondents who had to be their own best friend and merciful mother, and find help on their way into recovery. \u201cI had to help myself,\u201d said another respondent, \u201cbut I\u2019ve been clean for seven years and I'm proud of what I've done.\u201d An Ongoing Process Many people surveyed noted that life changed when someone reached out a hand and helped pull them out of the darkness. And many of those people continue to stand by to be part of their new life. \u201cRecovery is the process of working on interpersonal issues, maintaining relationships with others who hold you accountable, and having relationships that allow you to process and work out life\u2019s problems,\u201d said John. It is a process that will last a lifetime. But it will be so much easier with people who care by your side.