Helping your loved one break free from an addiction can be a difficult process. It takes Patience, Practice, and Persistence.  The most difficult part of the process can often be:

  1. Learning to set healthy boundaries, and
  2. Maintaining those boundaries consistently.

It can sometimes help to use a template.  A template is a guide that can help you get things out of your head and onto a piece of paper. The PIUS template is a helpful tool you can use to plan your conversation with your loved one. When you apply PIUS to your communications, it can increase the possibility that your loved one will seek recovery sooner than later.

The way you talk to your loved one sets the tone for how they either respond or react to you.  Using this PIUS process ~ consistently in your communications ~ is an excellent tool to improve your relationships.

P: Use only POSITIVE statements in your conversation. Avoid using negative words and comments. Always use positive statements to convey empathy and understanding.

I: Use I statements to help you communicate your wishes – and do it without blaming, shaming, or criticizing the other person.

U: Listen and reflect back exactly what you’ve heard. It’s important to show your loved one that you completely UNDERSTAND and respect their point of view (even if you don’t agree with it).

S:  When you accept and SHARE your feelings & your responsibility you demonstrate to your loved one that you understand and acknowledge your part in the problem which can go a long way in breaking any cycle of conflict or misunderstanding.

Instead of thinking about creating ‘boundaries’ with your loved one, think about establishing ‘mutual respect lines.’  Your communication style cannot make another person change, but it may give them good reasons to ‘choose’ to change.  We may not like it if they choose to not change, but that’s their power of choice.  They have a right to choose for themselves.

Your “power of choice” includes your ability to let them know how their behaviours are impacting you > without blaming them.

Have persistent willingness to stay consistent in your communication and you will notice an eventual improvement to how you feel and how the other person responds.

May the force be with you, and – remember – 

YOU are the force!


Tanya MacIntyre | Addiction Recovery Specialist


Phone      519-616-3636

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About the Author:

Tanya MacIntyre is a former broadcast journalist who packed up negative news for positive media. In 2018, she decided to start speaking and writing publicly about her challenges to overcome drug & alcohol addictions.

Tanya is unabashedly optimistic about the human capacity to heal – to tap into the wellspring of compassion that is self-energy and self-love. Her professional focus is healing trauma and addictions. As a CBT Consultant, she devotes herself to training, writing, and mentoring.

Tanya lives on the West Coast of Ontario with her husband where they run an addiction-recovery business. In her leisure, she likes spending time in nature and volunteering with mental-health groups.


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DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to constitute, or be a substitute for, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched, read, or heard from anyone at Red Roof Recovery.