How Can You Help Someone Recover From Substance Abuse?
Do you have a loved one who is newly recovering from a substance abuse issue? If so, their decision is definitely something to be proud of; however, this is just the first step of their journey toward sobriety.
It’s important for people who are recovering from addiction to have a strong support system of loved ones around them. To be a part of this system, you should have some sort of understanding of their addiction and how to handle the situation.
What Is Early Recovery Like?
The first year of recovery is harder than most. It usually entails detox, rehabilitation, and adjusting back to one’s normal life.
All of this can be a lot to take in, especially with temptations everywhere you turn. Many people who are newly sober may experience loneliness, depression, or anxiety, which can risk relapse.
Welcoming A Recovering Loved One Home
Since relapse is most likely in the first year, most people recovering from substance abuse should have someone else to live or spend a majority of their time with. If you’re welcoming someone home from rehab or trying to help someone who chose to be sober, try to keep the home as comfortable as possible for them. Keep a familiar but healthy routine, while keeping the home free of any drugs or alcohol.
How To Increase Their Chances of Recovery
Support is the key to successful recovery. But since addiction is such a tricky subject, many loved ones may not have all the information they need to support their loved one through this disease.
If someone you know is recovering from a substance abuse disorder, consider following these tips to support them through it:
Educate Yourself About Recovery
Do your research about the struggles of both addiction and recovery. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to help someone who’s dealing with it.
Attend Meetings for Family of People With Addictions
Just like there’s AA and NA for people who are battling addiction, there are groups for families of these individuals as well. Addiction takes a toll on everyone who comes in its path including parents, siblings, and friends. Joining a group of your own can help you understand what your loved one is going through and find other people who are dealing with a similar situation.
Stay Sober Around Them
This one’s pretty simple. If a recovering alcoholic sees someone close to them get drunk, they’re going to want to follow suit. Stay sober, at least while you’re around them, to encourage them.
Find New Activities To Do Together
Finding new hobbies can be a great way for people to stay sober, especially if they get to share the activities with someone they love. Look into your mutual interests to find something fun, creative, or active to do on a regular basis together.
Support Without Enabling
People who are recovering from addiction need people to have their back no matter what; however, it’s necessary to not let them think it’s okay to use. Try not to be too lenient, and don’t give in to “just one drink.”
Be Honest, Not Judgemental
Your loved one needs you to be transparent and open with them during this time. However, it’s important that they don’t feel judged or looked down upon. Be honest with them about everything while accepting them for who they are.
Understand & Forgive Them
Those who battle substance abuse sometimes do things that are out of character. This can include acting a certain way while under the influence, displaying unhealthy behaviors to get a fix, or simply showing traits that aren’t familiar to you. In order for them to move on from hurting you, you have to be able to forgive them and move on.
Take Care of Yourself
Most importantly, put yourself first. Taking care of a recovering loved one can be all-consuming and take a toll on your mental health, so it’s important to look out for yourself and practice acts of self care. After all — if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anybody else.
What Are Some Ways to Offer Continual Recovery Support?
Recovery is a lifelong journey, so people who are choosing to stay sober need as much help and support as they can get. There may be some struggles, backsteps, and relapses, but your continued support will mean more to them than you realize. With healthy coping mechanisms & habits alongside a strong support system, your loved one will definitely be on the right track to living a happy and healthy life.
To learn more about recovery support and substance abuse rehabilitation, call us at 267.719.8689.