20 Nov Supporting a Recovering Addict
It can be very difficult for family members to watch their loved one going through the process of drug recovery. They will want to know what they can do to help. There are several ways to lend support. The first way to be supportive is to wait until your loved one is ready to make a change. Trying to force them into recovery before they are ready will only cause contention and damage your relationship, making it harder for them to ask you for help later on. Addicts have much better results in recovery if they make the decision to change for themselves.
If you have a loved one who has a drug addiction or is recovering from an addiction, you may want to consider getting involved with Al-Anon. Al-Anon is a support group designed for friends and families of people addicted to drugs or alcohol and can not only help you know how to help your loved one, but can also help you know how to cope with your own difficulties that have resulted from their addiction.
Once your loved one has entered recovery, there are many things you can do to encourage them to keep at it:
Be Encouraging. Keep an open ear and an open heart. Make sure your family member knows that they can talk to you about anything and let them be open and honest. Don’t criticize them for setbacks; instead, ask what you can do to help them get back on track.
Get to Know Their Routine.Staying close with a loved one who is going through recovery can help them in many ways. You can help remind them of upcoming appointments and meetings. You will be able to offer rides or attend group therapy sessions with them if they want you to, which is a great way to show support. Also, you’ll be able to spot right off if they begin missing work or other commitments that may signal that they’re having trouble keeping up with the program.
Maintain a Clean Environment.There are going to be stumbling blocks on the road to recovery. Your loved one is going to come in contact with the substance they’re avoiding from time to time, but this doesn’t have to happen at home. Abstain from the problematic substance yourself and keep it out of the house. That way, if your family member hits a rough patch, the source of their abuse won’t be readily available.
Be Patient.Addiction recovery can be a process of two steps forward and one step back. Recovering from addiction is not easy and there will probably be setbacks. Rather than criticizing or fighting when this happens, lend an ear and find ways to be extra supportive as your loved one rallies their courage for another stab at it.
Forgive and Forget. Embrace your loved one’s newfound resolution, and resist the urge to bring up the past. Give them a fresh start and let them know you have faith in them to accomplish the difficult task of giving up their addiction.
The best thing you can do for a loved one in recovery is to listen to them and be a friend. If they know they have someone they can turn to when times are hard, they’ll have an easier time staying motivated and pushing forward.