How To Support an Addict in Recovery
Things Just Got Real
Someone you love and care about has just entered rehab for drug addiction. Emotions are high, changes are happening quickly, and you now face the complicated task of learning how to support an addict in recovery.
Your loved one will need help to get through this. However, helping an addict in recovery will take time, patience, understanding, reinforcement, and compassion. So, call us today at (385) 327-7418 or submit a question about addiction treatment. We will be able to help you and those you love through this addiction recovery process.
- Becoming a Champion for Your Loved Ones
- Educating Yourself on Recovery
- Helping Your Loved One Be Successful in Recovery
- How Recovery a Transformational Journey
- Encourage Abstinence from Drugs and Alcohol
- Tips for Supporting a Loved One in Recovery that you Must Know
- What to do if they Relapse?
Are You Ready?
Are you prepared to be their champion through this process? However, before presenting yourself as your loved one’s liaison, it would be best to look at how to provide support to an addict in recovery and what this can look like.
Becoming a Champion for Your Loved One
There will be a lot involved with your loved one’s rehabilitation. For instance, there are appointments to keep, medications to take, triggers to avoid, and spirits to uplift. Your loved one will need a lot of support for this recovery to be successful. Although helping an addict in recovery requires a lot of your time and attention, perhaps more than this person has ever needed before. You may not even be able to continue working, but it depends on the substance use disorder severity. Call us today if you need additional support while being an addict’s support system. Because we can equip you with the tools you need and be your guide in helping the addict in your life get back on track.
Be Honest with Them
Be honest about what you can and cannot do.
It is OK if you cannot be your loved one’s champion. Additionally, if you feel that you cannot provide the support needed, you can help by finding someone who can. It is better, to be honest about any limitations you may have now rather than finding out later when they need you. However, if you feel you are ready to take on this responsibility, let’s discuss how to support an addict in recovery.
Learning about your loved one’s diagnosis is a great place to start. Discover what damage the drugs cause to the brain, body, and mental processes. For example, look at:
- Has this affected your loved one’s ability to reason?
- Their motor functions?
- Language ability?
Studying the effects of drug use can help you understand what your loved one is going through. Additionally, learning about the impact can help you to anticipate future struggles. Your loved one’s doctor can explain what is going on, but doing your research will allow you to dive as deep as possible for your education. Call us today for more information. Also, we can help you find the right treatment plans for those you love.
Common Co-Occurring Problems
It is not uncommon for addicts to have co-occurring mental health disorders. Anxiety and depression can cause additional stress and obstacles during recovery. Researching these disorders can also paint a clear picture of all of the obstacles your loved one will face on their journey. What steps can you take to help ease their anxiety before a therapy meeting? How is their depression going to affect their participation? It may be tough. However, asking these questions can help support your loved one in an immediate and personal way.
Helping Your Loved One Be Successful
Your loved one will be prescribed medications throughout treatment and enroll in multiple therapies. Because each assigned task will require accountability and follow-through, this can determine the success of your loved one. For example, organization and finding time for all parties involved is a great start.
Assist your loved ones by helping them with their organization skills. Calendars and the storage of essential documents and necessary items can prepare them for each upcoming task. For example, color coordination with different pen inks marked on a calendar is a great way to organize separately scheduled meetings.
Take the Time for Yourself
Also, setting alarm clocks for yourself a little earlier than your loved ones’ can help you anticipate their needs. The few extra minutes might also allow you to take time for yourself before committing the rest of your day to your loved one’s needs. Need further assistance? Then call us today. We will be able to give you and your loved ones the support they need.
A Transformational Journey
Rehabilitation is a life-altering experience. In rehab, addicts will release old habits and discard a past life. They will be creating a new life with instruction from people they have never met. Call us today to talk to a specialist about what you need to do to help an addict in recovery.
Compassion and Empathy are Key
Throughout this process, they will be discarding old habits, toxic relationships and leaving behind things they may have known their entire life. The whole process is incredibly scary and troubling for addicts, as it would be for anyone. It is crucial to express compassion and empathy to keep addicts from feeling alone.
Feeling Overwhelmed is Common
There will be a lot of information for your loved one to keep track of, and substance use disorder may have damaged certain brain functions. Encourage your loved one with positive affirmations daily, and be as patient as possible. They may feel overwhelmed by the amount of change and new responsibilities. In moments of self-doubt, your encouragement and faith in them can help overcome feelings of defeat.
We know that both the addict and the friends and family are greatly affected by addiction. However, we can help everyone involved. Call us today, and we will make sure everyone is supported in the way they need.
Listen to Your Loved One
There will be a great many people who are going to be talking to your loved one. They will hear directions for what medications to take, where to attend multiple meetings, and what expectations to meet during rehab.
One of your most significant contributions to your loved one’s recovery and overall health is to listen. Actively listening and engaging in opportunities to pay attention helps more than you realize.
Listen For Old Habits
Does your loved one talk like they used to while abusing drugs?
Do they talk about missing drugs?
Wishing they could feel that high again?
Paying attention to these comments can help identify a dangerous thought pattern. A crucial part of helping an addict in recovery is to be prepared for these moments by having a redirection at the ready. Call us today, and we can help you be prepared and ready for these concerns. Do not let your loved one fall behind. Call us today, and save them tomorrow.
Discussions Can Be Healthy
In thinking about how to help an addict in recovery, be mindful that there is a lot, they are still processing. Addicts may want to discuss their previous drug use, which is a healthy thing to do. Analyze behaviors together and let them figure out where they feel everything went wrong. However, since you do not want them to stay too long in negative emotion, redirecting them to contact a new friend they made in rehab might be a way to alleviate the pain of losing old, toxic friendships.
Helping Them Stay Sober
Staying away from anything drug- or alcohol-related is best for your loved one. Whether it is keeping drug-using family members away or not allowing wine at the family Christmas party, abstinence is best no matter what.
Becoming a champion for your loved one means setting a strong example. Figuring out how to support an addict in recovery often begins by simply being there with them. Loneliness can be dangerous as it is a frequent trigger for relapse.
Make sure that people that come into contact with your loved ones are respectful of their recovery by keeping temptations for relapse away from them.
If someone cannot abide by abstinence rules, they shouldn’t come around. The temptation to relapse is already strong and does not need outside influences, making the journey harder than it needs to be. Other people wanting to visit do not take precedence over an addict’s need to get healthy and remain healthy. Call us today if you need support dealing with outside forces. Our experts will give you tips on helping the recovering addict in your life stay in recovery.
Create a Plan
In recovery, you can help an addict stay away from substance use by redirecting their focus onto other activities.
Furthermore, adding activities into a joint schedule, such as bike riding, hiking, or other physical exercises, can be a great way to stay active and healthy, doctor permitting.
Tips for Supporting an Addict in Recovery
The road to recovery is turbulent, messy, and emotional. Here are a few key tips on how to support an addict in recovery:
Tell Them You Want to Help
You cannot assume that your presence is enough; you need to say it. Say that you are there to help and make your intentions clear from the start. Doing this will help establish clear communication.
Figure Out Your Role Together
Establish your role in their recovery. Advise that you are not there to coddle but to keep your loved one focused.
You are there to support them, not do the work for them through this time. Remind them that you will direct them back to the treatment plans if they go astray. Defining your role will avoid any misunderstanding about why you are there.
Be There for Them
It is one thing to say you will be there for them; it is another to be present actively. When you are present in the moment and actively listening, you demonstrate dependable qualities by staying true to your word.
Educate Yourself About Recovering Addicts
Study the program pamphlets, read testimonials, and tour facilities to better understand what addicts go through in recovery.
Education on recovery will keep you on the same page with your doctors and specialists about what they expect of your loved one.
Above all, it is important to remember that you are here to help your loved one. Also, knowing as much information you can could save their life. Call us today, and we can provide you with more information about how to help those you love today.
Be Honest with Your Loved One
Honesty begets honesty in most cases. Set the expectation by following it.
Honest communication is imperative between patients and support team members. Do not condone telling even seemingly harmless lies, as you would not condone lies told to you.
Encourage Responsible Behavior
Motivational incentives are a therapeutic exercise used by recovery specialists. Talk with your loved one’s counselors or specialists to determine whether motivational incentives are right for you to expand on.
Encouraging responsible behavior supports addicts in recovery by reintroducing a damaged reward system during drug use. Actions like these are small yet powerful.
Promote Healthy Decisions
Promoting healthy decisions is always the way to go from sobriety to healthy food. Do the best you can to inspire healthful living. Engaging and joining in on healthy choices helps addicts not to feel isolated.
You can even be in charge of what your loved one eats if the relationship is close. Preparing healthy snacks and meals can steer your loved one away from unhealthy foods that may disrupt medication.
Focus on the Addict
As the liaison, you advocate for your loved one, not your loved one’s addiction. Do not get caught up in the illness and forget about the person.
Addiction is an illness that addicts have. It does not define who they are.
Don’t Give Up on Your Loved One
You are the central member of a strong support team. Addicts need a reliable support system to succeed. There will, however, be days when you want to walk away and give up.
This, too, shall pass, and this stage of recovery will not last forever. Take breaks when you need to, but stick it out until the end. Your loved one will be grateful you did, even if they have difficulty expressing it.
Take Care of Yourself
Every step of the way is a step in the right direction. It can be hard to take the verbal abuse, the kicking and screaming, the temper tantrums. However, you are more durable than they are right now.
When you need to, take a break for yourself. If you feel empty or depleted, you will not be helping your loved one. Replenish yourself, get some sleep, and set boundaries for yourself.
You had stepped up when no one else did. You deserve time away and breaks. It is OK to feel tired, nervous, or even angry. You may have days when your loved one refuses to work with you, causing undue hardship.
Go for a walk.
Take a shower.
Anything you need to do to regain a sense of peace is OK. You must take care of yourself to continue your role in your loved one’s life. Need more information? Then call us today. Our experts are here with tools ready to help guide you, and the recovering addict, to a life full of health and happiness.
This is a challenging, scary, and beautiful role to perform for someone you love. The journey ahead will not be an easy one for either of you.
However, reaching the ultimate goal of a healthy, drug-free life for an addict is worth the effort. In conclusion, you should be proud of yourself for helping your loved one. However, we understand that sometimes you will need a helping hand. We are here for you. Call us today, and we can help you help the recovering addict in your life.
Written by: Annalise Baare