No man is an island, and as social creatures, when dealing with recovery from an addiction, it often falls on those closest to us, our family, to help bring us back to some degree of normalcy and productivity. So now that you’ve gathered the mental reserves to help your loved one, let’s go through what you need to do to help.
Knowledge is power. To help your loved one through the steps to recovery you must first become knowledgeable on the nature of addiction and of recovery. What are some of the warning signs? What situations could possibly trigger a relapse? Or, how do I help handle some symptoms of withdrawal?
Not only is it important to be informed about the addiction, it’s also a good idea to look up what impact helping them will have on your life. Foreknowledge about possible stressful situations will give you time to mentally prepare should they ever arise.
Take Time for Yourself
Taking care of a recovering addict is stressful. Because of that, it’s important to never lose sight of your own well-being. Make sure that you are still setting aside time to wind down and recuperate. And much like how the recovering addict is relying on their social net for support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the people you trust if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed.
You Can Only Do So Much
The most important thing to remember when dealing with a recovering addict is that you cannot fight their battle for them, no matter how badly you want to. It is not within your means to control or cure their addiction. That being said, it is important to know what you can control.
Make sure that the both of you are still having fun. Since drugs are often used as a means of escape or relaxation, helping them find new ways to calm themselves and deal with daily stressors can reduce the likelihood of a relapse. Likewise, developing healthy habits such as exercising, keeping a journal, or daily meditation can help reduce stress in the life of a recovering addict.
Make sure you are not enabling or excusing the actions of the addict. Those who are made aware of the consequences of their actions and the negative impact they’ve had on those around them are more likely to want to change. Be genuine with them without being demeaning or patronizing.
As a Family
One of the most important weapons you have in your arsenal to help your loved one is the family itself. You can brainstorm, research, and act as a unit to ensure the best chances of a successful recovery. Look to each other for guidance and stability, set firm boundaries, making sure everyone understands that they’re there for the betterment of the entire family, and ensure that those boundaries are being adhered to.
The path to a full recovery is not an impossible one to take, and we exist to aid you on that journey. If you or someone you love is suffering from substance abuse contact us today to see how we can help.