Addiction is a chronic disease that causes mental, physical and spiritual damage that must be worked on by the recovering person to heal. If you have a loved one in recovery, supporting their new lifestyle may take some adjustment. You’re not alone; there are nearly 23 million Americans in recovery, all of them with family and friends that have probably had to adjust to a certain extent.
No matter how much time clean and sober, your loved one will need to stay with their recovery program. So how can you help the person you love stay on track? Here are three great ways to help support them:
- Learn about substance abuse disorders. There are a lot of books and articles online to help you learn more. Stray from older books that don’t contain information on modern theories. Not sure where to start? Contact your loved ones’ treatment center or check SAMHSA resources for more information. There is a lot to be learned about the mental, physical and behavioral aspects of addiction and recovery. Considering joining support groups for family members and learning more about how addiction has affected you, too, as a family member.
- Support treatment options. Very few people who get and stay clean were able to do it on their own, and it isn’t fair to expect your loved one to, either. They didn’t become addicted overnight, and recovery won’t be that simple, either. Help your loved one look at treatment options, offer to make phone calls and check for insurance coverage.
- Offer a safe, sober environment for your loved one in recovery. Don’t let anyone store alcohol or drugs in your home, even if they are legal drugs. Addiction and recovery are rife with temptation, and ideally, your loved one shouldn’t have to deal with the lure of having substances readily available. If you host events, keep a table of non-alcoholic options available (or don’t have alcohol available at all) and keep the non-alcoholic drinks plentiful and easy to find.
Supporting your loved one will be a lot about the little things in life – offering a hug when they need it or being available to talk if they need you. But there will be other life issues that crop up as well that you’ll need to learn to cope with. Your loved one in recovery will soon be making their own, big decisions and you’ll need to accept whatever their new life trajectory leads them. Many people in recovery may switch careers and dreams once they feel stable, and this may make family members feel a little lost.
If you have a loved one in recovery, you’re in recovery as well, even if you don’t know it at first. Your life will change for the better. Take the time to learn more about letting go and reclaiming your own time. There is a big, vast, beautiful world to explore in recovery and if you’re feeling a little lost or unneeded, you may want to join a support group or seek out therapy to help you heal your issues, too.
Are you interested in learning more about how treatment can help your loved one start a new life in recovery? Our addiction specialists are waiting. Please give them a call at US (949) 279-1376 or MX (612) 153-5726. All calls are 100% confidential.