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7 Tips for Supporting Loved Ones Who Are Recovering from Addiction

by Micheal Danye
7 Tips for Supporting Loved Ones Who Are Recovering from Addiction

Recovery is a process that takes time and effort on the part of both the recovering individual as well as their loved ones. If you are wondering how to rebuild your life after addiction with your loved one who is an addict. Read on! These are some simple steps on how to support an alcoholic who progresses through recovery.

  1. Be patient and understanding:  Recovery is a difficult process, and it will get even more difficult when you least expect it. Patience during periods of relapse or rough patches in recovery is vital to helping your loved one maintain their sobriety.
  2. Take care of yourself: If you are the one that your loved one depends on for help throughout this journey, you need to take care of yourself in order for you to be able to help them. Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you stay level-headed and allow you to set realistic expectations about the process of recovery, which will help prevent frustration on your end; before wondering how to support an addict or how to deal with an addict, it’s important to take care of yourself.
  3. Take it day by day: alcohol recovery or recovery from another addiction is not an overnight process, so it would be a mistake to expect that your loved one will recover in full within the time frame you set for them. Be sure to take your loved one’s recovery day by day and not try and look too far into the future.
  4. Encourage participation in treatment: Your loved one is the one who is going to have to make an effort as it relates to recovery, but you can still encourage and motivate them. When they are reluctant about attending a group meeting or confronting a situation where their addiction may rear its head, take action for them. Doing this will reinforce the behavior that you want your loved one to be engaging in.
  5. Be a positive role model and avoid enabling: While your loved one is going to have some difficult times during recovery, you should try and remain as strong for them as possible. Try not to give in to their offer to use with them or cower when they are confrontational. If you are able to be a positive role model in your loved one’s life, they will be more likely to seek out their own path of positive behavior.
  6. Remember that addiction is a family disease: Addiction has the ability to tear families apart, and it can take time before relationships are able to heal from these divisions. Depending on the nature of your relationship with your loved one, you may have to put in a lot of work to rebuild the trust between the two of you. Remember that it is okay to forgive them for their mistakes and seek help from professionals if you feel that all hope is lost.
  7. Get involved with 12 step programs: It is never too late to get involved with 12 step programs, and these groups can be a vital resource in helping you to aid your loved one during their recovery. Not only will you connect with other members who are going through similar struggles as you, but the people who run these meetings can provide support for both yourself and your loved ones
  8. Get help from an addiction counselor: It is important to remember that, although your loved one may be seeking treatment on their own, you still need to get the support of an addiction counselor. An expert will provide insight into the unique problems that come along with supporting a person with an addiction and help ensure that you are providing the most supportive environment you possibly can.
  9. Keep an open mind about treatment options: Recovery from addiction is a unique process for each individual, so it would be impossible to recommend just one type of treatment that will work for everyone. Instead, working with your loved one to explore different types of treatment, including inpatient and outpatient programs and support groups and individual counseling, will help ensure that they can find the best treatment option for their specific needs.
  10. Offer support instead of criticism when possible: This means listening to your loved ones without judging them and being a supportive force in their lives. Being critical of your loved one will only cause friction between the two of you and potentially discourage them from seeking help during this difficult time.

Supporting a loved one recovering from addiction can be difficult. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to take care of your own needs first and foremost. It will take some time but just hang in there, not only for yourself but your loved one. They need you!

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