How to Support an Addict in Recovery
Now that your loved one is receiving professional help, you may be wondering how you can be a support in recovery. Showing support and encouragement throughout the process is essential to motivate them to continue in this new lifestyle. The importance of a support system will be a key to lasting recovery. Here are some steps you can take today to show support and be constructive in the recovery process.
Become Educated on Addiction Recovery
Research online about your loved one’s addiction. Understanding the psychological nature of an addiction can prevent blame from being put on your loved one for their actions. Talk with the professionals treating your loved one about triggers and how you can prevent them. Also, learn about the experience and feelings of the addict. Understanding how they are feeling produces empathy and allows you to be a better support.
Set Fair Expectations
Addiction recovery services are not a cure for addiction but rather a means for progress. You have already come so far by immersing your loved one in a recovery program, but there is a long way to go, and the path is not linear. Mental health issues are very complex and it is important to be patient through the treatment process. Be prepared if a relapse occurs and know how you will respond to get them back on the road to recovery.
Create a Sobriety Supportive Home
Building a home structure from the ground up that encourages healthy habits, is an important way to show support in recovery. Join social groups that are clean from substances, surrounding yourself and your loved one with positive influences. Strengthening relationships with friends who are sober reinforces this constructive change and provides fewer opportunities for relapse. Finding new hobbies to pursue produces joy and growth for your loved one in the home so it becomes a safe space. Most importantly, do not keep any addictive substances in your home. Be mindful of the patient’s current progress, and the fact that their journey will be long, so the home should be a place where choosing recovery is easy.
As someone reading this article, you have probably been a huge support already for your loved one in their journey. Over time this can become draining on you–through financial, emotional, and time costs. Observe where your time is going and what your priorities are. Start being true to yourself and doing more of the things that you personally want to do. Schedule in time for laundry, shopping, the gym, or your favorite show. Emulating self love and building boundaries is one of the most important things you can do for your loved one. Consider joining a support group where your own needs can be acknowledged and met. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.
Find Stress Releases
Stress is a strong indicator of future relapses. Reducing stress in your loved one during their treatment, can help them continue to progress. Here are some activities you can introduce to reduce stress:
- Walks Outside
- An Artistic Outlet
- Breathing Exercises
- Playing Games
- Reflective Journaling
Encourage your patient to create their own list of activities like these that they would like to turn to as a release of stress.
Remember the Road Ahead
It can be difficult to find an effective treatment method, and your loved one might not immediately progress as quickly as you would hope. Relapses are very common and supporting someone through it all is a challenge. You are incredibly strong and should recognize the key role you are playing in your loved ones recovery. Remember that even you, as a supporter, deserve support in recovery! Call us today at The Phoenix Recovery Center for additional resources on how to support an addict in recovery.