10 Ways You Can Help Your Recovering Loved One
October 6, 2016 - Addiction - 0 Comments
Addiction recovery is incredibly difficult to maintain, and many alcohol treatment centers consider the road to health to be a long one. To protect, empower and help your loved one complete their recovery, you’ll need to be a positive influence. In many ways, your understanding, knowledge, behavior and forethought can directly benefit them. Unfortunately, the reality of addiction is harsh. To assist your loved one through years of maintenance, self-care, goal setting, and substance avoidance, take the following to heart:
Create a Substance-Free Environment
Above all, exclude any harmful substances from the living area. A large predictor of long-term recovery, many alcohol rehab centers believe, is whether or not an individual is in an alcohol-free environment. As a loved one, you should attempt to positively impact the environment surrounding your loved one. Remove alcohol from their surroundings, and remove any drug paraphernalia, too. To encourage your loved one against relapse, you need to eliminate visual triggers.
Coax Them to Join a Support Group
Even if they’ve visited alcohol rehab centers, your loved one should join AA, or a similar alcoholic support group, to maintain steady recovery. Recovering addicts often achieve higher rates of success when interacting with other recovering addicts. Social praise is incredibly important, as is constant encouragement to become healthier. While you, yourself, can provide this, you should encourage further social interaction.
Contribute with Day-to-Day Tasks
Experts believe stress directly triggers alcoholism relapses—even in the most dedicated recovering addicts. On a day-to-day basis, help your loved one with various tasks. Your contribution may help them incredibly, providing much-needed closeness while cutting abuse temptations. While your loved one’s cravings may exist for some time, a stress-reduced environment can greatly aid their journey. That said, don’t become a solo operator when stressful situations arise. It’s important to assist your loved one, not take responsibility for them.
Intervene When Necessary
It’s important to confront relapse potential before full-blown alcoholism rears up again. Take action, and face worrying signs before impending relapse occurs. By stopping a situation before it begins, you can effectively stop a difficult relapse process.
If a relapse does occur, it doesn’t necessarily signal the failure of recovery. Make sure your loved one is safe, sober and capable of concentrating. Then, face the slip-up together. Focus on external factors that might’ve triggered a relapse, and target the problem from an outside perspective.
Don’t Mention Alcoholism Unless It’s Necessary
On the other side of the coin, it’s important to avoid needless discussion about alcoholism. While it is important to confront possible relapses directly, discussing alcoholism “on the fly” may contribute to thoughts of drinking. Willpower is a key power to an alcoholic’s ability to overcome addiction. For this reason, recovering alcoholics constantly face social triggers throughout recovery. Willpower often places recovering individuals into social engagements—possibly, even around alcohol. If this occurs, consider your words before discussing temptation, alcoholism or drinking in general.
Don’t Become an Enabler
It’s similarly important to avoid being an enabler. Often, tough love is needed when assisting a loved one through recovery. While financial support is, in fact, beneficial, it can quickly become paying your loved one’s bills for them. Don’t support them if they’re intent upon avoiding reality. As stated above, it’s important to assist your loved one, not pull them away from daily troubles. Push them to pull their own weight, and help them become self-sufficient.
Remember: A reformed alcoholic still suffers from alcoholism. Alcoholism, itself, doesn’t necessarily “go away” when rehabilitation is complete. Recovery is a long process, and it’s certainly one to be taken seriously. Show your loved one you care, and constantly strive to help them. All too often, recovery is a lonely endeavor. With your help, it doesn’t have to be.
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