Addiction recovery is the process of being transformed from a substance user to becoming the person that your loved one once was. This can be an emotional time for the addict and their families. It is also a fearful time for your loved one because they are not sure if this change will be the one hoped for.
Admitting to the problem and seeking help is the first major step toward an end to addiction. It will not be an easy road to travel for the user nor the family. Family members will contemplate what their role will be in this process. Recovery from addiction is a lifestyle change that will continue for the life span of your loved one.
During addiction recovery your loved one will go through periods when they want to give up on it, but there are things that you can do to help them make the most of, and get the most out of their treatment.
- The first tip for helping your loved one is to show them that you care. Encourage them to express themselves and share their feelings.
- You must put your well being first. Addicts are good at lying, cheating and making you feel responsible for everything. Do not fall for this antic, they are masters at manipulating people. You have to stand back and take a deep breath sometimes. Take care of yourself by staying healthy, and then you can help your loved one.
- Do not be an enabler. Throughout your loved one’s user history you have been there giving them what they wanted. Saying no is alright when you know it is for their own success.
- Do not be quick to shame and blame. The one thing a recovering addict does not need is to be blamed for everything that has gone wrong in lives of family. Do not try to make them feel ashamed of anything that they have done.
- Help your loved one reduce stress, and become a good support system. Let them know that no matter what you are there and family members share your sentiment. They need someone to lean on sometimes, and knowing that they are not alone helps the recovery.
- Finally, to help your loved one through recovery, know the red flags that could lead to a relapse. This does not mean constantly looking over their shoulder, but being aware of what could trigger a turn around back into the substance user routine. Have new activities away from the old environment, and friends who were users also.
The most important tip is for the entire family to build a strong support team during and after the recovery therapy.