Be optimistic, encourage healthy habits, and don’t smother.
Be on the lookout for changes in moods or behavior.
Attend a support group. Get individual or family therapy.
A critical part of recovery is remembering that it is a lifelong process both for people with the addiction and for their families. By understanding the challenges that often come with efforts to heal, families can be prepared to support their loved ones and themselves throughout this journey.
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Helping someone you care about recover from a substance abuse disorder can seem like a daunting task, but there are certain things you can do to help your loved ones feel supported in their mission to live sober:
Here are some challenges people with an addiction commonly face during their recovery and ways for their family members to help them through:
It’s important to be a positive force in your loved ones' lives as they continue to work through negative emotions and impulses.
If your loved ones begin showing one or more of the following signs, it’s possible they are at risk of relapsing:
If you think that your loved ones may relapse, it’s important to gently bring up your concern. Telling them how much you care about them is a good way to start. Then you can let them know that you’ve noticed they’re acting differently and that you’re worried.
During your conversation you may want to suggest that your loved ones contact their therapist, counselor, or sponsor. They may also benefit from attending a support group session, where they can be around others who are working hard at staying sober.
It’s common for family members (especially husbands, wives, and parents) to put their own needs aside to focus on the immediate needs of a loved one in recovery. You might wonder how you can think about yourself when someone else is going through so much. It’s important to remember: You, too, have gone through so much, and your wellness and happiness matter.
Taking care of your emotional and physical needs is an essential part of the collective family healing process. Here are some ways for you to surround yourself with support as you help your loved ones on their journey toward recovery: