How to Help a Loved One Recover From Substance Use Disorder

Most times, our loved one’s battle addictions either from the abuse of hard drugs or alcohol, leading to a strain on the addict’s personal relationships, which worsens with time depending on how close you’re with the addict.

Family and friends spend a considerable amount of time persuading the addict to attend rehab while hoping it will be a magic cure-all for the problem. They believe upon the addict’s return from rehab, all the relationship issues will be gone. While rehab is absolutely a necessary step towards recovery, it can’t solve every problem, and might even create new challenges and obstacles because of a lifestyle change.

The truth is that recovery doesn’t happen immediately; it’s a life-long process. One specific challenge that people face in this type of situation is not knowing how to help. This guide will help you learn how to assist and support your loved one on their recovery journey from substance use disorder.

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● Surround Them With Things They Love

You can offer support by ensuring they’re surrounded by things they love. If your loved one likes a particular TV program, make sure there’s steady light, and the cable subscription is paid. Consider getting fuel-efficient generators if you’re having power challenges. There are big-name brand generators that are quiet enough to use in populated neighborhoods. You may also get an inverter generator that can convert the direct current to the alternating current for clean energy. Providing these things they enjoy will keep them distracted and ease their mind from the addiction problem.

Consider initiating fun activities that both of you enjoy doing before the problem, such as playing music, hiking, and cooking.  These fun activities can help promote loving connections and boost confidence. Moreover, expending energy in healthy and meaningful activities may help ease cravings.

● Remove Every Item That May Trigger Relapse

When your loved one is on their way to recovery, encourage them by removing every item that might trigger a relapse. Such things could be drug paraphernalia such as clothing, music, posters, movies that focuses on substance abuse, and even drugs and alcohol to minimize cravings. Also, remember to reduce conflict and stress on the addict to the barest minimum to allow them to ease into their everyday life without turning back again to alcohol or drugs.

● Encourage Them to Participate in Support Groups

Participating in support groups is one way to gain encouragement and motivation, thereby reducing the chances of a relapse. There are church-based support groups and several others, like narcotics anonymous and alcoholic anonymous. The family or friends of the addict can help them by ensuring they regularly attend the meeting and interact with other people with the same challenges. By reminding them about the appointment or offering them a ride, you’re helping them stay active in the recovery community.

● Support Not Control

While providing support for your loved ones, it’s imperative to remember that the outcome isn’t in your hands. Don’t feel responsible for your loved one’s addiction because the responsibility for sobriety belongs to the addict. Resist the urge to be overbearing with your support. Since recovery involves growths and setbacks, letting go of the recovery control will help them develop the resilience necessary for coping with life’s challenges.

● Don’t Overexert Yourself

Don’t forget yourself while taking care of your loved one struggling with substance use. Make sure you prioritize your health and happiness. Suffering from physical, emotional, or mental breakdown will add to your loved one’s worry and may trigger a relapse. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. You can reduce stress by practicing yoga or meditating.

● Never Enable Their Addiction

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Relapses often occur in persons with severe substance abuse disorder. When this happens, your loved one may experience several problems, including financial issues. Families and friends might want to take care of those issues, which often lead to enabling actions. Be clear about how you plan to help in the recovery process but emphasize your unwillingness to encourage their addictions. For instance, you can tell your loved ones that you’ll help them get a job or continue their education, but you won’t give them money to indulge in alcohol or drugs.

It’s normal for your loved one to relapse many times before discovering an effective treatment method for their recovery. Continue to stay supportive of your loved one throughout the journey as it’s difficult to achieve stability in life, especially for sober people. Don’t lose hope; millions of people formerly struggling with substance use disorder are now living happy, productive, and fulfilling lives.