Addiction can be a lonely disease that an afflicted person will carry for the rest of their life. Family plays a huge role in helping someone with a substance abuse problem get treatment and stay sober following treatment. When your loved one is in addiction recovery, there are a number of things you can do to help them stay sober. These tips are forever helpful, but especially for the first few months and years of recovery.
Help them follow their treatment methods
Just as addiction is different in each case, treatment is prescribed the same. Depending on the circumstances, your loved one may spend upwards of 60 to 90 days in a full-time inpatient treatment program or they may go to detox for a week and then enter an outpatient treatment program that only requires 4 to 6 hours of treatment per week. However, a reminder or offering a ride to their treatment program can go a long way. Just going to a meeting requires effort on an addict’s part and sometimes a little push goes a long way.
Often there are medications involved with treatment. Consider getting yourself and your loved one pillboxes and taking your medications together. If you are not on medication, this might be a great time to start taking a multivitamin. You can keep each other accountable for taking your medication every day!
It may seem obvious, but don’t offer any alcoholic drinks to someone in recovery. Keep non-alcoholic drinks around, such as cranberry juice, seltzer water, and limes. Make sure they know how to easily find these non-alcoholic drink options, especially during functions when alcohol is present. You might even offer to make a delicious non-alcoholic drink for the both of you.
Provide social support
Family gatherings are high-stress situations for many people, even if they don’t have a drinking problem. You can help someone in recovery by acting as a buffer. If you start to see any conflict or judgment coming from others, step in and change the subject or pull the person away by saying you need them in the other room. Let’s say your son just went through detox last month and Uncle Jimmy starts asking why he wasn’t at grandma’s birthday party. All that is needed is a simple, “Honey, I need you in the kitchen to help me peel the potatoes.”
The buddy system is very powerful in addiction recovery. If your sister is a recovering alcoholic, you may offer to join them the next time they go out with friends. Better yet, find things that you can do together that do not involve the old routines when your loved one used to drink. Look into a trip to a farm or simply go on a walk through the mall.
Encourage participation in support groups
AA meetings and other support groups do just that, they offer support. These meetings create a safe space where addicts can talk openly about their struggles with sobriety and support one another in their journey to recovery.
If your loved one attends open AA or NA meetings, you can offer to join them at the meeting. Joining them, especially when they are first starting to attend meetings, might help them feel more comfortable and shows an extra level of support. Who knows, you might find the meetings helpful for yourself as well.
Also, be open to joining a therapy session. If the therapist thinks it could help, then offering to go is a great gesture.
Educate yourself on addiction recovery & relapse
Reading this article is a great start, but there is a lot to know about addiction, recovery, and relapse. Educate yourself on the detox process for the substance(s) that they are addicted to, take an interest in the type of treatment program they are going into and what it entails, and know what the signs of relapse area. If you know what to look for and how to intervene, then you could help save your loved one’s life.
Call A Treatment Facility
If your loved one is suffering from a substance abuse disorder, contact a treatment center to get advise on how to get them into treatment. The best way to go about getting an addict admitted to a program is case by case and differs depending on a number of factors, but admissions specialists are professionals at walking you through this process.
If you think you or your loved one has a drug or alcohol addiction and you want to get them help, call Holistix Treatment Centers today at (877) 872-7730.