Approximately 50% of adults who once suffered from substance use disorders are now in remission. Recovery is possible, but it’s a long and difficult road. Watching your loved ones go through it can be challenging.
How can you be supportive? We’re here to talk about it. Read on to learn all about how to support a loved one when they’re on their recovery journey.
First: Educate Yourself
The first step in supporting your loved one as they’re trying to overcome their drug or drinking habits is to educate yourself. Many people are ignorant about substance use disorders, even if they’re well-intentioned.
Take this time to learn about what your loved one is going through.
By educating yourself, you’ll learn how to notice the signs that someone needs extra support. You’ll also learn about all of the local resources available nearby when it’s time for your loved one to actually seek treatment.
Speaking of seeking treatment, you should be encouraging without being forceful.
In most cases, you can not force someone to seek treatment for their substance use disorder. By trying, you may encourage your loved one to distance themself from you.
Gather information about what local treatment programs look like and calmly talk to your loved one about them. Find a local intensive outpatient program that you can look into together.
Let them know that treatment is ultimately their decision, but that you’re ready to help them when they’re ready to get started.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are critical when you’re helping someone through their recovery. Without strong boundaries, “support” turns into “enabling” quickly. Enabling someone can set back their recovery, even if you have the best intentions.
Be clear about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. You may set a boundary around only interacting with the person if they’re not under the influence, for example.
Make sure that you enforce your boundaries. Even if your loved one is trying to force you into a conversation when they’re under the influence, stick to your boundary so they know that you’re serious.
Remember that boundaries aren’t ultimatums or punishments. You’re not setting a boundary to hurt the other person. You’re setting it to protect yourself and your relationship with them.
Trade Triggers for Fun Healthy Activities
When your loved one is hanging out with you, there are likely going to be activities and places that are triggering for them, even if you once enjoyed them together.
Remember that early in recovery, even being around triggering substances can be overwhelming. Hide the alcohol in your home and avoid trips to favorite bears, even if they’re also favorite restaurants.
Instead, try starting a new healthy activity together. You can try a fitness activity, like rock climbing, take a new class, or even just find a hobby that you both enjoy.
Your goal is to help them find life as enjoyable as possible without the use of substances.
That’s How to Support Your Loved One in Recovery
Learning how to support your loved one on their sobriety journey is tough, but it’s worthwhile. With your support, your loved one will be able to grow and thrive beyond their addiction.
For more helpful articles about the top trending topics, visit the rest of the site.