Is somebody you know struggling with addiction? Here are 3 powerful strategies to help a loved one in recovery.
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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
More and more people suffer from addiction in some way every year. Thankfully, many of these have started on the path to recovery. That often can’t be done alone, with loved ones being a vital component in the process. You could find that your loved one needs support with their journey.
You mightn’t know how to help a loved one in recovery, however. That’s driven by the various complications that addiction, as a disease, can bring. A drug rehab center could be an appropriate option for them, although it’s only part of the recovery process.
You’ll need to keep a few other things in mind to support your loved one.
How To Help A Loved One In Recovery
Here are 3 powerful strategies to help a loved one in their recovery journey.
#1 Remember That They’re Human
What many people fail to remember is that addiction is a disease. The key to knowing how to help a loved one in recovery is to keep this in mind. While it’s normal to feel frustrated with your loved one, you’ll need to remember that they suffer from a disease.
You’ll need to avoid treating them with shame or other negative emotions, regardless of what you may feel. These can drive them further into addiction. Remembering that they’re human and that they’re suffering can help you with this.
In the book ‘Loving Someone in Recovery: The Answers You Need When Your Partner is Recovering from Addiction‘, you receive practical tips on how to deal with somebody who is addicted.
#2 Don’t Use Love As A Weapon
You’ll have multiple difficulties if a loved one is an addict. That could prove stressful. It’s not rare for a loved one to hear “if you loved me, you’d quit” from members of their family. That isn’t an approach you should take, as it can be the opposite of supportive. It often ends up backfiring.
You’ll need to show them that you love them and that they’re supported. While you’ll still need to set boundaries, you shouldn’t take an antagonistic approach with them. They’re a loved one, after all, so you should treat them as such.
#3 Understand That It’s A Lifelong Process
It’s not uncommon for addiction to come with its setbacks. You could find that your loved one can fall back into it at different points. These won’t always occur in the early stages of their recovery. While most relapses occur within the first year, there will be outliers.
Instead, you could find that they’ll relapse years after they last previously used. You’ll need to be prepared for this. The early years of recovery will be the most important, although you may have to support your loved one long term.
Thankfully, this should take less and less effort over time. Their chances of relapse will drop, and they’ll likely need less help. Being there to help when they need it could be vital.
Few people know how to help a loved one in recovery. It can be a complicated and overwhelming process for everyone involved. You wouldn’t want your loved one to struggle alone, however. Keeping all of the above in mind will be quite effective during their time.
There’ll be ups and downs throughout this process. It could be difficult to get through this, although it should become increasingly easier over time.