Showing Support & Helping Your Loved One
You are not responsible for your loved one's recovery but your support is important.
Family and friends typically want to provide active support after their loved one leaves treatment. It is easy to do this when the newly recovering addict is doing what it takes to achieve sobriety: regular meeting attendance, working with a sponsor, developing a sober network of friends, and participating in their aftercare program.
What if your loved one begins to slack off on their program of recovery? Maybe they are associating with friends who use, they are attending fewer meetings, they have stopped taking their prescribed psychiatric medication, or they begin taking their sobriety for granted
Family and friends may hesitate to overly-involve themselves in their loved ones recovery program. They have been told they did not cause the persons addiction, nor can they cure or control it. However, providing ongoing support and encouragement to the addict is perfectly acceptable. This is one of the most important things friends and family can do whether their loved ones recovery process is right on track or they seem to be slacking and disconnected.
Here are a few ways you can provide support in your loved one’s recovery process:
Educate yourself about addiction and the recovery process. You will be better prepared to recognize if your loved one shifts from solid to shaky recovery.
Keep open the lines of communication and let your recovering loved one know they can talk to you if they are become feeling like they want to use or they become complacent in their recovery.
If you live with the recovering addict, provide a sober environment.
Assist your recovering loved one when it comes to their recovery-related needs but try not to cross the line into old enabling behavior, such as paying their bills or agreeing with things they are doing when you really do not. Self-sufficiency is a key to sobriety.
Remain interested in their recovery, especially their successes. Let them know how proud and happy you are that they have turned their life around. Give credit where credit is due and recognize their diligence and commitment.
Continue your own program of recovery with Alanon, Naranon, Alateen, along with family or individual counseling. If the recovering family member or friend quits going to 12-step meetings, or will not participate in family counseling, that does not mean you have to let up on your program. It is more important that you keep up on your own program for yourself, not for them.
Accept and understand the fact that they may opt to attend a 12-step meeting or recovery-related event instead of a family gathering. There are times when a meeting is crucial for a recovering addict: when they want to go and when they do not want to go. Never stand in the way or discourage their attendance at meetings or participation in anything that benefits their recovery.
If they do relapse, intervene and get them back to treatment. Get Help Now!