Addiction can happen to just about anyone. When it does, rehabilitation is the best way to start the path to recovery. However, this is just the beginning for them. It’s not possible to be instantly done with addiction, and rehab is not going to cure them completely. Instead, it’s a good idea to be as supportive as possible after they have finished the rehab. This way, as they continue recovering from their addiction, they’ll have the support they need to be successful. When a loved one is suffering from addiction and has completed rehab, use the following tips to provide support without hindering their progress.
Get Help Understanding Addiction
Those who have not suffered from addiction are likely going to have a difficult time really understanding it. However, to help someone who is recovering, it is important to know as much as possible about how addiction happens, what it takes to recover from an addiction, the issues the loved one will face during their recovery, and more.
A more complete understanding of addiction can help you support the loved one during their recovery because you’ll know what they’re going through, what they might go through, and what help they’re going to need through their recovery. Plus, a better understanding of what addiction is and what the loved one will be going through will make it easier to spot potential signs of a relapse early, which can help prevent the relapse from happening. It’s not always possible to prevent a relapse, but when it is, it can help them avoid taking a step back in their recovery.
Find Support for Yourself
Those who want to help a loved one recovering from addiction need to have their own support. It can be very difficult to support a loved one who is recovering, especially without anyone else to turn to for help. Support groups are available to help those who want to support a loved one during the recovery. A support group can offer a better understanding of what is happening, tips for how to handle anything that might come up, and more.
There are also other options available, such as therapy, individual or group counseling, and friendships with those who have been through this before. It is also a good idea to participate in calming activities during this time, as that can add another level of emotional support.
Learn How to Address Challenges
During every person’s recovery, there will be challenges. Your loved one might end up having trouble with finding a job or their finances, dealing with temporary or permanent health issues, and handling relationship issues that occur because of the addiction or the recovery. It is important to help them with all of these but avoid enabling them.
The better option is to offer support while guiding them, so they find their own way. For job or financial issues, for instance, helping them search through job listings or helping them speak with a financial advisor can provide them with support, without doing everything for them. For relationship issues or struggles learning to form new friendships, it may be a good idea to look into therapy or counseling.
Find Things to Do Together
One of the biggest challenges someone recovering from addiction will face is actually what they’ll do with their time. When they were suffering from addiction, their time was spent on the addiction. Now that they’re in recovery, they have more spare time and may not know what to do. This can cause stress, and it can cause them to turn back to the same addictive substances to fill their life.
Instead, it may be a good idea to start doing activities with them. New hobbies that can be done together, for instance, can encourage bonding, give them something to look forward to, and give them something to do so they don’t end up bored and thinking about the addiction again. Choose hobbies or activities that are easy to get into, that they will be interested in, and that they can continue doing for as long as they would like.
Know the Signs of a Relapse
Relapses can happen to anyone who is recovering from addiction, no matter how long they have been sober. It’s important to understand that this doesn’t mean they’ve failed, just that they’ve experienced a setback and need to start working on their recovery again. It is crucial to understand the signs of a relapse, as this can help you encourage them to get help faster. Some of the warning signs may include the following.
Reconnecting to Old Friends – If they’re reconnecting with the people they used to drink or use drugs with, it could be a sign they’re starting to fall back into old habits.
Changes in Behavior – If their behavior changes drastically, they start acting the way they did when they were addicted, or they stop participating in things that they did enjoy, it could be a sign of a relapse.
Spending Less Time with Support Groups – When someone relapses, they’ll spend less time talking to their sponsor if they have one, their therapist, or their support group.
Help Them Get Help After a Relapse
If it’s possible they’re going through a relapse, or they are showing signs that a relapse could occur, it’s important to talk to them about it. If they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, wait to speak with them. Then, talk to them carefully about the situation and recommend they get further help. If they haven’t turned back to the addictive substance yet, talking to a sponsor or therapist can help them avoid relapsing. If they have started to relapse, encouraging additional support group meetings, counseling, or short-term rehab can be helpful.
If your loved one has suffered from addiction and is going through rehab or has recently completed it, supporting them properly is the only way to provide them with help. Use the tips here to ensure you’re helping your loved one, not hindering their progress. With the right support, their journey to sobriety can be far easier.
1000 Islands Wellness & Treatment Centre is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today for a confidential discussion about how we can help you or your loved one.