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9 strategies for families helping a loved one in recovery
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9 Strategies for Families helping a Loved one in Recovery

Addiction can put an incredible strain on the relationship that an addict shares with his/her family & friends. It gets tricky because there is always a chance of relapsing & it is scary. Recovery can be a life-long process, which requires action & daily understanding by the one who is recovering & his/her family & friends. It can later the user’s goals, habits, lifestyle, behavior, and expectations in a way that can be an adjustment for all to define their role & relationship with the user in the process of recovery.

We know that taking care of someone who is in the process of recovering is a challenge but it can be done with ease if you give yourself some time to be aware of the process of recovery. You have to be sure that you are in a position to support them without feeling over-whelmed or unsure of what you are doing. You cannot wake up the next day and say I can’t do this because the user tends to lean upon you for support and you become their safe space. So always make your mind firm before deciding to help someone with their recovery.

Here are 9 strategies that you & your family members can do to help your loved one recover at great speed & the right way.  

•          Help your loved one follow all treatment recommendations:

Addiction is not an easy thing to recover from as it takes away all your good days & turns them into blur & dizzy days. So if you have someone who is going through addiction recovery, make sure that they follow all their follow-ups & treatments in the right order & manner. A comprehensive treatment plan may include pharmalogical treatment, individual or group therapy, vocational rehabilitation, family therapy & case management.

•          Help your loved one by encouraging total abstinence from alcohol and other drugs:

When you are trying to help someone you love to stay sober, you have to make sure that you encourage total abstinence from alcohol and other drugs. It is important to set boundaries & make them believe in the fact that abstinence is the key to recovery. Try to stay or make them stay away from situations or social gatherings, which will expose them to any substance that might trigger their urge to take a sip.

•          Help your loved one build good coping skills:

It is pretty difficult for a user who is recovery to get a hang of the life he/she has missed out on. But with your support, love & care he/she can find the lost courage to start back their life in a normal way. You can try and include good coping skills in the daily routine like meditation, working out, eating right, journaling, etc., for them as well as for you too. Good coping skills can be helpful in dealing with issues like anxiety, stress, depression, etc. Be there for them, talk & listen to them. Help them solve a practical related issue that ends up boosting their confidence to live a normal life.

•          Help your loved one by reducing family friction and providing social support:

It is important for you to keep a healthy family vibe at home when you have someone who is recovering from addiction. This is recommended because sometimes when an addict comes face to face with the friction or any sort of issues that takes place at home, he/she might relapse. Make sure you have healthy communication at home and care for each other. Spending quality time with family where he/she can feel that they are safe is the kind of environment they need to recover.

•          Help your loved one by encouraging them to participate in peer support groups:

Encourage them to participate in the peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).  Asking them to move into a sober living home is also a good option for the ones who are into recovery. The sober houses provide a safe, supportive place to live while recovering.

•          Help your loved one by creating a sober peer network:

If you think that just by simply attending a support group would help them to recover and get back to life normally then you are wrong. Staying in a meeting for a few hours and spending time with a group of people are two different things. So urge them to connect or develop bonds with a peer group who are sober and will help them to recover.  You can make them take a class, join social work, volunteer or attend events of the community to keep them engaged and busy throughout the entire day.

•          Help your loved one by being aware of the signs of relapse to prevent:

Relapse is a common part of the recovery process from addiction. While relapse is frustrating & discouraging, it servers as an opportunity to learn from previous mistakes. As a caretaker of a person who is recovering from addiction, you have to keep the trigger signs in check before they happen to relapse. You have to make them understand the triggers as well so that they have the ability to fight them and not drink. The trigger for relapsing can be a negative emotional state, physical discomfort, positive emotional states, testing personal control, etc.

•          Help your loved one by showing support in their structured activities:

Everyone has a need for meaning and a sense or propose in their lives even if that person is recovering from addiction. If you are taking care of them then try to involve them in some structured activities like music therapy, nature walks, art classes, cooking, yoga, meditation, adventure, etc. The spirit of cooperation, trust & fun that often surrounds them often helps them with stress & keeps the triggers away.  So support them, enjoy the activities with them and help them recover.

•          Help your loved one by keeping the hope of recovery alive:

Being an addict, an individual loses the hope of getting better & living a normal life like before, they always fear that they’ll relapse. But being close to the addict, you have to make sure that the ray of hope inside them is always alive which will prevent them from relapsing or blaming one for the miss happenings. So try to be positive around them and keep their hopes alive.

PsyCare offers individualized treatment program on outpatient or in-patient basis depending upon the need of the patient. It also has separate male & female units for Addiction Recovery Treatment. If you have someone who needs help with recovering from addiction with alcohol or any substance abuse, reach out us for safe & sound recovery.  

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