How to be Supportive for Someone in Recovery: Substance Abuse
Recovering from Substance Abuse is not easy & requires a lot of Support & Consideration from your loved ones all the time to remain sober. If you have someone who is in recovery or just trying to be sober, here are 10 easy ways to be to be supportive of them:
Before you try to help a loved one who is still recovering from their addiction, make sure you are well aware of the facts, ways & techniques to help them stay sober. Depending upon the choice of the substance your loved one used, relapse signs may vary. So be prepared & know about the relapse signs, don’t be afraid to speak up.
Accept him without judgment
It’s a known fact that many recovering patients feel judged by their families, friends and other people who are close to him/her; so one should refrain from criticism and negative comments as much as possible. Instead express love and care to him/her and praise his/ her decision to maintain abstinence. And remember to express love when articulating concern.
Listen to them
As a friend be available to your loved one who is still recovering from addiction who might need someone to vent out their feelings. They might need an ear for their words and that should be yours. There is no need to “fix” things for them but just being there & listening to them would make them feel so much better. Listening to them includes picking up their call whenever they call, answering their messages and whenever in a discussion, let them speak. This is important because the one recovering might feel a lot of pressure & guilt, so they use words to express their pain. Remember that just listening will help the client to the road of recovery.
It’s not always that you have to sugarcoat things for them just because they are recovering. If you ever notice a concerning behavior change that makes you feel that there is a chance that they’ll relapse, be honest with them. Approach with your concern with honesty & be straightforward to make them understand the severity of the situation. Do not take an oath to be in denial and support them when their behavior is concerning you. Your being honest, will help them recover fast & better. Remember that your constructive and supportive comments and suggestions about things that aren’t going as well might help the client.
Make a substance-free environment
For some people, who are in recovery or have been sober for a while finds it difficult to be around substances because it triggers their urge as well as give them anxiety. The substance is like a tempting cake for a person who has diabetes. So avoid using or having substances around them and help them focus their energy on positive, healing thoughts instead of thinking about substances. Make sure you have no presence of drugs or alcohol when they are present at your home. If you have any prescribed drugs which are easily accessible at home, make sure they are safely disposed or locked away.
Engage in Healthy Habits
A sobriety or recovery lifestyle is crucial for your loved one’s recovery. Staying away from substance and leading a normal life takes a lot of courage & will power. You can help them by arranging some healthy habits together. Activities like hiking, going for a walk, working out together, cooking, enjoying a meal, listening music, a day at the spa, binge-watching movies or series, etc., could be a successful way to help your loved one. Put your energy into healthy activities, which are good for their mental health & yours too.
Recovery is not easy but it is a long and complicated process. Sweeping changes do not occur overnight. Relapse may happen, and your loved one may not always be completely focused or happy about living in sobriety. This is normal. Sticking by them through the ups & downs can help them to get through whatever may come as they create a new life in recovery.
Share what you are going through
If there is one thing that you need to understand while helping your loved one is that not every conversation has to revolve around them. Sometimes, you might feel exhausted, tired, angry, etc., and want to vent out so do it. Talk about the things you are facing, what you are going through with them in recovery. Give them a chance to be there for you just as you are there for them.
You cannot truly help someone, until you take care of yourself first. So before you decide to take care or support someone, be sure about your health & well-being.
Ask for Help
If things go out of hand, it’s important to ask for the right help and when needed, remember PsyCare is there to help you always. We have residential programs which are specifically designed for the ones in recovery. Reach us if you need any help.