Family support for drug addicts – How to support an addict in recovery
So someone in your life has decided to give up their addiction. You want to support them. How do you do it?
Following are some basic suggestions for supporting your addict in recovery. We invite you to share your experiences or ask questions about providing recovery support at the end. We try to answer every question with a personal and prompt response.
Family support for drug addicts in recovery
1. Be encouraging.
How to support a drug addict in recovery? The best support you can give is to simply be encouraging. Encourage your recovering addict to share their feelings with you and make the environment safe enough that the addict can trust you and be open and honest. Encourage your loved one coping with urges and cravings to hang in there. Encourage your family member with kind words and kind treatment.
2. Go to meetings.
If they are attending 12 step or self help meetings and ask you to go along, feel free to do so. It is nice to have someone you care about attend an open 12 step meeting with you to learn and meet fellows in recovery and learn about addiction recovery spirituality.
3. Keep drugs or alcohol out of reach.
Preventing relapse in substance abuse is key to continued sobriety. As much as possible, keep the addict’s drug of choice out of site if you have it in the home, and try to abstain from personally using when in contact.
4. Encourage routines.
Encourage your addict to eat properly, sleep properly, exercise, take meds exactly as prescribed, keep all recovery appointments and meeting commitments, live a healthy lifestyle keep their recovery the top priority in their lives. As the new behaviour becomes ingrained in the user, they will ease into mainstream living.
5. Have realistic expectations.
Recovery for the addict will take time. Patience is required. Think how long it took your addict to hit bottom and get into recovery. Behaviour changes will not happen overnight.
6. Forgive and forget.
Yelling, screaming and throwing up the past constantly will not help!
In sum, openly caring about your addict and their recovery will support someone new to addiction recovery. Simply being there, learning to understand the issues, encouraging new positive behaviour; these are things you can do.
Family support for drug addiction questions
Still have questions about how to support a loved one who is a drug addict? You are not alone! Please leave your questions, comments and share your experiences here. We will try our best to respond to your questions with a personal reply…within a day, or two!
Photo credit: Neil