Addiction is a disease, one that an estimated 21 million Americans currently suffer from. If you are one of the countless people that know somebody who is struggling with addiction, it is important to recognize the vital role you can play in aiding their recovery. However, supporting someone through addiction recovery can be a fraught experience.
Recovering addicts are in an intensely vulnerable position, and building a previously damaged relationship with them can be difficult for both parties.
However, once they have left the addiction recovery center, you should not shy away from reaching out and helping them begin their new life. With that in mind, here are five essential tips for supporting a loved one in addiction recovery.
- Honesty is the Foundation of Recovery
As anyone who has any experience with drug addiction recovery will know, dishonesty is the hallmark of the addict. Many addicts feel shame about their behavior and will go to extreme lengths to cover up their habit. However, when they are in recovery, it is time to rebuild that trust and ensure total honesty.
As many useful addiction recovery resources will say, honesty is essential to repair and restore your relationship with an addict. Let them know they can trust you and encourage total openness.
- Set Yourself Realistic Expectations
Having a loved one who is struggling with addiction can be immensely challenging. Relapses do happen, and people who are in recovery can lash out at those they love the most. That is why it is important to set realistic expectations and accept that progress takes time.
Be patient with your loved one and understand that they are going through an incredibly challenging time in their life. This will help you provide the support that they need.
- Adapt Your Lifestyle to Support Them
When it comes to addiction and recovery, one of the most effective and simple things you can do is make the minor lifestyle adjustments needed to ease their recovery. This means, as a starting point, removing all addictive substances from your home immediately.
It means encouraging sober activities and staying away from places where an addict might be tempted to relapse. These changes are minor for you but will make the world of difference for them.
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- Recognize the Signs of Relapse
A very large number of recovering addicts will relapse. This is just a statistical fact. Therefore, it is important that you recognize the telltale signs of relapse so that you can immediately address the situation before it threatens to completely derail an addict’s recovery.
For example, with meth addiction recovery, common signs of relapse are acting secretive, frequently discussing meth, and glamorizing or minimizing their previous meth use. Know the signs so that you can act fast.
- Don’t Forget About Yourself
Finally, it is important that, when you are supporting a recovering addict, you do not forget about your own wellbeing. Supporting an addict can take an incredible emotional toll. Make sure to take the time to look after yourself and make sure your needs are being met.
Never hesitate to reach out and speak to your own support network or to a professional if you find yourself struggling. Help is there for those who need it, including yourself.
Health Advice During Addiction Recovery
During addiction recovery, remaining in good health is crucial. For this, we have the resources you could use. In our Health section, you will find a wide range of articles that offer advice and guidance on a healthy recovery, no matter the addiction.