Did you know that more than 19.5 million people in the United States, over age 12, deal with substance abuse?
Substance abuse often involves prescription medications and alcohol. When abuse goes unmanaged, it can lead to terrible outcomes.
If you know someone that is trying to recover from an addiction, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Continue reading to discover some of the best tips for supporting a recovering addict in your life!
1. Put Yourself First
One of the most important things to remember when caring for a recovering addict is to put yourself first.
Many people find themselves in the position of making sacrifices and neglecting self-care. This is because they want to help others and forget about their needs.
Unfortunately, supporting an addict is a difficult thing to do. It will require you to be mentally and physically healthy.
If you are unable to deal with the stress and anxiety of helping an addict, it could result in anxiety and depression. Self-care is an important detail when helping others because if you can’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
Be sure to set healthy boundaries that will keep you in the right state of mind. This will also help the one you love with addiction because they will feel more love and support.
2. Do Your Research
Unless you have dealt with addiction on a personal level, it is difficult to understand how the recovery process works.
If you are trying to care for an addict in your home, it can be beneficial to do research. Look up information about the specific addiction that they are struggling with. Doing so will give you details about how long the recovery process typically lasts and common withdrawal symptoms.
While researching, you will also be able to read about helpful strategies when caring for people with these substance issues. All of this information can help give you coping tools and resources that will positively impact their recovery.
Some people write down questions that they have as a friend or family members. If possible, you can ask a doctor or therapist about these problems at a substance abuse meeting. You can also find a lot of online resources and chat rooms that assist those helping addicts.
3. Don’t Dehumanize Anyone
Someone recovering from an addiction will make mistakes and have difficulty regulating emotions.
When caring for these people, you must not dehumanize them. Although they may act out and have setbacks, you should always treat them like any other human. If your loved one is having distorted thoughts and saying hurtful things, try to remember that they are trying their best.
You should always have high expectations for the addict in your life but be understand if they don’t always make the right choice. If their choices, however, impact your health and safety, limiting contact might be necessary.
If recovery isn’t going well with personal resources, www.serenitygrove.com can provide more information and help. Addiction can easily change personalities and make someone act out of character.
4. Love Unconditionally
Many addicts struggle with recovery around people that they love because of the love that they are receiving.
If you want to help someone that you care deeply about, try to avoid saying things like “if you loved me, you’d quit.” This comment often backfires and makes the person with substance abuse issues feel unstable. Loving someone without any conditions or expectations is important when addicts are in a vulnerable place.
When an addict feels supported and loved, they are more likely to fight harder for that person. Although this isn’t the case in all issues, love can be a powerful tool when it isn’t being used as a weapon or ultimatum.
The important thing to remember when loving an addict is that you shouldn’t overlook setbacks or harmful behaviors toward you. You will likely need to set boundaries that show you are there to care for and support them, but they must treat you with respect.
5. Understand That This Is a Lifelong Process
Addiction recovery doesn’t happen overnight, or even within a year or two.
Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process that will impact someone dramatically. Most people show improvements over a short period away from their addiction. However, it is not uncommon for them to struggle to be in certain environments.
Even years after they have been sober, they may have weaknesses when surrounded by certain people, places, or substances. The temptation will always be a factor in their lives, no matter how much control they think that they have.
Most addicts relapse within the first year, however, even past that point there is still a risk. Try to remember that this is a lifelong process that will get a little easier over time but not fully dissolve. Some addicts have to change environments to be in a better position and avoid temptation.
Be patient during addiction recovery. Try to understand that there will be ups and downs over the years.
Support the Recovering Addict in Your Life
Many people know a recovering addict, but don’t understand how to build a positive relationship with them.
By utilizing this guide, you can learn the best ways to support someone you love while they are in recovery with patience and understanding. Although recovery is a long road to go down, it is worth it to get back to people who have been struggling.
Don’t be afraid to get advice from professionals and learn more tools, as they can be used with any type of relationship.
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about addiction recovery and how to care for the ones you love!