If you find yourself in a position where someone you care about is in need of recovery from their addiction, you are not alone. The sad truth is that 46% of Americans know somebody struggling with some type of substance abuse disorder. But Recovery is possible. And while it can feel helpless to love someone with an addiction, there are steps you can take to help.
Addiction recovery is a long and daunting process for many struggling addicts, but the good news is that there are ways you can help. Let’s talk about how to help a loved one through recovery.
How To Help A Loved One Start Their Journey
It’s critical to understand how important and how delicate of a process it is to convince somebody they need help. Deep down, they may know it well. However, addiction is a very powerful motivator, no matter what the substance is.
If they are struggling, taking the first step toward recovery will be the hardest part. If you come at them and yell or belittle them, it will not help the situation at all.
Instead, appeal to what they will understand, and try your best to do this in a supportive manner. Interventions are a great tool but only if they are done correctly.
If you think an intervention is appropriate for your circumstances, it’s important to get other loved ones involved and make sure that everybody is on the same page before starting. Everybody needs to come together with the same objectives, motives, and expectations if you want the best chance of success.
Appeal to your loved one’s sense of self, their goals, their motivations, what they’ve lost, and talk about how their substance use has affected all of you. Talk about family or relationship issues and be careful about what you are saying.
You want everything to be honest even if it sounds hurtful, but you shouldn’t be hurtful just for the sake of being hurtful. Everybody should read over their prepared statements a couple of times and make sure that what they are saying is honest and constructive, not malicious.
How To Help A Loved One Through Recovery
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. However, you may have planted the seed that grew into a beautiful flower. What we mean is that interventions don’t always present themselves as effective right away but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless.
If you feel that you genuinely showed that you care and that you offered as much support as possible, then you did what you could do. If it didn’t work first try, don’t try to force them. They may come around soon enough.
When they do, which may be right away or a week later, your job isn’t quite done yet. Here’s what you can do to help them.
Find Them Treatment
The best thing you can do for them is to find the right treatment plan for their needs, even before hosting the intervention. Make sure they are getting into the right program as well.
A holistic treatment program is highly beneficial for those suffering from addiction. Because most substance use disorders stem from trauma, your loved one may be struggling with mental health issues along with their addiction, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Schizo-affective disorder
For this reason, dual-diagnosis treatment is essential in treating addiction and finding lasting recovery. This will not only help them address their addiction but also the root cause. You can always provide your loved one with options and help guide them toward making the right decision for their own needs.
There are also outpatient treatment options, detox services, support groups, and other treatment methods that will be right for different people at different times.
Offer Ongoing Support
This is arguably the most important thing on the list. Becoming abstinent from a substance is a very difficult task but maintaining abstinence is even harder, no matter how good of treatment they receive.
In fact, the relapse rate after treatment is between 40% and 60%, but don’t let that scare you. That does not mean they are “back to square one”. Treatment still has plenty of lasting benefits that make it well worth it.
They are facing an entire lifetime of potential mistakes and they need support. If you feel that you can offer that support, please do, but don’t overwhelm yourself.
People in recovery need all the support they can get, so that doesn’t mean it all has to fall on you. Making sure they attend their meetings and/or therapy sessions is a great way to support them, and it also spreads their eggs.
One of the most common causes of relapse is fighting with a loved one. If you’re their only support system and there is a bump in your relationship, that is a recipe for disaster without other systems in place.
You should also let them know that you’re there to help if they need it, whether that means talking, removing them from a harmful situation, or anything else. Ask them about their relapse triggers as time goes on, and develop a code word if they get uncomfortable in a situation. These small commitments will go a much longer way for them than you think.
Now that you know how to help a loved one through recovery, there’s no time like the present to get started. The longer they wait, the more difficult it is, and the more dangerous it will be for them and those around them. Do your best to get them the help they need and contact us for addiction help in Colorado.