Supporting Those in Recovery

With over 22 million people in recovery,  chances are high that just about every one of us has friends or loved ones who fall into this category.

Whether the addicted person has been clean and sober for years, months, or days, days  it is extremely important to remember that they are living with a chronic disease that will require lifelong support from their loved ones, and lifelong dedication from themselves .

Below are ideas of how you can help provide support,

especially during the crucial period of early recovery.


Ongoing Recovery Support

Remember, you can help your loved one by

something as simple as providing an ear to listen when they’re in need. Words of encouragement can go a long way in someone’s recovery. Remind them that you love them and are here any time of day. Staying positive will keep them focused on fighting their addiction.

your loved one's life may begin a different path.

Since addiction is  a chronic disease,  your loved ones' life will require lifelong changes.

These changes may put your loved one on a path that you did not expect. This may mean quitting a job that is too demanding and stressful, changing plans for school, and making new friends. It may not be easy for you to agree with these changes. For example, you may feel uneasy with the new friendships developed in support groups. Letting go of the goals and maybe even lifelong dreams your loved one aspired to before addiction snuck into your lives and what you thought was going to be, may be things of the past. Supporting a new lifestyle is quite often frightening. Just remember, your support during recovery will help your loved one experience and achieve goals and dreams that neither your loved one nor you thought possible since addiction entered your lives.  Bigger and better dreams are possible!



never give up on them

There will be good times and challenging times during the recovery process. Throughout every step, never, ever give up on your loved one. If they should fall, be there to pick them up. Let them know you believe in them and continue to encourage them to try again if they fall. That’s what family and friends are for.

Take care of yourself

Living with someone who is abusing drugs is exhausting and can be very traumatic. What people may not realize is that living with someone in early recovery can be equally exhausting in a different way.

While caring for and supporting a loved one with substance use disorder, it is very common for family members to put their own feelings and needs aside. Attending support groups, taking some time for yourself and other family members and going to individual or family counseling, can lead to a healthier, happier environment for all.



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