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  • Writer's pictureHyphen Group

Helping a Loved One in Recovery

Understanding Addiction

About 20 million individuals and their families are affected annually by substance abuse or addiction. It can happen to anyone, in any family, in any location. It can be hard to know how to help these people effectively since addiction and recovery are often surrounded by shame and silence.

Learning about addiction, treatment, and recovery can equip you with the tools necessary to help your loved ones on their path to sobriety. This is all the more true if the person you wish to help is a family member. Family members have the potential to play a critical part in aiding a loved one with a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder get on the road to recovery.

When helping a loved one through recovery, it is important to understand the following four points:

  • Addiction is a brain disease, not a sign of moral weakness.

  • There are many ways to achieve long-term recovery. None of these paths are wrong.

  • Recovery is a personal journey. It is a lifelong process of learning, growing, and achieving one's goals for the future.

  • Taking proper medicine to help deal with the disease of addiction is not a way to replace one substance with another. Medical experts may prescribe certain medications to help a person win their fight against addiction, stay in treatment, and ultimately use the addictive substance less frequently.

Your Role

The support of peers and friends can help keep people in treatment and be committed to recovery. But help comes in many forms. Ask your loved ones how you can help them the most, and then follow their lead.

If the person in treatment or recovery gives their permission, you can:

  • Help them come up with a plan for treatment or recovery. This plan lists small, personal goals for the person's physical and mental health, work, family, and relationships with other people.

  • You can attend mutual support meetings with your loved one or independently meet others who understand what it is like to be addicted.

  • Seek Caledonia Care Group Inc and Caledonia Recovery Homes for treatment service and recovery support.

Help your Friend or Family Member Follow All Treatment Suggestions

Integrated treatment for people with more than one addiction is often a mix of different services to fit each person's needs. A complete treatment could include the following:

  • Family therapy

  • Pharmacological treatment

  • Vocational rehabilitation

  • Case management

  • Individual or group therapy

Your loved one might need help to do all of these things. Some people with co-occurring disorders may find it hard to follow treatment suggestions for a number of reasons, such as:

  • They may have doubts regarding the value of particular services.

  • They may feel demoralized

  • They may have trouble keeping track of appointments

  • They may minimize or deny one or both disorders

  • They may be unmotivated

You can support follow-through by

  • Making sure appointments with treatment providers are kept

  • Assisting your loved one with remembering to take all prescribed meds for one or both conditions

  • Working with the treatment team to be informed and resolve any medication-related difficulties

  • Listening to any concerns regarding pharmaceuticals — including their function, advantages, and adverse effects — and assisting in addressing those concerns.

Encourage Complete Abstinence from Alcohol and other Substances

People with mental health issues are very sensitive to how drugs and alcohol make them feel. Even small doses can worsen symptoms and result in relapse. And because of how addiction works, people with addiction struggles can not control how much they use, so "controlled" use is impossible for them.

You can support abstinence by:

  • Helping your loved one build a social network of sober, abstinence-supporting individuals

  • Assisting your loved one in avoiding exposure to the alcohol and drug use of others, including keeping away from social situations where substance use is prevalent and avoiding substance use within the family

  • Assist your loved one in locating and engaging in sober recreational activities.

  • Expressing the view that abstinence is important to the healing process

Help your Loved One Build Good Coping Skills

Stress is a part of life that you can not avoid. Instead of avoiding all stress, it is better to learn how to deal with it in a healthy fashion. By learning how to cope properly with the various stressful demands of life, people can have greater ability tackling other problems associated with long-lasting symptoms of mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, hallucinations, or a strong desire to use drugs.

You can help a friend or family member deal with stress and avoid stress induced relapses by:

  • Helping solve practical problems related to stress

  • Helping your loved one deal with painful symptoms or cravings by reminding them of strategies suggested by their recovery support groups.

  • Being there to listen to their frustrations without judgment

  • Encouraging them to participate in structured, meaningful activities, such as exercise or calming hobbies

Everyone has an innate longing to find meaning in their lives. Work, school, being a parent, helping out in the community, participating in a cause, or doing volunteer work can all provide a sense of purpose.

However, having more than one substance abuse disorder can make it extremely difficult to do these things. Your loved one may be more likely to stay sober and deal with their mental health disorder if they can find ways to develop these meaningful activities.

You can support a loved one's involvement in meaningful activities by:

  • Encouraging your loved one to get involved in work, school, or other important roles right now instead of waiting until other problems are "solved."

  • Asking your loved one, "What kinds of activities have meaning for you? What roles would you like to take on in your life? What skill would make you happy to learn?”

  • Letting your loved one know that their personal goals are meaningful and achievable, despite the co-occurring disorders and any previous setbacks

Keep Hope Alive

Above all, family members help their loved ones keep hope alive in very important ways. They do this by always believing in their potential for greater things and always expressing how valuable they are where they are at right now. Every act of love by friends and family should reflect this essential truth: the loved one in recovery is worth fighting for not because of what they have done or what they will do, but simply because of who they are. They have inherent value that is priceless. This kind of hope can be very healing. It can make a person work harder and be more determined to take charge of their life and enjoy its benefits.

Our program at Caledonia Recovery homes provides all the amenities and tools our clients need to experience a complete recovery and purpose-filled life. Contact Us at (844) 738-9848 or visit our contact form:

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