Addiction is a complex disease that affects not only the individual struggling with it but also their loved ones. More than 28 million Americans suffer from alcohol use disorder, and 20.4 million were diagnosed with substance use disorder. But it’s important to keep in mind that recovery is possible, and family support is one of the most important aspects of successful addiction recovery.
Here are some tips for family members and friends supporting a loved one through this journey.
Addiction is a chronic disorder that affects the brain’s reward system, leading to compulsive drug or alcohol use despite the negative consequences. It is a condition that requires long-term management. It’s important to understand that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing. It is something that requires medical treatment and ongoing support.
As you are helping your loved one in the recovery process, try to learn as much as you can about addiction, its causes, and its effects. This knowledge can help you understand what your loved one is going through and how you can best support them.
Attend support groups like Al-Anon, designed to support family members and friends of individuals struggling with addiction. These groups can provide a safe and supportive environment for you to share your experiences and get advice from others in your shoes.
For those in recovery, feeling judged by family and friends is a common struggle that can impede their progress toward wellness. Therefore, it’s important to communicate your care and support.
As the journey toward recovery can be long and challenging, it’s possible that your loved one may become unmotivated at times and may not follow through with treatment completely. While it’s understandable to feel disappointed, it’s equally important to maintain your unwavering love and support for them until they are back on track.
Encourage your loved one to seek professional treatment for their addiction. Treatment may include detoxification, therapy, medication-assisted treatment, or a combination of these.
Additionally, motivate your loved one to exercise regularly or incorporate active self-care practices and routines into their daily life. You can support them by being their workout buddy, learning to cook nutritious meals together, or simply being there to listen and encourage them in the right direction.
Your home should be a safe place that encourages sobriety. It is best to avoid bringing alcoholic beverages home or inviting them to parties where alcohol or other addictive substances are served—especially if your loved one is in the early stages of recovery.
Celebrate your loved one’s milestones in recovery, whether it’s a day, a week, or a month of sobriety. These milestones are significant achievements and should be celebrated.
Family members and friends play a vital role in addiction recovery, and your support can make a significant difference in their recovery journey. Having supportive, understanding, and compassionate family members can help reduce the sense of isolation and shame that often accompany addiction. For further support, reach out to our compassionate team of drug and alcohol intervention professionals at Addiction Interventions; we would be glad to assist you. Get in touch with us today.