How to Help a Loved One Stay Sober
When someone you love has admitted they need help for their addiction and have entered treatment, you should admire them for their courage and commitment. The journey toward improved health and well-being is never easy, and it isn’t something someone can do alone.
Especially in early sobriety, recovering addicts need a robust support system of people who understand what they are going through and can help them stay motivated to pursue their goals of a drug-free lifestyle. As a friend or family member with an addicted loved one, you have an integral role to play in their healing process.
What to Understand About Addiction Recovery
For addicts who seek professional help, rehab is only the first part of their recovery process. Going through treatment will give your loved one the tools to get started, but what they do with those tools will help determine their overall success.
Recovering addicts should be able to achieve the following goals:
- Find healthy ways to manage stress without resorting to drug or alcohol use
- Begin setting boundaries and learning how to separate their problems from other people’s
- Feel comfortable confiding honestly in others
- Make self-care a priority
Encouraging Your Loved One’s Sobriety
You may not know how best to encourage your loved one to continue pursuing their recovery goals after completing their addiction treatment. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
1. Be accepting, not judgmental. Many recovering addicts feel the people around them are judging them for things they did and said in the past. You should steer clear of any negativity or criticism in favor of expressing love and pride for your friend or family member’s decision to remain sober.
2. Remove addiction triggers. If you want to help someone you care about avoid a relapse, you should protect their sobriety by maintaining a drug-free environment and encouraging them to stay away from people, places and things that might remind them of the days of their active addiction.
3. Find new things to do together. Your loved one will need to stay active and avoid boredom in addiction recovery. It’s crucial for them to find a way to fill the hours they used to spend drinking or using drugs. Make a list of sober activities you can do, whether it’s cooking, working out, trying new board games, visiting museums or anything else that sounds fun and encourages healthy habits.
4. Suggest joining a support group. In support groups, recovering addicts can meet other people who are going through similar struggles. They can help put each other’s problems into perspective and make challenging times feel like less of a burden.
5. Practice patience. Recovery has many ups and downs. Recovering addicts often make mistakes, and when they trip up, having you there to pick them up and dust them off can be invaluable.
Discover the Heart of Recovery
Your compassion, kindness and support have never been more essential than they are during your loved one’s addiction recovery. Sobriety is a lifelong process that requires working toward goals one day at a time. When you step up to shoulder part of the burden, you can encourage someone close to you to continue putting in the effort.
If you see a loved one living with addiction and need to encourage them to enter treatment, Seabrook is here for you. At our five accredited addiction campuses, people can experience our complete continuum of care to help them address their substance misuse issues and realize a healthier, happier way of life. Contact us on behalf of someone you care about today.