Those working on the journey to sobriety are not just lone wolves. Most individuals trying to get clean or sober are members of family networks. When someone in a family has a problem with addiction, it affects the whole family dynamic. That’s why it’s so important for family members of individuals working on the recovery process also seek out help.
Family’s Role in Recovery
When a loved one is going through recovery, it can be tempting to step back and wash one’s hands of responsibility in the process. However, it’s important for family members to be involved in the recovery process and to even step up and actively aid the loved one with the recovery process. Ways a family member can be involved with recovery include learning about how the recovery process works, ensuring the loved one has access to treatment and a rehabilitation program suitable for his or her needs, attending therapy sessions with the individual in recovery, and remaining free of judgment during the recovery process. Family member support provides a key factor to the success or failure of an individual going through the recovery process.
Treatment Isn’t a Magic Wand
Equally important is recognizing that just because your family member is in recovery doesn’t mean that all problems will magically disappear. Recovery is a journey, and it will take time, healing, and therapy for the problems existent prior to treatment to begin to have solutions. Just as cancer treatments take time to work and be effective, treating the disease of addiction takes time and a lot of work. It’s also important to remember that the potential for relapse is there, no matter how many days of treatment the individual undertakes.
How to Provide Appropriate Support
Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction involves a lifestyle change. Friends may need to change completely. Leisure activities and routines need to shift to those that support the loved one’s recovery process. Those around the individual struggling with addictions may find themselves needing to transition to sobriety themselves to provide a safe environment free from temptation for their loved one. The entire family must be committed to provide support for the family member in recovery.
Find Your Own Support System
Addictions take a toll on everyone in a family. It’s important to seek out support for yourself to help rebuild trust, face any health issues the recovering individual may now be fighting, and to find closure to some of the harmful things that happened during your loved one’s days of addiction. By seeking out help for yourself during your loved one’s own recovery process, you can learn how best to support him or her while healing and protecting yourself from further harm.
Learn How to Manage Stress
Addictions are often a result of an individual’s desire to self-medicate. Your loved one will be learning coping mechanisms to deal with stress, but it’s important to also learn how to deal with such factors yourself. Learning about how to reduce stress can help you better support your loved one while minimizing patterns and factors that can contribute to relapse.
Recognize Signs of Relapse
Speaking of relapse, it’s important to learn the signs of relapse and how best to aid your loved one in case of relapse. Some signs include the idealization of past drug or alcohol use, a false sense of belief that one can drink or use again without problem, reconnecting with pre-recovery friends, becoming defensive, and losing interest in activities and hobbies. Signs of relapse may differ in individuals depending on the type of addiction. Talk with your loved one’s support system about how you can spot signs of relapse individual to him or her.
You don’t have to struggle with your loved one’s recovery process alone. At Focused Recovery, we offer family support as well as services for those battling drug and alcohol addictions. Contact us today for help with your loved one’s journey to sobriety.