Drug addiction is a serious problem in the United States. With 70,000 people suffering from drug use every year, chances are strong that you might have a friend or family member that has become involved with drugs.
It is important to get your loved one to a rehabilitation facility, but it is even more critical to remember that you play an important role in their recovery. Family and friends are vital and many addicts find that without help from their friends they could relapse. What is the best way to be a strong ally during this vulnerable time? We’ve outlined six ways that you can make sure that you are doing your best to get your friend or family member back on the right track.
1- Keep Them Away From Temptation
The first few weeks right out of addiction rehab are generally the most difficult for recovering addicts. Anything can trigger a craving. It is very important to keep any temptations away from them, at least for the time being. When interacting with the addict make sure that you abstain from drugs or drinking around them. If they’re staying with you keep substances, including prescription medications, out of view. The fewer temptations they encounter the better off they will be.
2- Make Sure That They Know That You Are There To Listen
It is highly likely that your loved ones will want to talk about their addiction. They might be feeling a sense of guilt, shame or depression. Be gentle with them and listen to their concerns and fears. It doesn’t matter if you fully understand their emotions. The important thing is to show them that you can be a trusted confidant during their time of need. If they need to make apologies to anyone in their life, help them do so. Check in often with the former addict to make sure that they are comfortable. Make sure you ask if they are okay and reassure them that you are there to listen no matter what they need to talk about.
3- Show Them How Proud You Are Of Them
Conquering an addiction is a big deal! Many people succumb to their addictions and sadly pass away from them. Your loved one has accomplished something incredible and it is up to you to make sure that they know that. Tell them how proud you are of them and make sure that they know that you are ready to take this journey right by their side.
4- Cut Them Some Slack
Recovering addicts can be grouchy, irritable, irrationally angry or sullen. This is part of the recovery process. Cut your loved one a little slack. They are probably going through a tremendous battle with their willpower and can sometimes lash out at those that they love the most. Don’t allow them to be abusive, but take snippy comments with a grain of salt. It is probably the cravings talking.
5- Get Them Into A Good Online Or Physical Community
One of the most important ways that you can support someone who has just completed addiction rehab is to show them that they are not alone. There are plenty of physical and online communities that you and your loved one can join. These are spaces where the recovering addict can feel comfortable sharing their stories in a place where there is no shame or judgment. Simply reinforcing the fact that there is a larger community of recovering addicts can do wonders for your loved one.
6- Honor Important Milestones
Each clean day is a victory. Make sure that your loved one knows that you not only support but are aware of how much they’ve achieved by celebrating milestones. Considering having a party, taking them out somewhere nice or simply sending a card. A little recognition goes a long way to keeping their willpower strong.
By following these six simple steps you can be an excellent ally and support system to someone who is just leaving addiction rehab.