How to Help a Recovering Addict

How to Help a Recovering Addict

Your loved one has been in a treatment program and is ready to return to the normal world.

What can you do to help his or her recovery? There are several things that may seem minuscule to you but are important in maintaining a successful recovery from drug addiction.

helping your love one How to Help a Recovering Addict

* The first few months, it is important not to run to the recovering addict with every little problem.

If you handled them during the throes of the addiction, continue to do so as the recovering addict exercises his tools and familiarizes himself with his support group so he can avoid a relapse.  As he becomes stronger emotionally outside of treatment, he can again take over his spot in the family decision making.

* Just say no to yourself. Your loved one has been in treatment for drugs or alcohol.  The last thing he or she needs is to come home to beer in the fridge or liquor in the cupboard.  He does not need to come across your little stash of marijuana or your prescription medication.  Remove temptation from the house.  Yes, perhaps you can handle it without becoming addicted but it is a little like the pot calling the kettle black if you keep the enemy right there in sight.

* Encourage the recovering addict. Let him or her know that you still care, that you believe in him, that even if he has to find a new job or she has to return to school, you are there for him and you have gone into the battle with him and are maintaining a watchful eye just as he needs to do.

* Be knowledgeable. There are support groups for loved ones as well.  Understand that the addiction affected your life as well and keep your own tools handy to prevent a relapse.  Do not start harping on the recovering addict about problems and stressors.  Maintain control a little longer while he or she finds himself back in the normal mode of life and thinking.  The addiction did not happen overnight, it did not destroy your lives overnight and it is only fair to recognize that the original and genuine person you love is not bouncing back overnight.

Being realistic, caring and encouraging as well as keeping control a bit longer; those are the best ways to help a recovering addict. Start with removing temptation, stay at it with support as he adjusts and in the end, open communication with the person you always knew will be available once more.

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