Drug addiction renders an addict feeling helpless, like there is nothing he or she can do. This same feeling of hopelessness is felt by loved ones who surround the addict, leaving them to wonder, “How do I help someone with a drug addiction?” While it might seem like there is nothing you can do, the reality is there are things you can do before, during and after rehab to help your loved one with addiction.
Support Before Rehab
If your loved one is not in any type of rehab program yet, the best step to take is to educate yourself on the particular addiction. This has several advantages. First, you get the proper information you need to help your friend or family member. You can’t assist in a recovery if you don’t know what it is or how it affects your loved one. A simple statement of, “You need help” won’t be effective. So educate yourself.
A second advantage of educating yourself about your loved one’s addiction is demonstrating to your loved one that you care. You’re showing them that you are taking time out of your life to become familiar with the addiction because you do love and care for them. Actions speak louder than words, and taking the initiative to learn about the addiction will prove to your friend or family member that you are serious about helping them with recovery.
Support During Rehab
When your loved one is in rehab, especially in-patient rehab, the best thing you can do for them is to stay in touch. Don’t let them think you’ve forgotten about them because they’ve gone away for help.
Rehab centers like Prominence Treatment Center offer programs that allow loved ones to be hands on with the recovery process. To this end, we host visiting periods and conduct group therapy sessions. Not all rehab centers offer this, but there are ways to stay in touch, especially if you don’t live near the rehab center.
Simple phone calls and emails are incredibility helpful. You’re reinforcing your love for the patient and demonstrating an interest in them. Your emails, as simple as you might think they are, give the recovering addict a break from their daily treatment. Just hearing about something else helps help’s them refresh and stay focused on treatment.
Support After Rehab
When your loved one leaves a rehab program, the recovery process is still not done. In fact, your job may be more crucial now than when the patient was in rehab.
Help your loved one stay sober by setting a good example. You might not have a deep addiction to drugs, but you shouldn’t participate in drug use in front of a recovering friend. Stay sober with them to promote this new lifestyle.
A common tactic to prevent a drug relapse is to find a new hobby. Join your friend in a sober hobby. Take an interest. This could be as simple as joining a hiking club, or more complex like taking French lessons. Whatever the activity may be, it’s extremely helpful for a friend to participate in it with the recovering addict.
Lastly, you can help the recovering addict stay sober by reducing stress in their life. Stress can be a major trigger for relapse. It’s easy to cope with stress with the help of a familiar activity you know will make you feel good. Drugs often serve as a fallback for recovering addicts. Don’t let this be the outcome of your loved one’s sobriety. Help them avoid such situations by diffusing stress in the addict’s life.
Drug addiction doesn’t have to render you feeling hopeless. There are plenty of things you can do to help a loved one get help, succeed in rehab and continue their sobriety. The most simple take away you can derive from this discussion is be active, and take interest in your loved ones’ drug addiction recovery. It will make a huge difference.