Helping your loved ones recover from substance abuse may be challenging, but understanding the challenges they face will enable you to help them better. Besides the physical and emotional difficulties, a substance addict also goes through mental issues. Scheduling regular checkups with a psychiatrist or their primary care provider will help you learn how you can help them as you monitor their progress. Talking to a financial advisor will help you personalize a plan for your loved one to manage their finances better.
Consider consulting a therapist so your loved one can be guided on how to handle their relationship issues. If they’re facing work or school difficulties, connect them with an academic advisor or career counselor to help bring them back on track. Where your loved one’s religious beliefs have been compromised, a spiritual leader can help guide them. Addicts struggle a lot when trying to recover, and your assistance can go a long way. Below are ways to help your loved one stay sober:
Help them seek professional help
Addiction is a complex medical problem that shouldn’t be underestimated. With the help of a well-trained professional, finding a recovery program or admitting your loved one into a substance abuse recovery center are the best ways to help them stay sober.
After completing rehab, you can encourage your loved one to join a peer support group where they can interact with others who are also trying to stay sober. This will help them feel understood and accepted. They’ll feel like they belong, motivating them to overcome their addiction.
Research about addiction and recovery
Addiction is complicated, but the recovery process is more complex and challenging. To be in a position to help your loved one stay sober, understand what addiction and recovery are all about, including health complications, potential triggers, psychological effects of addiction, enablement, and the recovery process. This will make it much easier for you to help your loved one and create relapse coping strategies.
Know the signs of relapse
The occurrence of relapse not only disrupts your loved one’s life but the lives of those around them. This is why you should familiarize yourself with the signs of relapse so you can adequately plan how to handle them should they appear. Relapse signs and symptoms are unique for every individual, so it’s up to you to research or consult your loved one’s doctor on what to expect. To prevent or minimize the risks of relapses, beware of the early warning signs and monitor your loved one to detect any possible changes.
Help your loved one develop strong coping skills
People turn to substance abuse mainly to avoid daily life stresses. Instead of helping your loved one avoid stress, assist them in creating strategies to manage it. Developing strong coping skills can help you deal with substance use cravings. To help your loved one cope with stress and the relapses that come with it, create time to talk, listen, and assist them in dealing with stressful situations. Share in their victories and struggles; it reassures them that they aren’t alone.
Create a sober living environment
A sober living environment should support a healthy body, mind, and lifestyle as significant contributors to a successful recovery. It should make your loved one feel they have a purpose; they shouldn’t get bored as this could trigger a relapse. The people around them should be sober and capable of offering hope, support, and friendship.
A sober living environment should be substance-free and a temptation-free surrounding where they aren’t triggered or feel pressured to relapse. Set house rules such as paying your bills and completing regular chores on time, maintaining abstinence, and controlling the guests visiting them. Encouraging regular substance testing will help keep them accountable for their choices and sobriety. Ensure they’re surrounded by a positive community that understands and accepts them.
Recovering from substance abuse is a long and complex process, and your loved one is bound to make mistakes along the way. In such cases, avoid negativity and criticism. Show them love and praise them for choosing to stay sober. Let them know they aren’t alone even when they make a mistake. This will make them strive to remain sober. Try not to harbor any unreasonable expectations to avoid disappointment, as this could make your loved one feel hopeless.
Helping a loved one stay sober isn’t easy, but with hope, belief, and the right strategies, you can help them overcome it. Use the above tips to enhance sobriety and seek professional guidance when necessary.
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