July 3, 2019

How to Provide Support to a Loved One In Recovery

Ways You Can Provide Support to a Loved One In Recovery

Chances are it has been a long, hard road to get your loved one into treatment for addiction and to get them on the road to recovery. Now that they have completed treatment, what’s next? Recovering from addiction can be a lifelong struggle to avoid triggers and manage their sobriety, and it is almost impossible to do alone. If you are looking for ways to provide support to a loved one in recovery, we rounded up a few of the most important things you can do.

Listen as a Way to Support a Loved One in Recovery

One of the best ways you can provide support a loved one in recovery is to simply listen to them. They need someone they can vent to so that they are feeling less alone, so make sure you are actively listening to your loved one.

Be Their Shoulder

Listening to your loved one includes being their shoulder in tough times and in good times. If they are having a particularly rough day, let them vent to you so that they can get all their emotions out. Let them talk through it and provide as much advice as you can, if it pertains.

In addition, it is important to listen to their victories as well. If they are celebrating a certain period of time sober, share in that with them. If they were able to overcome a tough situation and come to the other side still sober, celebrate that with them.

Learn Their Triggers

Ask questions about their triggers and listen to their responses. That way, if you notice them experiencing this trigger in front of you, or if they are approaching a possibly triggering situation, you will be able to be there for them without them needing to say anything. You will also be able to celebrate the victory of overcoming a trigger with them more excitedly.

Promote Healthy Activities

When your loved one was in the throes of their addiction, they spent a lot of time on it. Finding ways to obtain drugs or alcohol, consuming them and being high took up a lot of the day. Now that they are sober, they have to find new, healthy things to do with their time. Whatever you can do to help create a substance-free environment will be a great support to their recovery. Taking up a new hobby can be intimidating for anyone to do alone, so be there with them to help keep them on track. In addition, you can be their “sober support” at parties or other events where alcohol may be present. Suggest new things to do with them, such as:

  • Going on hikes
  • Cooking or baking new recipes
  • Exercising together
  • Trying new restaurants
  • Looking for a job
  • Volunteering
  • Learning a new language
  • Joining a book club or other social group

Be Patient

Recovery is often a difficult lifelong process. With this in mind, another way you can provide support to a loved one in recovery is to just be patient. Unfortunately, there is a pretty good chance that your loved one might make some mistakes along the way. It is important for your loved one to know that you will still be there for them even if they relapse. Relapse is part of the recovery process, after all; they will have the chance to find new treatment options that could stick a little better, or learn how to cope with triggers that they didn’t even realize were triggers until they happened. The more they learn, the more they can grow.

Instead of judging them or taking it personally, just be patient and remind yourself that your loved one is suffering from a difficult disease. Show them that you will be there for them through the good and bad times, and help them through it as best as you can.

Watch for the Signs of Relapse

With such high chances of a relapse happening in the first year, one of the most life-saving ways you can provide support to a loved one in recovery is to watch out for the signs of an impending relapse. Some of these signs can include:

  • Feeling bored or lonely
  • No longer going to recovery meetings and feeling overly confident in sobriety
  • Isolating from you and other sober support systems
  • Working too much or too little
  • Abandoning daily routine or activities
  • Often irritable or angry
  • Making new friends who are not in recovery
  • Beginning to use socially-acceptable substances, such as alcohol or marijuana
  • Obsessing over something else, such as exercise or gambling

About Pinelands Recovery Center

It is very important to find ways to provide support to a loved one in recovery. The best ways are to actively listen, be there to celebrate their victories, be a shoulder for them to lean on, accompany them in healthy activities and watch out for possible signs of an impending relapse. We can help you and your loved one set healthy boundaries before they leave treatment, as well as execute a comprehensive aftercare plan so nothing is left up in the air.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and
healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com

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About Jaclyn Uloth

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