Being a friend or family member of an individual suffering from a substance abuse disorder can be disheartening and overwhelming. As your loved one takes actionable steps to confront their drug or alcohol addiction you may be left wondering what your place should be in the recovery process. Making the choice to take this journey alongside your loved one and being the support system they need through this process cannot be understated. The family’s role in addiction recovery requires patience and awareness of not only your loved one but also yourself. Consider the following recommendations to ensure that you are supporting the recovering individual in a healthy and constructive manner.
How Your Family Can Support the Addiction Recovery Process
Families can be a difficult dynamic to navigate in addiction recovery. It is common for families to experience hardship and broken relationships as a result of substance addiction. In many instances it is a friend or family member that will recognize the signs of a substance abuse disorder and intervene; encouraging the individual to seek outside professional help. A family’s supportive role in the addiction recovery process can have a significant impact on the likelihood of a successful recovery for individuals going through substance abuse treatment. In fact, researchers have studied and found a strong correlation between healthy family involvement and support in the recovery process and the success of recovery for individuals suffering from substance use disorder.
Understand that Recovery is a Lifelong Process
While we all hope and wish for our loved ones to get better from their addiction as quickly as possible the reality is that recovery from substance use disorder can be a long and tedious process and often a lifelong commitment and lifestyle change for the individual on the road to recovery. Rather than set your sight on a timeframe for recovery, look towards small victories for indications of improvement in your family member.
Understand that recovery will take time and effort and will likely include many bumps along the way. Holding realistic expectations will allow you to fully support your loved one and help guide them throughout the challenges they may face in their recovery process.
Look Beyond the Addiction
When addiction is present within a family it can often take front and center in treatment options and priorities, however, it is just as important to look deeper and beyond just the addiction disorder. Using tools such as family therapy can help you all confront underlying issues and concerns that exist in your relationships with one another and the individual suffering from substance use disorder.
By taking action as a family you will not only support the recovering individual but also address the issues that you are facing as a family leading up to and during the addiction treatment and recovery.
Create Healthy Routines and Habits as a Family
Do not underestimate the effects of stress and environmental factors on the recovery of an individual dealing with substance abuse. Work as a family to create an encouraging and welcoming home environment for your loved one. Take into consideration your loved one’s triggers and temptations to ensure you are presenting a safe haven free from substances that could contribute to a relapse.
Begin healthy routines and habits you can all take part in to support your recovering family member. Incorporate exercise and other activities that can help your loved one focus on their overall health. Simple routines such as a family walk, relaxation session, or cooking together can help you form bonds while helping your loved one heal.
Prioritize Your Own Mental Health
It is easy to focus all of your energy and effort on your loved one’s recovery and forget about your own needs. In order to be a healthy support system, you must first take care of your own personal mental health. Make sure you have an outlet for stress and your own support system to journey through this difficult process. Consider joining a family support group such as Al-Anon that can surround you with other individuals facing similar circumstances and challenges. Maintain your own healthy routine; make time for exercise and to enjoy your own hobbies and interests.
Addiction Treatment and Rehab in Fresno California
If you or a loved one are currently experiencing substance use disorder or addiction get the help you need by contacting us at First Steps Recovery for addiction treatment and rehabilitation. Phone number: 844-489-0836