Few things are scarier than watching someone you love battle addiction. If this is an experience that you’ve recently had, then you know that there are also few things more heart-wrenching. Having a spouse, friend, or family member successfully complete drug or alcohol rehab is an incredible step towards a brighter, healthier, and more fulfilling future for everyone. However, if your loved one is returning home, it’s important to remember that recovery is a lifelong journey.
Completing rehab does not mean that people will never face temptation, cravings, or other substance-related challenges again. Rehab simply provides the opportunity for people to get clean, and to learn better coping strategies for dealing with these challenges. Thus, you’ll need to know how to properly support this individual post-treatment. The efforts that you make can be critical for ensuring that the living space is conducive to continued success in sobriety. If you’ve lived with someone while they’ve struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, you probably haven’t escaped from this experience unscathed. Substance use disorder can be traumatic for everyone in the home. That’s why many treatment programs offer counseling services and other forms of support for family members as well.
Moreover, just as a person’s addiction can be traumatizing for their loved ones, there are also many times when family members and friends maintain codependent relationships with substance users that actually contribute to their addictions. As such, when you seek counseling services, you won’t just be helping yourself. You’ll also be learning the best skills and strategies for avoiding behaviors that actually encourage relapse. You can also use the five tips below to ensure that your home is a safe, welcoming space, and one that makes it easy for your loved on to stay on track.
Recognize That Home Isn’t Always the Best Place for a Recovering Addict
People exiting rehab should never return home until they’re truly ready. For some individuals, entering into sober living homes is the best step after completing treatment. These environments allow for a gradual return of personal freedoms so that residents are never exposed to more stress or temptation than they can reasonably manage. Although you might be eager to have your loved one home, try to be understanding and supportive if their return is delayed. It’s important for those in recovery to make the right choices for themselves, even if this means extending their treatment times or choosing to spend several months in sober living facilities before returning to their former living environments. When home is the best choice for your loved one, you’ll need to make sure that it’s completely substance-free.
Avoid Being Judgmental
There are a lot of mistakes that people make while dealing with addiction. It’s vital to note, however, that some of the most detrimental emotions that a person can experience during recovery come as the result of self-judgment and judgment from others. Recognize that your loved one is already battling shame, guilt, and diminished self-esteem. Rather than making judgmental statements, do what you can to help build this individual back up.
Be Ready to Listen
One of the best ways for people to fight through temptation and cravings is by talking about their feelings. This helps diminish the intensity of their urges and gives them an opportunity to focus on other things. Always be ready to lend a listening ear when asked. Being accessible for quick, impromptu conversations could be more helpful than you imagine.
Suggest Joining a Support Group
Look for support groups that your family member can join upon returning home. These groups offer the same sense of camaraderie that recovering individuals grow accustomed to while in formal addiction treatment. They are safe, welcoming spaces that allow people to talk about how they feel, seek answers to urgent questions, and voice their fears. If a person’s time post-treatment is incredibly difficult and constantly fraught with temptation, you might even want to suggest enrolling in a relapse prevention program.
Keep in mind that there are also support groups for family members of recovering addicts. These groups are great places for learning new and potentially needs-specific support strategies. They also provide a space for family members of recovering addicts to voice their own fears and frustrations.
Try to Be Patient
By the time people seek help for their addictions, many of their friends and family members have already reached the end of their proverbial ropes. Patience and other virtues have been lost due to countless broken promises, lies and other forms of failure. Now that your loved one has turned over a new leaf, it’s important to be as patient and supportive as you can possibly be. Recovery is a challenging and ongoing effort.
The more patient that you are; the easier it will be for your loved one to stay on track. Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is hard on both those leaving treatment and those who love them. Providing the right environment at home can be essential for helping someone stay the course. If you or your loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, or if you want to know more about options in post-treatment support, we can help. Get in touch with us now by calling 772-266-5320.