September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. If you have a friend or family member in recovery, it’s great to find ways to show your support.
Everyone’s recovery journey is different, but having support from loved ones is helpful for anyone in recovery. Here’s some ways you can show support:
- Accept them without judgment – Many recovering addicts feel judged by their families and friends, so you should avoid criticism and negativity as much as possible. Instead, express love for your loved one and praise their decision to maintain sobriety. Be accepting of the person and don’t place judgment.
- Learn more about recovery – Seek out reputable recovery resources to learn more about the individual’s specific issues and ways to promote recovery.
- Create a substance-free environment – One of the biggest predictors of long-term recovery is whether or not users live in drug-free environments. Loved ones can protect a recovering addict’s surroundings by removing any drug paraphernalia and alcohol while encouraging them to stay away from places that might tempt them to relapse.
- Actively listen – Not all recovering addicts want to talk but if they do, take the time to listen and pay attention to what they’re saying.
- Encourage healthy habits – Cooking food, exercising and playing games are all positive, substance-free activities that recovering addicts can do with their loved ones.
- Suggest joining a support group – In support groups, recovering addicts can interact with other recovering addicts while receiving encouragement. Support them by helping them find courage to go to a support group. You can suggest it and even volunteer to go along with them.
- Say you want to help – Sometimes a person in recovery will ask you directly for help but most of the time they may be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. But just hearing you tell them “I’m here for you and here to help,” is the best support someone can get. Make a clear, simple statement to the recovering addict that you want to help and you support them in this process.
- Don’t take things personally – The recovering addict may be making their recovery a top priority instead of you. Counseling sessions may take up their time instead of nights out with you. This is a necessary part of their process as they focus on getting better. In time, this strengthens any friendships or partnerships.
- Don’t rehash the past – You may have been hurt by the recovery addicts’ substance abuse but it’s time to move forward from past like they are trying to do. Not letting go of what happened while they were under the influence of substances prevents the necessary growth for everyone to recover. It may be helpful for you to get your own therapy to find peace and understanding.
- Don’t give up – The journey of recovery can be long and challenging. Be patient and don’t give up. Keep moving forward.
As always, HOPE is here.
Georgia HOPE specializes in providing quality mental health and recovery services for in the state of Georgia. To learn more, enroll, or refer someone to us, contact us below: