How to Help a Loved One On the Road to Sobriety

Wednesday, May 31, 2023


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One of the hardest, but sadly, common things that individuals go through is seeing someone they love dearly get an addiction. Sadly, addictions are far too common, especially when it comes to substance abuse. While everyone knows it's wrong, your brain chemistry just doesn’t work the same once you get an addiction. So, what can even be done when it comes to all of this? Well, it’s not going to be up to you to make someone end an addiction; they need to first realize and truly want sobriety. But that’s where you can help. So, here’s how you can help your loved one out.
Be Patient

They say patience is a virtue, and when it comes to something as challenging as this, it honestly holds a lot of truth. While helping your loved one on their journey to sobriety, it’s important that you are patient as well. Few paths to recovery are smooth and without setbacks, including relapses. Encourage them to spend time with you in substance-free ways, such as hiking, cooking together, taking a class, or seeing a movie. This can help them refocus their energy on healthy activities that promote connection and enjoyment in sobriety.

Remove triggers from their environment by making sure that your home is free of alcohol or drug paraphernalia. This can also make it easier for them to focus on avoiding the old behaviors that could jeopardize their newfound sobriety. Will they fall off the wagon or have temptation? Honestly, there may be a chance. This is why you need to be patience; the road to being addiction-free can and probably will have a lot of obstacles.
Don’t Neglect Your Needs

You can’t forget about yourself and showing some self-love to yourself either. Oftentimes, loved ones of those with addictions sacrifice their own needs in the process. This can lead to co-dependency, enabling, and crutch behaviors that hinder recovery. Recovering from drug or alcohol abuse is challenging enough. Don’t add to your loved one’s frustration by comparing them to their non-addicted peers or focusing on their misguided attempts to cope with stressors. Sometimes, for your own sanity, you may need to put them in some methadone clinics somewhere. It’s fine if push comes to shove.
Don’t Be a Doormat

When supporting a loved one on the road to sobriety, it’s important to remember that they must ultimately be responsible for their own recovery. Assuming too much responsibility can rob them of the experience and joy that recovery offers. Be wary of using judgmental language and avoid blaming them for their drug use. Instead, emphasize that you’re concerned for their well-being and want them to be healthy.

Also, you should especially be ready to set boundaries and follow through on consequences when they’re tempted to break them. Encourage them to make healthy choices in all aspects of their life, including exercise, self-care, and spirituality. Then, they’ll be less likely to relapse. In the end, it’s tough, but you need to focus on yourself, as this is going to be the best way to help out your loved one.

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