Watching somebody that you love and care about go through an addiction problem is never an easy experience. However, it’s important to bear in mind that even after you have encouraged them to reach out for help and perhaps even arranged a rehabilitation period for them, along with medical and psychological treatment, being there for them and supporting them does not stop there. For many people who are recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the recovery process goes on for months or even years after they leave the rehabilitation center; for some, it is a lifelong process of working to avoid relapsing back into old habits and routines. Here are some effective things that you can do to support your loved one on their recovery journey.
#1. Trust Them
First and foremost, it’s important that you try and trust your loved one to look after themselves and stay sober if they have told you that they will. Although you cannot guarantee that this will happen, it’s vital that you give them space and trust that they need to carry on with a journey that is very personal to them. Of course, it can be easy to become overprotective when you are concerned about a loved one. However, this can often have the opposite effect, as they could feel that they have let you down, which can contribute to self-esteem problems. Check in with them regularly, but be sure that you are not overbearing or too protective of them – let them figure it out for themselves and step in if you feel it is necessary.
#2. Do Fun Things Together
One of the main pieces of advice given to recovering addicts is to find new, healthier habits and hobbies to replace the old routines of taking drugs or drinking alcohol. This is certainly something that you can help your loved one with, and trying out new hobbies and activities with them can also be a lot of fun for you. You can do simple yet fun things together, such as taking your dogs for a walk, going shopping for new outfits, re-decorating a room, taking art classes, cooking together, or even learning a new sport – all of this can help to reintegrate them back into a substance-free lifestyle, boost their self-esteem, and improve their relationship with you too.
#3. Actively Listen
Keep in mind that after coming out of a rehabilitation program, there may be a lot that your loved one will want to talk about, whether it’s their hopes and dreams for the future, or sharing their experiences of heroin withdrawal with you. As a supportive friend or relative, it’s important that you are there to actively listen to them. Be aware that they may not always expect you to do something to help, but rather just need a listening and understanding ear. Communicate openly with your loved one and ask them if there is anything that you can do to make their journey easier for them.
With your help, your loved one can enjoy a successful recovery journey to a fulfilling, life of sobriety.