Did you come here looking for ideas on how to support someone who is in addiction recovery? It’s wonderful that you are taking this approach, as family and friends play an important role in helping addicts recover from their addiction. This is a long road with many different stages, and your support can make all the difference.
While the decision to get and stay clean is up to the addict, it’s important for them to have a support circle they can count on. Below are some of the best ways you can step up to the plate and support someone in drug or alcohol recovery in Denver.
Promote a substance-free environment.
It’s incredibly important for addicts to have a safe environment with no drugs and alcohol. Even a few bottles of beer left out can be a trigger. In order to stay clean, most addicts need complete abstinence, especially in the beginning when they are most vulnerable to relapse. Fortunately, you can help by encouraging abstinence, planning activities wisely and introducing your loved one to sober friends.
Encourage your loved one to follow all treatment recommendations.
When your loved one completes outpatient rehab in Denver, they will be given an aftercare plan that offers recommendations for medications, individual/group therapy, family therapy, 12-step groups and more.
Motivate your loved one to stay on track with their aftercare plan. Make sure they’re attending their 12-step meetings and going to therapy. Sometimes it helps to drive the person to and from their meetings so that you know they’re getting there on time.
Work with your loved one to build good coping skills.
People in recovery lack strong coping skills. Perhaps they didn’t have them to begin with, or maybe the drugs and alcohol have made it difficult to react appropriately. Either way, your loved one could probably use some help developing better coping skills.
Here are some of the ways you can help an addict deal with stressful situations:
- Be there to talk, listen and process stressful situations
- Help solve practical problems related to stress
- Work on time-management and problem-solving skills
- Establish and maintain healthy boundaries
- Participate in family therapy
- Create routines and to-do lists
Offer to help with childcare, housekeeping, transportation, etc.
Whether your loved one chooses an inpatient or outpatient rehab in Denver, they’ll likely need help juggling their responsibilities. Offer to help with these obstacles to make treatment more attainable and feasible. As long as they are getting help and working their recovery, it’s OK to step in and offer assistance.
Of course, you don’t want to stress yourself out in the process, so don’t hesitate to enlist help from others. It takes a village after all! Eventually, your loved one will need to take on more responsibility, but for now, it’s helpful if they can give most of their attention to their recovery.
Reduce family friction, particularly in the household.
High levels of conflict in family relationships are hard on everyone. While it’s not possible to erase hard feelings, you can work toward reducing family friction. This may mean putting aside your differences for the time-being or attending family therapy as a unit.
Spending time together can also help strengthen family bonds. It’s possible that you need time to reconnect as a family. By developing good communication skills, being flexible and letting others know that you care, it’s possible to build a more positive home environment that your loved one can thrive in.
Know the signs of relapse.
Remember when we mentioned that relapse is a process? Relapse doesn’t just happen in a single moment. There are three different stages that a person goes through: emotional, mental and physical. By recognizing the signs of relapse, you can step in and offer help to your loved one.
- Emotional relapse. This is the stage when people experience negative emotions and start acting in self-destructive ways.
- Mental relapse. In this stage of relapse, people start thinking about using drugs and alcohol. They may glamorize substance use and think about relapsing.
- Physical relapse. The last stage is when the person actually returns to substance abuse. It doesn’t take long to get to physical relapse after the mental phase.
Learn more about addiction.
Even if you think you know a lot about addiction, you can always learn more. Addiction is a complex brain disease, so there are many layers to be aware of. For example, did you know that alcohol is the most commonly abused drug and the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States? Or that more than 10 percent of children in the U.S. live with a parent with alcohol problems?
If your loved one was diagnosed with diabetes or high cholesterol, you would take the time to learn more about the health problem and how to make it better. The same is true for addiction. By understanding this disease, its signs and symptoms, its recovery process, etc., you can develop more realistic expectations for drug and alcohol recovery in Denver.
Keep in contact with your loved one on a regular basis. This shows them that you care about their recovery and are there for them when they need it. It also allows you to be aware of any changes that may indicate relapse, as relapse is a process that involves behavior changes, attitude changes and changes in thoughts and feelings.
Of course, you don’t need to take everything on yourself. It’s important that you practice good self-care as well. Enlist help from others to check in with your loved one. The most important thing is that your loved one has someone to count on at all times. This way, if they’re feeling vulnerable, they have a trusted person to reach out to.
Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado is Here for You!
These are some of the best ways you can help someone in outpatient treatment in Denver. Just by being there is a huge inspiration to those in recovery. Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado is here to help those in need. Whether you need help for yourself or support for a loved one, we are here for you. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient programs.