Drug Abuse Treatment and Helping a Recovering Addict
Fascinating blog about how to support a loved one with substance abuse disorder! -T Brown
Do you know someone who suffers from drug addiction? Helping someone recover can be a tough job. Sobriety is a lifelong commitment, and without support or drug abuse treatment, it’s that much easier for a person to relapse.
Whether you’re looking to help a loved one or you work in the addiction treatment industry, this post will show you how to support a recovering addict and encourage them to stay sober.
5 Ways to Help a Recovering Addict
Drug abuse in the United States has been increasing. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans age 12 or older — 9.4 percent of the population — had used an illicit drug in the past month. That number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002.
Unfortunately, the majority of people who have a drug addiction do not seek or receive professional treatment. Rehab is the essential first step to maintain long-term sobriety and begin the recovery process. If a person goes to receive professional treatment and begins taking actions to deal with their problems without the use of drugs, then they are in recovery.
Still, a recovering individual needs one person in their life to be completely honest with. They need the support of a friend or family member to stay sober. If you are that friend or family member, here are 5 ways you can encourage sobriety:
1. Show That You Have No Judgment Toward Them
Your friend needs to feel that you completely accept them. He or she will likely feel judged by everyone they know, so avoid any criticism or negativity as much as you can. Show your loved one how much you love them and praise them for his progress in sobriety.
2. Give Them a Substance-Free Environment
A recovering addict is more likely to be successful for the long term if he or she lives in a drug-free environment. Protect your loved one’s surroundings by making it a drug-free environment and encouraging them to stay away from places where temptation lurks.
3. Listen Actively and Attentively
Your loved one may need to vent or talk, and they really need someone to listen to them. Give your loved one your full attention and be available for them. Even if you don’t have the answers or the right words, affirming their victories and struggles is sometimes all they need.
4. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
In a non-judgmental way, encourage your loved one to take on healthy habits. Ask if they want to help you cook dinner. Go for walks or play games together.
These positive activities can help a recovering addict want to take better care of themselves.
5. Express Patience
Recovery is not an easy process. Your loved one may make mistakes and slip up here and there. Show that you believe in them and will still support them even when they take a step backward in their recovery.
Where to Get Support
When helping a recovering addict, remember to create a non-judgment, substance-free environment and always be there to listen to them. Even with these tips, however, you can’t be expected to know how to handle everything. If you have questions or need further support, contact the Midwest Recovery Center.
Reviewed and Assessed by
Taylor Brown, B.A.Com., MAADC II
Tim Coleman, M. of Ed.