Helping Your Loved One Through a Difficult Time: A Guide

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When a loved one admits they’ve got a problem with addiction, it can be a significant milestone in their journey to recovery. It is, however, just one step along a very long road. You might feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders, but there is still a battle that needs to be won. You’ve stood by them through thick and thin and now is not the time to desert them, leaving them to overcome their addiction alone. They first have to go through detox, which in itself is very draining, both mentally and physically. Further support and encouragement are also needed once this hurdle has been negotiated. With that in mind, here are some ways you can help your loved one throughout the process.

How to Support a Loved One During Withdrawal

A good place to start is by finding out as much as you can about addiction. Doing so helps you to appreciate that addiction is a problem that affects everybody even though it is the addict who must commit to treatment. It’s also important to understand that detox is not a cure. There are many other things which need to be worked on in order to overcome an addiction. For example, modifying their behaviour, learning how to cope with stress, and addressing the underlying reasons for the addiction. There are many different sources you can use, such as the internet or your local library.  

If your loved one is undergoing treatment at a center such as, you might not see very much of them until their withdrawal is over. If they are getting treatment as an outpatient, your support is going to be crucial. Here are some of the ways you can do it.

  • Provide a stable and positive environment: When they return home every day, you can help by providing an environment that’s positive, peaceful, and stable.  
  • Spend time with them and show that you care: Take some time off work and be there for them 24/7. Make sure they’re eating properly and keeping themselves hydrated.
  • Be kind and patient: There will be plenty of time for difficult conversations. For now, try to be patient and let them know they’re loved.

How to Help a Loved One After Rehab

When a loved one has gone through detox, it’ll be time for them to come home. This is when you need to be there to offer your support and encouragement. You can do this by providing a stable place to live and helping them make healthy choices. Giving them a purpose by doing meaningful daily activities with them is also going to help. Keep the lines of communication open, continue to be patient and non-judgmental. They may also need to attend regular meetings to encourage them to stay committed.

You might feel that you also need support through the process of recovery. Don’t be worried if this is the case as there are support groups, individual or family counselling you can take advantage of. It’s also important to be able to recognise the signs of relapse, as this can happen at any time.  

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