Dr. Cali Estes - The Addictions Academy ®

Addiction: 5 Tips for Supporting People in Recovery


Addiction: 5 Tips for Supporting People in Recovery

Recovery can be a challenging and frightening time in someone’s life. If someone in your life is taking the steps to recovery, then you want to be there for them as much as you can, right? There are some ways that you can support the people you care about who are in recovery. Here are five tips for helping your loved ones in recovery.

1. Learn More About Addiction and Recovery

It’s so easy to feel hurt by the actions of your loved one when they are in active addiction. But the key to accepting and empathizing with them is to learn more about the disease of addiction and how recovery works. When you educate yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle any surprises along the way.

Learning about addiction and recovery will empower you to discuss the subject with your loved one. It will also show them how much you are willing to have compassion and patience for them during this challenging time.

2. Offer Help and Listen

One of the best things you can do to support someone in recovery, especially early in recovery, is to offer them help or simply listen. Everyone’s addiction will be different from the rest, so your loved one may not want any help from you at first, or they may just need someone to hear them out. 

When you open yourself up to being available to be whatever they need at the moment, you’re showing them that you will be there for them no matter what. You can let them know that you wish to help them in any way you can but be sure you’re not enabling them to participate in any old behaviors. 

Please discuss what you’re willing or not to do for them initially and be sure to watch for signs of a potential relapse. If you notice any, gently tell them they may need extra support.

3. Try Not To Bring Up Past Mistakes

Often people with an addiction will do or say things that can hurt you. However, as good as it may feel for you to discuss it with them, it will be counterproductive for them now. Try not to bring up any past actions that would cause them to feel guilt or shame, as these are super triggers for relapse, especially early on. 

If they want to apologize or make amends for anything, just be appreciative but let them know you can discuss it later. Right now, you only want them to focus on their healing process.

Later down the road, after a long period of successful recovery, you may have the conversation if you still wish to.

4. Encourage Support Groups for Them and Yourself

It’s wise to have a support system in place in recovery. An excellent way to support your loved one during this time is to encourage them to join some support groups. You can offer to drive them or go with them to groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. 

It is also good to have a coach or therapist available for them to talk to, especially when triggers arise. 

You can also find support groups to help you. Al-Anon or Nar-Anon are great places where you can get educational and emotional assistance from others who are living with similar experiences.

5. Accept That Recovery Is Not a Quick Fix

While it is exciting when our loved ones decide to get help, expecting recovery to happen overnight can be detrimental to everyone. Recovery is a gradual process that can take time for them to heal. 

In the beginning, the hard part is to stop and then stay clean, but after that, a person usually needs to re-learn how to live, which can take time. Try to be patient and kind with your loved one, and don’t get frustrated if you feel that the process is slow-moving.

Become a Part of the Recovery Movement

Now that you’ve seen just how easy it is to support someone living in recovery, what if you want to be able to help more than just your loved one? You can do just that and more with an International Master Addiction Coach certification. Our course includes ten certifications so that you can help people with any addiction learn to overcome it. You’ll also become equipped to help the whole family heal. Reach out today to start your new career as an International Master Addiction Coach and start saving lives now.

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