For those who are dealing with addiction issues, life can often feel like a series of disappointments that lead to a cycle of depression and frustration. However, in many of these situations, family members can play a key role in helping their loved one overcome the grip of addiction. From offering support each day to making sure their loved one follows all treatment recommendations, it can be a long process. But by choosing to stay positive and being determined to regain the life they once had, addicts and their families can come out on top. If you are an individual who has a family member fighting an addiction, here are some suggestions as to how you can play a significant role in their recovery.
Following Treatment Recommendations
As stated earlier, making sure an addict follows all recommended treatments is extremely important to staying on the road to recovery. In most cases with an addict who has been through a rehab program, there are a variety of treatments that will be recommended to them. The most common include individual or group therapy, family therapy, meeting regularly with a case worker, taking all prescribed medications on a regular basis, and possibly certain aspects of vocational rehabilitation. By ensuring an addict carefully follows their treatment program, chances greatly increase they will be able to put their addiction behind them.
Help Them Develop Coping Skills
Since an addict will be under tremendous stress when trying to get clean, they may have difficulty coping with the many changes they are experiencing. Because of this, it’s crucial family members help them develop effective coping skills. One of the best ways to do this is by always being available to listen when an addict needs to talk, which shows them you truly care about their problems and are willing to help find solutions. Along with this, also try to make sure they are engaged in something positive each day that can take their mind off their problems. Whether this is a relaxing walk through a park, going out together for lunch, or perhaps starting an exercise program, these and many other activities can help an addict deal with the stress in their life much better. More details about this can be found here.
Participating in Peer Groups
Since addicts tend to feel isolated when dealing with their issues, family members are encouraged to help their loved one become affiliated with a local peer group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. By attending these meetings, an addict will be able to see not only are they not alone, but there are in fact plenty of other people experiencing similar struggles. Once a peer group is selected, be willing to adjust various aspects of your family’s schedule to make sure your loved one will not have trouble attending their meetings. By offering to drive them to and from their meetings, as well as learning all you can about the group, you’ll turn this into a very positive experience for everyone.
Don’t be Negative
While it can be difficult dealing with a family member who is an addict, always try to avoid being negative about the situation. If an addict is constantly criticized for their problems or are made to feel as if their problems are causing numerous problems within the family, the likelihood is they will not successfully complete their treatment program. Instead, stay as positive as possible each day, recognize their accomplishments, and let them know that no matter what happens, you’ll be there for them, loving them each and every day.
Know the Signs of Relapse
Since most addicts relapse at some point during treatment, family members should always know the signs of relapse, as well as have a well-defined plan for dealing with the situation. By noticing changes in behavior or other unusual aspects, family members can approach their loved one with their concerns in a loving, supporting fashion. By doing so, the addict will not be made to feel any worse than they already do and can be given options for getting started again on the path to sobriety.