Supporting Recovery: A Comprehensive Guide

If you know someone on the path to recovery from substance use disorder, your support can be integral to their journey. Compassionate help and support can help your loved one in rebuilding their life and achieving their goals. In this article, we will explore essential tips to effectively support someone in their recovery.

Prioritise Self-Care

Substance use disorder affects not only the individual suffering from it but also the people around them. Often, family and friends neglect their own needs while focusing on the well-being of their loved one. This can lead to various challenges, including increased stress, physical ailments, and emotional turmoil.

Do not neglect your own physical, emotional, and mental health – staying healthy and balanced is vital when supporting others. 

Remember, you cannot offer help from an empty well. Seek support from dedicated family groups to foster a caring community as you navigate this challenging role.

Recognise Addiction as a Disease

Substance abuse can alter brain function, causing dependency and distorting one’s value system. It is natural to feel frustrated when witnessing harmful behaviour. However, avoid isolating them as it may lead to shame and hinder their recovery process.

While maintaining boundaries is crucial, try to understand how addiction became ingrained in their life. Once they begin their recovery journey, gradually reestablish communication and inquire about the best ways to support them.

Educate Yourself on Substance Use Disorder

Feelings of fear and concern are typical for those supporting a loved one in recovery. Educating yourself on substance use disorder can significantly improve your ability to support them effectively.

Learn about intervention techniques, treatment methods, and mental health terminology. Seek professional guidance on approaching them about their substance use and encourage them to seek appropriate treatment options.

Emphasise Love and Support

Close relationships with those battling addiction are often challenging. However, using guilt or emotional manipulation, such as saying, “If you loved me, you’d quit,” is counterproductive. Instead, express your concerns sincerely and reassure them of your unwavering support throughout their recovery journey.

Remind your loved one frequently that they are valued, capable of overcoming challenges, and never alone in their struggle.

Support Without Enabling

While providing emotional and material support is crucial for individuals in early recovery, it is essential to avoid enabling their addiction. Protecting them from the consequences of their actions can inadvertently worsen the situation.

Focus on supporting their efforts towards healthier future goals, such as education and employment, while making it clear that you are backing their recovery journey exclusively.

Allow Learning from Mistakes

As a supporter, it can be tempting to intervene and solve problems for your loved one. However, empowering them to handle tempting situations and openly discuss their challenges without shame is essential for their growth.

Your role in their support system involves helping them get back on track if they stumble, providing them with love, encouragement, and understanding.

Acknowledge Recovery as a Lifelong Process

Recovery is a gradual journey with ups and downs. Studies show that individuals in early recovery have a higher chance of relapse. However, over time, the likelihood of relapse diminishes.

Remember that setbacks do not equate to failure. Instead, they indicate a need to reevaluate the treatment approach. Offer unwavering support and encouragement, as millions have successfully achieved fulfilling lives after overcoming substance dependence.

How The Cedars Can Help

Supporting someone in recovery requires understanding, empathy, and dedication. By prioritising self-care, recognising addiction as a disease, educating ourselves, providing love without manipulation, supporting without enabling, allowing growth from mistakes, and acknowledging recovery as a lifelong process, we can be instrumental in their path to a brighter, healthier future. 

At Cedars we offer effective and thorough 12-Step based treatment programs to our patients. Our experienced team of medical professionals work together with patients to restore balance in their lives. Get in touch with our admissions team today.

You are not alone. Together, we can make a difference and help them achieve lasting recovery.