Recovering from addiction takes courage, dedication, and effort. The recovery process can be long and complicated, but it gets easier with the help of a loved one. If you know someone who is on the road to recovery, your support can be invaluable to them. Addiction hurts everyone involved, and offering encouragement and support isn’t always easy. Read on for advice on how to support someone through addiction recovery.
Check in Regularly
Sometimes, even the simple act of reaching out can make a difference. Regular texts, calls, or even social media messages remind your loved one that you’re thinking of them. Both casual messages and longer, more serious conversations can mean a lot.
No matter how you connect, make sure you listen actively and show your loved one that you hear them. Active listening shows respect, appreciation, and empathy—all of which make the road to recovery easier.
Be Patient—Change Happens Slowly
Overcoming addiction takes time, and the path to recovery is not always linear. You’ll experience both high and low points as you navigate helping your loved one through recovery. Patience is a key part of showing support and compassion. You should continue to offer help even when your loved one makes poor decisions or slips back into unhealthy habits. When you’re there every step of the way—even during rough patches—you create a stronger support system for your loved one.
Make a Plan for Relapse
Relapse is an unfortunate but common part of overcoming addiction. That doesn’t mean that recovery is impossible or even that you’ve lost the progress you’ve made when your loved one relapses. Preparing for relapses will help you understand how to react so that you can help your loved one get back on track. At the same time, you can look for ways to prevent relapse, including helping your loved one seek professional help.
Set Boundaries Where You Need To
One of the most important steps in how to support someone through addiction recovery is to take care of yourself at the same time. If you feel burnt out or drained, you won’t be able to offer the support your loved one needs.
Maintaining your own mental health benefits you and your loved one. Set boundaries and establish clear communication so that you can focus on yourself without letting down your loved one.
It’s also crucial to follow healthy habits in your own life, such as getting enough sleep and following a basic exercise routine. In addition to creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself, these habits set a good example for your loved one to follow as they start taking better care of themselves.