People dealing with addiction to drugs, alcohol, or destructive behaviors, whether still actively using, in treatment and recovery, or having experienced a relapse, benefit greatly from the support of family and friends. But understanding how to support our loved ones is important, too.
Here are three healthy ways to support addiction recovery:
- Attend support groups geared toward people who care about someone struggling with or in recovery from addiction. Family groups or parent groups affiliated with treatment centers can be invaluable resources. There are also a number of free support groups for people affected by addiction. These include: Al-Anon (affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous), Nar-Anon (affiliated with Narcotics Anonymous), and others.
- Take care of yourself. Focusing all of your energies on helping or worrying about someone else can leave you with myriad physical and mental health issues. This not only diminishes your ability to truly support your loved one, but can lead to feelings of guilt or resentment on the addicted person’s part, which isn’t supportive of a healthy sobriety. Be mindful of your own needs and make yourself a priority.
- Set and maintain boundaries. In the grips of addiction, your loved one will likely be manipulative, deceitful, and sometimes cruel in order to get your “help”. But the best help you can offer may be to allow the consequences of the addiction to happen without your interference. This is a good time to rely on the support groups mentioned above, or on an informed therapist.
To reach the 24/7 Access Center, call: (800) 933-3579.