Advice on how to support a loved one suffering from alcohol or drug addiction and recovery.
When you are a recovering addict, you appreciate all the help you can get to stay sober. Some days, this means accepting a coffee instead of going for a drink. Some days this means being able to call a friend up at 4:00 AM just to chat about how you’re struggling. Whatever gets help to stay sober means to you, here are some top tips that will help your loved one’s care for you during your recovery journey.
Whether you are seeking recovery help yourself or whether you want to help a friend or family member, you can find more advice on the Help4Addiction pages. We offer advice on helping a husband, wife, son, daughter, work colleague, or friend to get off of drugs or alcohol. You can even call us if you need more help. We offer a call back service if we are unavailable at the time of your call. You can contact us for information on rehab clinics near you, or you can call us for a chat. The number is 0203 955 7700
Five Top Tips for Helping Your Loved One To Stay Sober
When your loved one is in recovery, staying away from drugs or alcohol is on their shoulders. However, there are things you can do to help them along the way. Here are our five top tips for helping a loved one to stay sober.
1 – Don’t Add Pressure
It is already a difficult process to become chemically free of drink and drugs and remain that way. Your loved one will already be doing all they can to fade those cravings and stay sober. Nagging or shouting at them is not going to help this process, but might well hinder it. Think about how you speak to your loved one. Are you approachable? Do you apply pressure, which is altogether unnecessary given the situation they are in? If the answer is yes, reconsider your phrasing and tone of voice
2 – Keep Stresses to a Minimum
If there are things you can do to take away further pressure, then do try. It might mean doing the housework or taking on more responsibilities at home to support them through this difficult time in their lives. Studies show that stressors make addiction recovery difficult. You may be left with a disproportionate amount of work on the house for a while, but remind yourself that it’s not forever and that your loved one needs that extra support right now.
3 – Engage their Support Network
If your loved one is in recovery from alcohol addiction, or from an addiction to cocaine, prescription drugs, cannabis, heroin, or another drug, keep their support system informed of their progress. A support network is essential to combat addiction. They are usually made of friends and family members, colleagues, employers, doctors, and psychiatrists. Each person has a vested interest in keeping your loved one drug-free. Each person has agreed to support them through this, which means you don’t need to support a loved one alone. If it gets too much, call on other members of the team.
4 – Don’t Put Them in Positions
It’s important that you don’t add pressure they can’t handle before they can handle it. If you usually go for a monthly drink with friends and your partner is in recovery, it would be a good idea to miss those drinks for a few weeks. You can go back to them when your partner is fully recovered, of course. However, taking them along when they are avoiding alcohol would be like waving a red flag to a bull. Be considerate before you agree to social situations that would make them feel uncomfortable in their recovery.
5 – Be There
The best thing you can do to support someone you love while they work through an addiction, is just for you to be there. Don’t let them push you away. Listen to their problems, their worries, and how they intend to overcome them. Don’t leave them to feel alone with it. The more support they have, the better the chances they will recover. Be part of that support and help them along the way.
Sobriety Is Easier When Friends and Family Help You
The key takeaway from all this is that helping a loved one to stay sober is one of the best things you can do. If your relationships are important to you, consider checking on your friends and family today.