When you have a loved one who is suffering from addiction, you have to remember that the journey they are on is theirs. You can’t force them to walk away from the drugs and alcohol. The only things you can do is provide positive support and comfort and hope they make the right choices. If you try to force them to stop, they will only return to it later. The decision must be theirs and theirs alone. You are only a bystander who can encourage them from the sidelines.
Offer encouragement to them every chance you get. Tell them how proud you are of their progress and let them know you are always there if they need someone to talk to. Remind them of good memories and let them know that there are good times waiting for them in the future. Allow them an opportunity to explore their newfound sobriety and share the experience with them.
Strengthen Their Support System
As part of their support system, you can be either a positive or a negative influence. Make sure that you try to stay as positive as possible even when the journey becomes difficult. A strong support system is part of the foundation a good treatment program is based on. When you are dealing with addiction, you need to be able to provide positive support that your loved one can count on when the going starts to get rough.
Be A Good Listener
There are times when a person dealing with addiction needs someone to talk to. Be a good listener. You will learn a lot about how they feel if you encourage them to talk to you. Sometimes they can sort things out on their own if they just have someone who will sit and listen to them. You don’t have to offer advice or say you know how they feel. All you have to do is listen and let them shed their burdens for a few minutes.
Stick to the Addiction Treatment Plan
When your loved one leaves the rehabilitation center, they will bring with them an addiction treatment plan. The treatment plan was developed on the individual needs of your loved one. In most cases, it will include a diet/nutritional plan, counseling sessions, possible medications, and a variety of activities that the person can perform in an attempt to bring themselves back to where they were before the drugs and alcohol started to take over their lives. If you plan on being there for your loved one during their recovery journey, you will have to be just as committed to their addiction treatment plan as they are.
Don’t Give in to Pressure
During difficult times, your loved one may consider using again. Don’t give in to the pressure if they ask you for money or a ride. Talk to them. Listen to what they have to say but stay committed to their recovery. Although you may not be able to prevent every relapse, you may be able to keep them from slipping back into the dark places they were that led them down that path. Take a few extra minutes every day to let them know that you care and that you love them. A few kind words may be all they need to hear to bring them back from the edge and back to center on their road to recovery.
An addiction treatment plan will only work if the person is fully committed to their own recovery. You can’t carry them along. Each step they take must be their own and in their own time. Find ways to provide them with the support they need and encourage them to try new things. It’s up to you to help them break the mold of the past and form a new future. While they are responsible for all of the work, as part of their support system, you play an integral role as part of the solid foundation they must build on.