There are several resources available to those who are struggling with addiction. Treatment programs, relapse prevention curriculums, and self-help groups are a few examples. Unfortunately, there are times that people are in so deep that they can’t accept there’s a problem, let alone look for resources for themselves. If someone you know and love is experiencing this situation, you may feel the need to take it upon yourself to help them locate these avenues of assistance. The journey can be long and trying, though. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. No matter how many resources you throw at someone or how much help you give them until someone wants to make a change and recovery, there is only so much you can do.
Here at the Lakehouse Recovery Center, we believe that actively including the family in treatment can be highly effective and encourage those family members to be educated on the matter. Additionally, in many cases, they may also find themselves embarking on a journey of self-discovery while helping their loved ones through their addiction.
Supporting Your Loved One Through Recovery
Providing support to people in recovery is often the most important thing you can do, and that is regarding addiction, depression, or any other mental illness. Recovery processes can come with many highs and lows. During the lows, people will feel doubt, fear, shame, and negative emotions that can lead to lapse or setback in recovery. In those instances, the best thing you can do is be a shoulder to cry on. This may be easier said than done, however, as constantly being someone else’s rock of emotional support can take a toll on you. Therefore, it is crucial to take the steps necessary to make sure you are remaining mentally and emotionally healthy.
A supportive role in recovery can help keep those involved engaged and committed to their treatment and recovery. This support can be through an array of methods: helping to create a recovery plan, going to support groups with them, and helping to locate other resources. It’s essential to be cautious of how we treat our loved ones suffering from addiction and how our actions make them feel throughout these methods. It’s important to support, but it’s equally as important not to micromanage. Addiction is an illness to be treated, not a new project or challenge to embark on.
Resources for Support System Members
Your support system may include a group of friends, peers, or those in your recovery groups. Some may be fortunate enough for their families to be their support groups. In those instances, there are many resources available to families coping with substance use and mental disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes evidence that shows a “genetic predisposition for developing mental and substance use disorders” and a greater risk based on the environmental factors exposed to. Common resources that can be utilized include support groups and or family therapy and counseling.
While in pursuit of locating resources and functioning to support someone with addiction, loved ones should take care of themselves too. Just as there are support groups for those struggling with addiction, there are support groups, like Al-Anon, for the loved ones of those struggling with addiction. These groups offer a safe place to vent about struggles they may be experiencing and get advice from others in similar situations. It’s no secret that aiding in someone’s journey to recovery can come with some bumps in the road, but knowing others struggle too can give you the strength you need to keep being a pillar of strength for your loved one.
Communication, Honesty, and Trust Are Key
Communication, honesty, and trust are three critical ingredients to any healthy relationship, especially relationships accompanied by difficult circumstances. By building trust, people are inclined to listen; by being honest, you learn how addiction affects both people involved and what boundaries need to be established. By communicating effectively, honesty and trust are gained. If your relationship is strong at its foundation, your ability to work on recovery together can be just as strong too.
Additionally, boundaries and privacy need to be respected. Respect can be hard to earn and easy to lose, but it is essential to treat each other with the compassion required throughout the recovery process. If you can learn these habits first and foremost when helping someone cope with addiction, it may make all the difference. However, at the end of the day, treatment begins with you.
If someone you know and love is severely struggling with addiction or substance use disorder, it can be difficult to admit that there’s only so much you can do to help. Firstly, support members need to educate themselves on addiction as a whole and how it may be affecting them specifically. During this education process, loved ones of those in recovery can learn which resources can be utilized and help to develop a recovery plan for those in need. By effectively practicing communication, honesty, and trust, loved ones can be used as a shoulder to lean on when needed. Support members should also be knowledgeable of the resources at their disposal to ensure they’re dealing with their own mental stability in a healthy. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or struggling to support someone suffering from addiction, we encourage you to reach out to the Lakehouse Recovery Center at (877) 762-3707. today.