Supporting an addict who’s relapsed can help save their life. Seeing a loved one return to drugs or alcohol after addiction treatment can be devastating to family and friends. It may make you feel as though everything you and the addict have done to address the addiction has been in vain. Naturally, you want to help the family member or friend with the dug addiction so they can regain their health and get back to life as it once was. You may feel like you would do anything — including sacrificing your own needs and wants to help your loved one. But experts say that’s not what’s best for those suffering from the disease of addiction. Below are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind when a loved one relapses on heroin or other drugs.
6 Things to Do When a Loved One Drug Relapses
1. Do remember that this is the individuals suffering from the disease of addiction’s battle. Thinking this way will help you cope with the situation: To truly get well, they need to do it on their own.
2. Do stand firm. Hold addicts accountable for their recovery from the drug relapse, just as it was important to hold them accountable for their addiction in the first place.
3. Do encourage your loved one. Just redirect them to their original addiction treatment plan. This may include suggesting they talk to their counselor or sponsor, or that they go to an addiction support group meeting.
4. Do take care of yourself. That’s the best way to help an addict who has relapsed. Eat well, get enough sleep, be sure to exercise, and keep doing the things you like, such as hobbies, sports, or crafts — whatever it is that you enjoy.
5. Do set an example for healthy living. If you’re on your way to the gym, you can invite your loved one to join you. Letting them know that you would enjoy their company is very supportive. Just remember that you can’t force them to accept the invitation
6. Do be supportive. If the addiction is to alcohol, one supportive measure is to avoid having any alcohol in the house. Many times a caregiver doesn’t understand why they can’t have a drink at home. Ask them why they would want to have alcohol in the house when it’s the very substance that’s killing their loved one.
You don’t have to stand idly by: You can offer support in your own ways without letting yourself be pulled down by the situation.
7. Do be optimistic. Even though a relapse is not the outcome you were hoping for, a return to addiction treatment can be very helpful for your loved one who could, eventually, live a drug-free life. It’s important to have a positive outlook, both for your sake and theirs.
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Written by Joann Miller, Blogger for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News, and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)
Edited by William Charles, Owner and Publisher
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.
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