How to Help Someone in Recovery

Getting a loved one into recovery often seem like the biggest hurdle. But once that hurdle is overcome, how do you help during the recovery process?

Respect the Boundaries

The recovery program your loved one is in may have rules that bother you or your loved one. We recommend that you discuss the rules with staff ahead of time and understand them before admission. But under no circumstances should you break the rules or help your loved one break the rules. Doing so will only prevent recovery and enable addiction.

Encourage & Motivate

Recovery is a slow, gradual process. While your loved one works through it, don’t give in to the temptation to lecture or blame. Try to let go of the past, believe in the possibility of recovery, and offer encouragement. People respond poorly to threats or shaming, so don’t issue ultimatums or berate them. Doing so will only delay recovery.

Accept the Process

Recovery is an emotional process. Your loved one may express a variety of feelings, including depression, hopelessness, anger, euphoria, and many more. Try to accept these feelings in the moment for what they are. Recovery is a hard process and those feelings are important. Do not, however, attempt to counsel your loved one through those feelings. Trust that they are surrounded by knowledgeable and devoted staff. If you are concerned about emotions or thoughts that your loved one expressed while in recovery, try contacting the staff to make them aware of your concerns.

Get Support

You are in recovery too—recovery from the pain of watching a loved one make poor choices, recovery from the pain the addict caused, recovery from the fear and uncertainty. Reach out to the recovery center staff or local recovery groups for family support. Make an effort to find balance in your life and prioritize your own health and recovery. (You can look for family support online too, but be aware that recovery programs differ and some are not reputable. You’re most likely to complement your loved one’s recovery by looking at sources similar to the program his/her recovery center follows.)

Learn the Program

Knowing what your loved one will learn and experience through recovery can help understand and support them. Reach out to the staff for explanations and resources. However, be careful not to assume too much. It’s important to also hear about your loved one’s recovery from him/her. Try to approach conversations with genuine curiosity and acceptance—each person’s recovery journey is different.

Families are a vital part of addiction recovery. At Oaks Recovery Center, we want you to feel 100% supported through the recovery process. Feel free to ask questions or seek resources 24/7 before, during, and after your loved one’s stay with us.

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