How Do I Show My Support to a Loved After They've Gone Through Addiction Treatment?

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Many people don't realize that their loved ones still need their support even after they've gone through addiction treatment. They think that once they have encouraged them to go and get the help they need that the job is done. In reality, their loved ones still need their support in the days and weeks that follow as they begin this new journey. If this is your situation, our team at Pathways Recovery Center can help guide you. 

You may feel uncomfortable bringing up your loved one's recovery with them. Perhaps you're not sure if it is a tricky subject or are worried that you may offend them in some way. Be sure to at least ask how you can support them and see what they are comfortable with. 

How Do I Approach My Loved One After They've Gone Through Addiction Treatment?

After your loved one has gone through addiction treatment, approach them in a private space where you both can speak freely. Tell them that you're there for them and want to support them in any way that you can. Make sure that you give them a chance to speak and share what's on their mind. Don't push them to share more than what they are comfortable with at this point. 

Make sure that they know that you are coming to them from a place of love and care and not one of judgment. Also, be sure to show these things through your words and actions. Your loved one is going through a very important change in their life. It's important not to make anything about this process more challenging than it has to be. 

It can also help to discuss with your loved one what they are or are not comfortable with regarding this stage of their recovery. This way, you can avoid unintentionally triggering or offending them. For example, maybe they aren't comfortable being around alcohol at all. Now that you know this, you can be sure to remove any alcohol from your home before they come over to visit.

If you have prescription medication that you take, make sure that you don't leave it around. Keep it in a safe place so your loved one won't stumble across it. 

What Are Some Tips for Supporting My Loved After They've Gone Through Addiction Treatment?

One of the most important things you can do for a loved one after they've gone through addiction treatment is to simply be there for them. Provide a listening ear when they need to vent, and do not judge them. You might not be able to relate to what they are experiencing, but you can still provide support with your presence. 

It can also help to check in with them regularly and just see how they are doing. If they are comfortable with it, you can ask them about the different things they may doing for treatment and what they're learning. They may enjoy sharing with you how far they've come. 

One thing your loved one may appreciate is being invited to do fun sober activities with you. This could be as simple as going out to lunch together, going to see a movie, or going to a sports event. Or maybe you could learn a new skill together, go hiking, join a club, or do some volunteer work together. Fun sober activities play a very important role in recovery, so getting invited to do these things can really be beneficial for your loved one. 

Even though your loved one is now in recovery, they may still make mistakes or have some unhealthy habits they are still trying to work through. Try to be as patient with them as possible, and don't judge. Remind yourself that they are still learning and growing during this new stage of life. 

As you strive to support your loved one during their recovery, it can help to continue to educate yourself on what recovery really is. The better you understand it, the more equipped you'll be to support them. When you begin to view addiction as an actual disease, you can really have a change in perspective. This can help you to be more understanding and nonjudgmental. 

More Advice on Helping a Loved One After Addiction Treatment

At Pathways Recovery Center, we understand that everybody's addiction affects them in unique ways and that everybody's path to recovery is different. During your loved one's recovery, it is possible they will experience a relapse. This does not mean that treatment has failed or that they still aren't capable of achieving long-term sobriety. Simply support them during this time and encourage them to get back on the path of recovery. 

While you are supporting your loved one who has gone through addiction treatment, make sure that you're also taking care of yourself. Make sure that you're eating well and getting plenty of sleep. Try to incorporate some form of self-care into each and every day. 

After your loved one has decided to make the important first step for their recovery by seeking addiction treatment, gone through detox, and returned to their normal life as a sober individual, their journey is just beginning. They still need your support as they take on new challenges in the future. It can be hard to know how to support someone in recovery without accidentally offending them or triggering them in some way. If this is something that you're currently going through, our team at Pathways Recovery Center can help. Give us a call at (888) 771-0966 today, and a member of our team will be happy to answer any of your questions. 

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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