When things start spiraling out of control, it can be hard for someone suffering from addiction to get back up on their feet. Family and friends definitely play a huge role in helping with addiction recovery, but they aren’t often able to find the time to visit or connect.
Fortunately, the holiday season provides loved ones with multiple opportunities to sit down together, talk and reconnect. If you’re planning on talking with a loved one about their recovery, it’s important to understand what you can do to help. Below are a few tips for families and friends who want to offer support during the crucial period of recovery.
Learning the Warning Signs
People tend to think that addictions can be easy to spot, but that’s not always the case. Friends and families of a potential sex addict should learn to identify behavioral signs of addiction, like repeated failed attempts at reducing consumption.
People in addiction recovery may also become highly irritable and seek more intense content when resuming their habit. They could also end up losing a relationship or a job, and in more serious cases, turn to illegal acts like solicitation. Identifying the warning signs is one way to head off a downward spiral and get them back on the path to recovery.
Loved ones of people going through addiction can suffer greatly, but they’re also likely to be the ones the person with addiction reaches out to first. Partners and family members should avoid casting judgement, and instead practice empathy, understanding and support.
Making someone feel guilty or using threats are acts that focus on expressing frustration and provide little assistance. Rather than laying blame, it’s better to be a good listener and let them know you’re here for them. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and seek help when it gets too heavy.
Assist in the Search for Treatment
Sometimes addicts consider looking for help but feel too ashamed to ask. Friends and family can help a lot by indicating they are willing to listen as well as assist them in the search for treatment.
It might be tempting to keep this burden among the family, but that can do more harm than good. Helping a person with addiction seek treatment makes them feel supported and motivates them to stick to the treatment plan. While privacy is always important, understand that proper treatment should always be the end goal.
Consult With a Professional
It’s hard to overstate the importance of seeking professional help. There are decades of research in addiction treatment that both psychiatrists and therapists can use in their practice. However, while therapy sessions can help patients make headway, most of the recovery process takes place at home.
Addiction recovery can manifest itself in many ways, including mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. In order to provide the patient with the necessary support, families can ask a nurse with advanced training or a Master of Science in Nursing for assistance. NPs can assess the mental state of a patient and use conversational therapy to make the process bearable. If necessary, they are also prepared to use medication to combat specific symptoms.
Doing the Appropriate Research
Partners and friends may feel tempted to give detailed advice, but it’s better to leave diagnoses and treatment plans up to a professional. Instead, start researching so that you can better understand what your loved one is going through.
With the appropriate research friends and family can provide needed support and, more importantly, understanding. This can help patients recovering from addiction feel seen, heard and supported.
The Long Road to Healing
Dealing with an addiction is one of the most difficult challenges a person can face. By following these simple steps, people can ensure that a person in recovery receives the support they need. While professional help should always be a priority, the importance of family and community support can never be overstated.
Article exclusively written for integrityrestored.com
By Rosaline Joyce