Posted by Steps to Recovery on March 20, 2013

So your loved one decided to get help for his or her drug or alcohol addiction, that’s great news! It’s the first step on the path to reclaiming their life from the horrors of addiction. Now, what are some ways to support your loved one through treatment? This is a scary and intense time in their life. They have a long journey ahead, so what can you do to help them out? Here are 5 ways to support your loved one through treatment.

  1. Just be there for them. Making the decision to go to addiction treatment is most likely one of the hardest things your loved one has ever decided to do. Giving up drugs or alcohol is extremely difficult, and drop out rates in rehab are very high, so your loved one is going to need a lot of support. Let them know you are there, and show up for them as much as you can.
  2. Set healthy boundaries. There is a fine line between being supportive and co-dependency. Tread carefully! Co-dependency often plays a role in addiction and the people who are affected by it. Carefully examine your relationship with the addict and make sure neither of you are crossing the line into unhealthy territory.
  3. Be patient. Recovery takes time, don’t expect to see amazing amounts of progress immediately. In fact, it may take a good amount of time before you really see a noticeable change in your loved one. If you are impatient with their progress, it’s easier for them to get discouraged, and recovery is hard enough without extra pressure. The more patience loved ones show their addict, the more patience they may be able to have for their own struggle and the healing they are working so hard to achieve.
  4. Tell them what you see, gently. Note progress as well as gently addressing mistakes. Help your loved one keep him or herself accountable by reflecting what you see going on. Try to see and understand where they are coming from and remain supportive but truthful. This is one of the greatest ways to support your loved one through treatment.
  5. Help them get more support. Drug addiction rehab is not always enough in the long term to keep someone clean and sober, so help your loved one find other support groups or meetings to attend long term, and even go with them if you can.

These are just 5 ways to support your loved one through treatment out of many ways to be there for them. How have you supported your loved one on their journey of recovery?