Your loved one has committed to a life of sobriety. He or she has completed rehab and you’re ready to celebrate. You may think the hard part is over, but your role as a friend or family member has only just begun. Now it’s time to show your support in this lifelong journey by helping your loved one through each 24 hours. There are things you can do to make sober living easier for your loved one. Start with these four strategies for helping someone stay sober after treatment.
Learn your loved one’s struggles and help him or her avoid bad situations, especially immediately after leaving rehab. Rehabilitation facilities are safe spaces that facilitate healing and sobriety. Out in the real world, it can be more difficult to avoid situations, people, places, or emotions that bring back the need for drugs and/or alcohol. Do your best to support and encourage the individual in the right direction, away from pitfalls that may interrupt recovery.
Create Goals and Plans
One of the mental barriers people often encounter while adjusting to sober living is the fear of missing out. After treatment, people who are new to sobriety might feel bored or restless in some situations – especially at times where the individual would previously have used drugs or alcohol. Create healthy, positive goals and plans with your loved one to give him/her something to work toward. Create a plan for healthy eating, regular exercise, and fun, productive hobbies. Setting goals for the future can make it easier for your loved one to manage temptations.
Codependency in this case refers to an excessive reliance on a partner who requires support due to alcoholism or drug addiction. Codependency often comes with enabling. Although you should demonstrate your love and support after addiction treatment, consciously try to avoid becoming codependent. Signs you could be codependent include:
- Providing money for things other than treatment
- Only finding satisfaction in life by satisfying your partner
- Remaining in the relationship despite harm your partner causes
- Feeling anxious when you can’t fulfill your partner’s wishes
- Making excuses for bad behaviors
Being in a codependent relationship with someone who struggles with addiction can interfere with both of your emotional needs. Don’t make excuses for addictive behaviors. If your loved one relapses, provide support by telling him or her to return to treatment, not by offering money or food. You aren’t responsible for ensuring your loved one doesn’t relapse. Seek help from a therapist for more tips on breaking a habit of codependency and/or enabling.
Stay Positive About Recovery
One of the most important things you can do to facilitate long-term recovery is to stay positive. Remember, there is no “cure” for addiction. It is a lifelong process. A positive, healthy home filled with people who love and care about the individual can facilitate good physical, mental, and emotional health – and help eliminate the need to use. If you wish to help your loved one stay sober for life, a 90-day program can be a strong foundation. Learn more at (877) 874-8695.