Navigating through addiction recovery can be very tough. There’s a tremendous shift in one’s life after rehab, which means your loved one will have to acquire coping skills, adjust their lifestyle, and make new acquaintances in a short period of time. If there are drug charges involved, they’ll also need a DUI drug lawyer and show up in court.
We all want to see the people we care about get better. And while the decision to take part in their recovery process is by no means an easy one, your loved one will have a better chance of overcoming their addiction with your help.
Avoid These Mistakes When Helping Someone Overcome Drug Addiction
There are many ways to successfully help someone fully get over their addiction problem and acclimate to life after rehab. But for now, let’s begin with what NOT to do when helping someone get through their recovery journey.
Here are seven mistakes to avoid when helping your loved one overcome drug addiction:
1. Always Recalling Past Incidents
Getting angry about the not-so-good things a loved one has done while under the influence of drugs is perfectly acceptable. But when helping someone recover from drug addiction, it’s crucial that you focus on the future rather than dwelling on the past.
While it’s up to that person to make amends, constantly bringing up the past and criticizing their actions will do nothing but put more strain on your relationship.
2. Expecting Almost Instant Results
Just because someone with a drug problem has completed rehabilitation doesn’t mean they’re cured. Recovery is a lengthy process and recovering addicts can develop craving even after they’ve stopped using for a while.
Addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life – career, finances, relationship, emotional and mental health. While undergoing recovery, your loved one will also have to rebuild his or her life from scratch. They need your patience, support, and willingness to listen to push through this difficult period.
3. Allowing the Same Social Habits
Humans are creatures of habit and we tend to give in to societal pressures, especially if they come from people who we spend a lot of our time with. That being said, it’s important for your loved one’s sobriety journey that they avoid people and situations that led to their previous substance abuse.
Social change is hard but they will have to cut relationships and habits that are detrimental to the success of their recovery.
4. Comparing Their Recovery Journey to Someone Else’s
It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game, especially when you’re seeing other people who are recovering faster and doing so much better. Remember, though, that it won’t do you any good to compare your loved one’s progress with that of others. It will only put unnecessary pressure on them and make them feel worse about themselves.
Everyone in the process of overcoming an addiction has their own problems and issues to deal with. Don’t diminish your loved one’s accomplishments by drawing unfair comparisons. Instead, celebrate small wins to motivate them in achieving the ultimate goal.
5. Forgetting They’re Human, Too
Addiction is a debilitating disease that creates a warped value structure. If someone who’s in recovery is using again, it’s okay to be mad and frustrated; you may even choose to limit your contact with them.
One thing you shouldn’t do, however, is make them feel like an outcast or a disgrace to the family. Embarrassing people for their disease will only deter them from reaching out for help.
6. Keeping Your Distance
Some people think that staying out of the way and letting their recovering loved one live their own life is the best course of action, but this hands-off approach could end up being counterproductive. Additionally, your loved one may feel isolated and take this as a lack of support from you.
Your loved one’s mental and emotional well-being would benefit greatly if you make it a point to check on him/her regularly or include him/her in your daily activities. Without a strong support network, it’s nearly impossible for them to recover.
7. Not Taking Care of Yourself First
Drug addiction does not only impact the user’s life in a substantial way, but also that of the people around them. Many times, family and friends put the needs of their recovering loved one ahead of their own. As a result, their personal life suffers, illnesses start to arise, and they begin to show signs of anxiety and depression.
Self-care should be a priority if you want to become an effective support system for your loved one on the road to recovery.
About the Author
Michelle White is currently the Content Marketing Strategist for Arizona DUI Team. Aside from spreading awareness on DUI and vehicular-related offenses, she enjoys reading and hiking with her family and friends.