Substance use is not a choice, and it is not within the control of the individual. Confronting someone struggling with substance use and blaming them will not help and can actually make the situation worse. Instead, families and loved ones should approach the situation with compassion and empathy and try to navigate their loved one towards professional help. Seeking support and guidance from substance use treatment professionals can help families and loved ones better understand substance use and how they can support their loved one on their journey towards recovery.
If you’re looking to support a loved one in recovery from substance abuse, here are some tips on how to effectively support them:
Be Motivational but Firm
It’s important to be supportive and encouraging to someone in recovery, but also to be firm and set boundaries when necessary. This means holding them accountable for their actions and not enabling their behavior. It’s important to show your loved one that you believe in their ability to achieve sobriety while also holding them responsible for their recovery.
An example of kindness and firmness in action could be a situation where a person in recovery asks their loved one to lend them money for rent, but the loved one knows that the money will likely be used to purchase drugs or alcohol. Instead of simply refusing to give them the money and leaving it at that, the loved one could sit down with their friend and explain their concerns. They could offer to help them find resources to pay their rent or offer to pay the landlord directly to ensure that the money is going towards the intended purpose.
This approach shows compassion and empathy for their friend’s struggles, while also holding them accountable for their actions and not enabling their behavior. By doing so, they are supporting their loved one in their recovery journey while also setting clear boundaries and expectations.
See From Different Perspectives Why A Person Is Using Substances
Many people use substances as a way to cope with underlying mental health issues, trauma, or other life stressors. By understanding the reasons behind their substance use, you can help them address those underlying issues and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Try to be compassionate and non-judgmental when talking to your loved one about their substance use and encourage them to seek professional help if needed.
Empower People to Commit to Recovery and Abstinence
Empowering your loved one to take control of their recovery journey can be incredibly impactful. This means helping them set achievable goals, providing them with resources and support, and reminding them of their progress along the way. Encourage them to attend support groups, therapy sessions, and other recovery programs to help them stay on track.
Reduce Substance Abuse through Compassion
Reducing substance abuse requires a compassionate approach. It’s important to recognize that substance abuse is a disease and not a choice, and to approach your loved one with empathy and understanding. Instead of shaming or judging them, offer your support and encourage them to seek professional help. Show them that they are not alone in their journey towards recovery.
Reducing substance abuse through compassion involves using understanding language instead of judgmental language. For instance, instead of saying “just quit already,” say “I’m here to support you.” Providing guidance, structure, achievable goals, resources, and support is crucial. Encourage your loved one to attend recovery programs such as therapy sessions and support groups. If they are recovering from alcohol addiction, suggest attending regular AA meetings and setting achievable goals such as attending a certain number of meetings each week or abstaining from alcohol for a certain period of time. This approach helps them stay focused on their recovery journey and make progress towards their goals.
Help People Find New Hobbies and Interests to Keep Them in Recovery
Finding new hobbies and interests can be a great way to keep someone in recovery engaged and motivated. Encourage your loved one to explore new activities, such as exercise, art, or volunteering. These activities can help distract from cravings and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
In conclusion, supporting someone in recovery from substance abuse requires a compassionate, motivational, and firm approach. By understanding the reasons behind their substance use, empowering them to take control of their recovery journey, and encouraging them to explore new hobbies and interests, you can help them achieve long-term sobriety. Remember, your support can make all the difference in their journey towards recovery.
If you are looking to learn more about recovery support for yourself or your loved ones please Contact New Horizons Medical team. If you would like to learn more, read this article about well-being when managing illness.