Anyone can struggle with a substance use disorder, even those that you love the most. When substance abuse begins to have negative consequences, friends and family members may be directly and indirectly affected. Luckily, there are steps to help to get your loved ones the support they need. You may suggest treatment or other support they may need to continue a healthy life after treatment. As a family member, you play a significant role in the recovery process, making it essential to understand how you can support a family member while they are in treatment.
Understanding the underlying cause of substance use can better help friends and families. You can take various positive support actions to encourage a loved one’s commitment to recovery and continue to show a supporting hand. One of the ways is to educate yourself and understand substance use as much as you can.
When you learn how substances interact with the mind and body, you can be more confident that substance use can be treated and overcome. When you power yourself with knowledge, you can connect with your loved ones and communicate with them in a non-judgmental way.
Encouraging Treatment and Support
You can support your loved one while they’re in treatment by encouraging their recovery process. For example, as a family member, you can promote developing good communication skills. You can also encourage them to get involved with peer groups and group therapy sessions. Anything that falls in line with their recovery plans will be healthy for them to engage in.
Setting Boundaries With Loved Ones
Establishing a fine line of boundaries for yourself and your loved one is a great way to support your family member while they’re in treatment. Healthy boundaries let you and your loved one understand what is acceptable and what is not. There are numerous boundaries you can set with a loved one, but some common boundaries include:
- Not permitting your loved one’s former friends who used drugs or alcohol into your home
- Not making excuses when your loved one misses a peer support group they had promised to attend
- No longer visiting places associated with your loved one’s past substance use
- Not allowing your loved one to avoid getting a job or going back to school
Setting boundaries can be difficult at first, but once you get used to enforcing them, the establishment becomes second nature. Therefore, ask yourself if your boundaries are established. If they are not, you can speak to a professional who understands how to establish and maintain healthy boundaries in and out of the home.
Discover The Importance Of Therapy
Many family members choose to involve themselves in family therapy sessions to show encouragement to their loved ones while they’re in treatment. Therapy is a vital component of the recovery process. It allows you and those who are in treatment to understand the recovery process and trust it. Family therapy programs can help break down the mistrust and guilt caused by a loved one’s substance use and give everybody a chance to be heard and understand each other with guidance.
Therapy sessions do take time, and occasionally you may feel tempted to skip one. However, it is important to you and your loved one to attend any therapy session when it’s offered. Showing up will make a difference in the recovery process for your loved one and show that you care and encourage their choice to seek treatment. If you still have questions on the therapy process, it is best to speak with a professional who can give you details of what to expect in a therapy session and what you can do to continue your support for your family member.
Watch for Unrealistic Expectations
Those who struggle with substance abuse embark on a journey with ups and downs when they enter recovery. The hope of family members seems high when the initial process begins. However, in some situations, the duration of the recovery can become frustrating and may lead to disappointment. It’s important to understand that some individuals will start the recovery journey and be susceptible to relapse, which can be highly discouraging and disappointing for family members.
Therefore, it is essential for you, as a family member, to remember that relapse is not a failure. Some steps can help prevent relapse so you can continue to support your family members in treatment and encourage them to maintain their commitment. The recovery journey is not going to happen overnight. Therefore, one of the best ways to support your loved one is not to have excessive expectations.
It will take time for you and your loved one to heal, but the recovery process is a vital and empowering journey for you and your loved one to embark on. If you or your loved one suffers from substance abuse and are looking for a way to find hope on the path of recovery, know that you’re not alone. The professionals at West Coast Recovery Centers understand substance abuse and gear our program specifically towards each client individually. We provide programs geared for families through educational and therapeutic sessions and help family members identify how their support can be an integrated part of a successful recovery path. When you choose to stay informed and better equip yourself with the knowledge of substance abuse, you can best support your loved one who is in treatment. For more information on how to support your family member while they are in treatment, contact West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509.