Recovering from addiction can be a long, complex process. Without proper support in recovery, an addict is more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors. However, families and addiction patients often have very corrosive dynamics, which can significantly affect an addict’s recovery. You don’t want your loved one to relapse, so take a look at this family support guide for addiction patients.
Why Family Support Systems in Recovery Are So Important
In the months after an addict’s last dose, their brain, organs, and hormones must readjust to life without constant doses of an addictive substance. As a person’s systems adapt, they will likely experience mood swings, cognitive difficulties, low motivation, lack of joy, insomnia, and other unpleasant symptoms. This process can take a long time, and your loved one will be more prone to relapse during this period. Maintaining a supportive environment can help your loved one stay sober and keep their mental health in check as they adjust to life without drugs and alcohol.
How To Provide Family Support for Addiction Recovery
Your family member likely has to resist alcohol advertisements, peer pressure, and many other temptations in everyday life. Staying sober in this day and age is hard enough, but it can be almost impossible when drugs and alcohol are at home. With that in mind, you should try to keep addictive substances out of your home and hold family gatherings away from bars and other triggering places.
Model Good Behavior
An addict’s family members don’t need to completely abstain from alcohol if they can consume it responsibly. However, drinking around your loved one may tempt them to start drinking again. If you want your family member to live a healthy life, you should set an example by exercising, eating healthy foods, and avoiding self-destructive behaviors. When your loved one sees their family members making healthy choices, they will be more likely to make good decisions for their own health.
Be Patient and Respectful
Your family may have to deal with mood swings and odd behavior as they adapt to a sober lifestyle. Thus, for several months after their last dose, your loved one will likely do things that aggravate you. Nonetheless, you must be patient with them. These abrasive quirks will eventually subside. While you can set boundaries and reprimand your loved one for egregious behaviors in the present, you should not hold past mistakes against them. On top of that, you shouldn’t treat your loved one like a child just because they’ve struggled with addiction. Many recovering addicts are extremely ashamed of their past, so carelessly using their history of addiction to make them feel inferior can cause severe emotional harm.
What Challenges Do Families Face in Addiction Recovery?
Setting Reasonable Boundaries
Setting boundaries is essential in any family. If you’re living with someone who has struggled with addiction, you might have to enact strict rules in your home to prevent harmful behaviors and dire situations. Certain boundaries can seem demeaning for an adult, but you don’t want to be too lax about your household rules. A therapist specializing in providing family support in the recovery process can help your family respectfully discuss their boundaries and set rules that work for everyone.
Feelings of Neglect
Parents, grandparents, and other close relatives often devote a lot of time and attention to their loved one who struggles with addiction. An addict may need this attention, but it can still result in resentment among siblings and other family members. Sober family members in this situation typically feel like they’ve been neglected, and they might hold these feelings against the family member in recovery.
Difficulty Overcoming Past Transgressions
People who struggle with addiction sometimes do very unsavory things when they’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol. For example, many addicts steal from their loved ones to afford their next dose. An addict’s past indiscretions often leave deep scars in their relationships with other family members, and healing these wounds can be very difficult without professional help.
Seek Professional Family Support for Addiction
A healthy family dynamic is integral to your loved one’s recovery and your family’s overall well-being. However, overcoming past traumas and fostering a sobriety-friendly environment can be difficult without the proper knowledge and training. If you want what’s best for your loved one and your family, then you should reach out to Cypress Lake Lodge to learn more about support systems in the recovery process.