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Supporting a Loved One in Residential Addiction Treatment

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By September 6, 2017
residential addiction treatment

Support is huge for individuals in addiction recovery. It can help them remain motivated on their recovery journey and help them feel confident in their decision to remain sober. If you have a loved one enrolled into residential addiction treatment, you may be wondering how you can best support your loved one. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do for yourself and your loved one to maintain a healthy relationship and remain supportive throughout the recovery experience.

First Things First: Help Yourself

You can’t help others unless you are helped first. Loved ones of addicted individuals often have their own negative emotions and problems with acceptance to deal with. And, it’s common for loved ones to be treated with dishonesty or manipulative intent by an addicted loved one. So, if you find that you are having trouble dealing with the addiction of a loved on on an emotional level, know there is help for you. There are a number of online forums and recovery communities which aim to support and help families of addicted people. Other than reaching out to the recovery community, you can always take care of your physical needs, too. Getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising can all help you keep up with physical health, which leads to balanced mental health as well.

Eliminate Addiction Triggers for After Residential Addiction Treatment

Those who have made a commitment to sobriety have to make extreme lifestyle changes. If you’re serious about supporting your loved one with their recovery from addiction, you’ll need to make lifestyle changes of your own. This includes removing substances from your own home, especially if the addicted loved one is going to be living with you post treatment. Having alcohol or drugs around can be a trigger to relapse in recovery. So, eliminating these temptations can be a form of support for your recovering family member or loved one. Decide to create an environment where a recovering individual will feel supported in their decision to get sober.

Learn Effective Communication Methods

Communication can make or break any relationship. It’s important to learn how to utilize effective communication methods so that healthy relationships can be maintained. First, your recovering loved one has needs, goals, and worries that are just as important as anyone else’s. Practice offering a listening ear so that your loved one knows that their emotions are validated. Second, when communicating with a recovering individual, don’t pass judgment. Shame and guilt can weigh heavy on a recovering individual’s mind. And, these negative emotions raise the risk of falling into the process of relapse. Although it’s fine to offer advice and encourage healthy habits, try to stay away from negative statements which may discourage recovery motivation.

Learn as Much about Addiction as Possible

Knowing more about addiction can help support a loved one in many ways. For one, it can help to establish healthy boundaries. It’s crucial to understand and identify codependent behaviors so that enabling is prevented. For two, understanding more about triggers to relapse and relapse prevention so that you can support a long-term recovery. Also, recognizing the process of relapse can help to get a loved one back into treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful resources available online to help loved ones of recovering addicts learn more about addiction.

Consider Residential Addiction Treatment with Family Support

At The Discovery Institute in New Jersey, we offer a Family Counseling Program which aims to include family and loved ones in the addiction recovery process. This way, healthy habits can be learned and integrated from the start of the recovery process. And, family, friends, and individuals in treatment can all get a chance to exchange emotions in a healthy and guided environment. Furthermore, this program gives family members a chance to keep up with a loved one’s progress throughout treatment. If you would like to learn more about our Family Counseling Program or Residential Addiction Treatment Program, please give us a call today at 888-616-7177.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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