How to Help a Friend Find Sobriety

When an addict is ready to attempt treatment, friends and loved ones can support that behavior to raise their chances of success.
Seeing a loved one suffer through addiction is horrifying.

Someone you respect and enjoy gradually fades away, and they are replaced by a person with limited control over their actions, a disregard for the feelings of others, and a lack of concern about maintaining their life.  Many people who love addicts find themselves stepping in to help, as they would with any sick relative or friend.  Taking care of the household requirements, making sure medical and personal care obligations are met, or contributing financially while the addict cannot are all acts of kindness and love in an attempt to get the addict back to being functional; however, doing these things for them persistently actually enables the addict to continue their addictive behavior.

When a friend or relative has an addiction, what they really need is help and support; however, if they rely upon their support systems too much, their addiction impacts people around them in financial, medical and emotional ways.  There are community support systems which exist to help the friends, families and loved ones embroiled in addiction alongside the addict.  These support groups, which are often based in highly successful twelve step programs, offer an opportunity to talk things through with people who have walked the same path, create healthy boundaries when the addict has a strong personality, and to understand that loving someone does not need to be at the expense of a support person’s life or livelihood.  Finding help for a loved one and getting through the addiction and into recovery will not only help the addict, but will help the support community as well.

When an addict is ready to attempt treatment, friends and loved ones can support that behavior to raise their chances of success.  There is often shame and guilt surrounding the addiction, and the behaviors that stem from addiction and the decisions which the addict has made that have negatively impacted others.  Knowing that they have not damaged their support system permanently is a great benefit to an addict beginning recovery.  During the recovery process, a world-class recovery treatment program will offer therapeutic resources, groups and information to the loved ones and family members of the addict, knowing that the stronger relationships are outside of recovery, the more likely the recovery is to last.  The addict’s transformation into addiction and, through recovery treatment, the addict’s transition back into sobriety is a very intensive process; therefore, helping the family understand what the addict will be experiencing and feeling as they return to their sober life is good for the addict and the family.

When there are close relationships that have been damaged by the addict’s behavior and choices, the addiction recovery treatment facility should have resources which can allow the addict and their loved ones to have a safe place to interact, in hopes that the relationship can be repaired and rebuilt.  The addict will have a new experiences and things to re-learn after treatment, as well as strong friends and family members that are necessary for a foundation of   success.

Distributed by Client Initiatives

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