When you have a friend, family member or another loved one in your life who has become addicted to using and abusing drugs and alcohol, helping them to get clean may often feel overwhelming and nearly impossible. Helping a former addict to stay clean once your loved one makes the decision to attempt staying sober can be done by understanding addict behavior, triggers and how to provide the right type of support system necessary to avoid indulging in bad habits again.
Help a Former Addict: Learn About Addiction
Before you can truly grasp how an addiction takes hold of an individual and controls their life, it’s important to get to know other addicts who have faced the struggle with alcohol, drugs and even prescription medications. Getting to know former users along with your loved one is a way for you not only to understand addictions in their entirety, but it is another way to gain insight into the lives of individuals who have been affected or who are still affected by addiction itself.
- Talk Openly and With Acceptance With Your Loved One
When you want to lend a helping hand or if you simply want to provide support for your loved one or friend who is facing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s important to talk openly and honestly about their addiction without judgment. Being honest, upfront and sharing that you do not intend to judge your friend or loved one is a way for you to get them to open up more about their addiction and potentially any struggles they are facing.
- Provide Safe Environments
Anytime you are in the presence of a friend or a loved one who is a former addict and who is trying to stay sober, it is imperative to provide them with a safe environment at all times that is drug and alcohol-free. Helping your friend or loved one to stay clean from using drugs and alcohol is nearly impossible if they are consistently surrounded by substances that can cause them to relapse and begin regularly using themselves again. Additionally, whenever you are out with your friend or loved one who is trying to stay clean, avoid bars or alcohol-focused environments.
- Offer Support
Provide support directly to your loved one who is a former addict when you want to ensure they do not begin using drugs or alcohol again on a regular basis. Lending support and an open ear to an addict at all times is a way to deter them from trying to use drugs and alcohol. Be sure to tell your friend or loved one that you are available if they are in need of support or assistance when struggling with temptations or using drugs and alcohol again. By simply lending more support you can keep your loved one and friends from using substances again.
- Increase Their Support Structure
Overcoming any addiction is never simple without a support group, whether it consists of all friends, family members or a mix of both. When you have a friend or a loved one who is struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, it is highly recommended to attempt expanding their support group with more friends and family. Reaching out to additional family members and friends of your loved one who is trying to overcome their addiction is a way to lend support while boosting the morale of the loved one who is trying to kick the habit of using drugs and alcohol on a regular basis.
Understand the Impact of Addiction on Your Life
The more you understand about addiction and the impact it can have on your life and the life of your loved one, the easier it becomes to stay empathetic with the situation at hand. Knowing how to communicate with a friend or loved one who is trying to overcome an addiction or stay sober is a way for you to ensure they are not veering off track or using any substances again. The more engaged you become with your loved one while they attempt to stay sober, the easier it is to keep tabs on whether or not they are tempted with drugs and alcohol at all times.