You cannot make a friend or loved one get sober if he has fallen prey to drug addiction or alcoholism. That person will need to decide to get sober on his own will and accord. He may need to create his own path and program for sobriety, but will ask for your help. His journey on that path will not be easy, but if he is resolute in his decision, you can play an important role in his life to help him get and stay sober.
Recovering addicts and alcoholics face almost-daily challenges that can disrupt their recoveries. Addiction may be a disease that is marked by a physical connection to an abused substance, but at a greater and more dangerous level, addiction is a lifestyle that an addict needs to jettison before he achieves genuine sobriety. Regardless of whether a person has suffered from an addiction, changing any aspect of his lifestyle is a difficult task. When addiction is added to the mix, making the necessary changes to get and stay sober is a daunting challenge. Friend and family members who appreciate this difficulty will be in a better position to help a recovering addict to stay sober.
The first rule in helping any recovering addict is to be non-judgmental regarding his past choices and actions. Condemnations will increase a recovering addict’s guilt and shame and will drive him back to the substances that he used to escape pain in his life. Accepting the addict for what he is will give you the best starting platform to help him stay sober.
If you are living or socializing with a recovering addict, remove all temptations from his surroundings. Do not go to bars or events that give him easy access to alcohol and keep him away from suppliers that provided his drugs. Listen to him when he talks about his problems or the temptations he faces, and do not dismiss any of his struggles, regardless of how minor they may seem. If he does not want to go to a place where he would have easy access to alcohol or drugs, do not dismiss his concerns, and select an alternate place and activity that will not place him in temptation’s path.
Help him to start and stick with an exercise program. Give him healthy meal choices, and expose him to activities that will engage him in a sober community and create a social life for him that is not dependent on intoxicating substances. Many recovering addicts report that they are tempted into relapses out of boredom with their newly-sober existences. You can best help a recovering addict by making exciting and stimulating new activities.
Do not try to take the entire burden of helping a recovering addict on yourself. Encourage him to join and participate in support groups with other recovering addicts. Support groups will give you the respite you need to remain patient with a recovering addict. Recovery and genuine sobriety will not be complete after a short stay in rehab or even several months after a recovering addict has left rehab. Recovery is a lifelong process for a large majority of recovering addicts. You will need to exercise extreme patience as you help the recovering addict in your life to stay sober.
Design For Change provides the hope and freedom promised in recovery. Through family therapy and family programming, we see the family heal together through recovery. For information on our customizable treatment programs, call us today at: (877) 267-3646