Home > Addiction Recovery Guide

Supporting Loved Ones Through the Recovery Process

There are lots of things you can do to ensure that you are supporting loved ones through recovery. Simple things like suggesting an activity together, going to family therapy with them, or simply spending quality time with them can offer your loved ones the support they need when they are going through the recovery process. 

Why Support Matters

Studies indicate that individuals who receive support from their loved ones while in drug and alcohol rehab or moving through the rest of their recovery are more likely to finish their program and enjoy long-term success.

Support doesn't have to come in grand gestures or full-time effort. It can come in little ways that make all the difference.

Supporting Loved Ones Through Recovery

Recovery is a lifelong process, and it can come with co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or stress. It takes a long time for many of the more detrimental aspects of addiction to improve, and once someone has taken the brave step of reaching out and getting professional help, they still need love and support from those back home.

How to Support Others

There are several things you can do to support your loved one, whether they currently need help, are in recovery right now, or have completed their addiction treatment and are moving through the rest of their recovery.

Express Concerns

Be honest with your loved one.

If you have someone who needs help, express your concerns. Open up a conversation and let them know that you are there for them and you're worried. 

Even if they have completed an inpatient program, but you are worried about relapse, voice those concerns openly and from a place of love so that they know you are there for them.

Be Normal

Supporting loved ones through recovery means you don't behave abnormally or make substantial changes to your routine. Behaving differently can actually make them feel isolated, a significant risk after treatment. 

So carry on the same as you would, have a routine, continue to do your family movie nights on Friday, ask them to exercise with you like you used to do, and share things you've learned.

You can offer kind words and ensure that your loved one knows they are safe to talk to you in person, over the phone, or even texting you from the other room, but otherwise, don't try and handle them with kid gloves, so to speak.

Give Reassurance

Offer reassurance.

Going through recovery is full of ups and downs. Your loved one will likely stumble, and you need to recognize that anything they go through, good or bad, is something that they should be comfortable opening up about. Let them know that you are there to listen to them. 

Communication might revolve around:

  • Stress at work
  • Finding a new job
  • Financial strain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt 
  • Wanting to repair relationships
  • Needing a ride to support group meetings
  • Feeling overwhelmed or judged by others
  • Being ashamed of being in recovery
  • Wanting to find a new hobby
  • Needing some space

Whatever it is, be sure to listen and support your loved one in whatever ways you can, ways that do not encourage a relapse but instead rebuild the relationship and support them in their sobriety. 

Listen Well

When you are there for your loved one, whether it is in a family therapy session or at home, practice active listening.

Active listening is when you create a feeling of trust within your relationship so they know that they have time to think through their responses. Addiction can change cognitive function, and your loved one might need an extra moment or two in silence to formulate their response or to figure out how it is they feel.

You can ask open-ended questions so that you don't accidentally insert your own ideas or beliefs. Don't ask short and simple yes or no questions that shut down a conversation or seem dismissive as though you don't truly care.

Repeat things back to your loved one so that they know you truly heard them and took to heart their concerns, their issues, or their emotions. 

Supporting Loved Ones in Addiction Rehab with Atlanta Recovery Place

We specialize in providing the best addiction treatment services at our community-focused facility. Using the highest level of evidence-based care, clients can enjoy motivational interviewing, DBT, CBT, aftercare planning, as well as family therapy during their time at our treatment center.

A big part of residential program success has to do with family members participating in that family therapy and learning how to provide a supportive home environment after treatment.

Many people experience mental health problems at some point in their life, so they're able to understand what a loved one might be going through when it comes to things like depression or anxiety, but not everyone understands what it's like to do with addiction. The family therapy services at our Georgia drug rehab give everyone an opportunity to educate themselves, better understand one another, and move forward in repairing communication and relationships.

Overall, supporting loved ones in addiction rehab is an essential part of their success just as much as it is your success as a family. If you have a friend or family member going through recovery, there are several things you can do to help them improve and stay on the right track.