Living With a Loved One in Recovery
If someone you care about has been struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, or other forms of a substance use disorder, you have had a front-row seat for the difficulties they have faced. You have pleaded with your friend or family member to get the help they need, and now that they have heeded your warnings and sought treatment, they are ready to graduate from rehab.
For recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, the end of rehab is only the beginning of a much longer journey, one that will involve identifying common triggers, avoiding dangerous relapses, and rebuilding lives shattered by years of substance abuse and denial. If you are ready to support the person you care about, you will need to understand all of these things and more, especially if you live in the same household.
Common Challenges of Early Recovery and How to Address Them
If you are trying to support a recovering drug addict or alcoholic living with you, it is essential to understand the world from their perspective. The challenges are everywhere for those in active recovery, and recognizing them could help you prevent a devastating relapse.
Here are some of the most common challenges recovering addicts and alcoholics face: they struggle to stay clean and sober:
- Meeting with old friends who are still using alcohol and drugs
- Financial stressors
- Job losses and difficulty finding employment
- Going to places where they used to abuse alcohol and drugs
- Remaining idle and not getting out in the community
- Being isolated or alone
- Health problems
Each of these challenges on its own can be dangerous, but a combination of the above factors could have devastating consequences for the recovering addict in your life. As a fellow member of the household, you are uniquely qualified to spot these problems and step in before any further damage occurs.
Tips for Helping a Loved on Prevent Relapse
When someone in your household is recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism, you have a responsibility to support them and help them out. Here are some tips you can use to provide the support needed to prevent relapse and help the person you care about live a sober life.
- Keep addictive substances out of the house – For someone with a history of drug addiction and alcoholism, a single can of beer could be enough to trigger a relapse, so keep those potentially dangerous substances out of the house.
- Look for sober-friendly activities to enjoy together – Distractions in the form of sober-friendly outings are essential for maintaining recovery, so make your plans and take your loved one along for the ride.
- Find a support group aimed at friends and family members – Support groups and 12-step meetings are not just for addicts and alcoholics; they can be hugely beneficial to friends and family members as well.
- Educate yourself – The more you know about how addiction arises and how it is battled, the better off you will be, so educate yourself and be ready to step in if need be.
Warning Signs of Potential Relapse
It is important to watch out for the early signs of relapse in the recovering drug addict or alcoholic. If you can identify a potential relapse early, you will be able to step in and help, and that could make all the difference in the world. Here are some of the warning signs to watch out for as you continue to live with a recovering addict:
- An increase in secrecy
- Hanging around with non-sober friends
- Dilated pupils
- Unexplained weight loss
- A loss of coordination
If you notice any of these warning signs, it is essential to step in as soon as possible. Fast action could make all the difference, turning what would have been a devastating relapse into a near miss.
What to Do If a Relapse Does Occur
Hopefully, the recovering addict in your life will continue to live a sober lifestyle for the rest of their days, and you will never have to deal with the consequences of their temporary failure. But if a relapse does take place, knowing what steps to take next could literally save the sobriety, or even the life, of the person you love and care about.
If your loved one suffers a relapse, it is crucial to step in and get them help, which begins with a call to WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab or a visit to one of our Florida locations. We can provide the guidance, advice, and rehab needed to make that relapse a small bump in the road instead of a permanent barrier to sobriety, so contact us today to assist the journey.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.