Recovering addiction patients just want to return to normal, but they often feel like friends and family are walking on eggshells creating an environment with added stress and anxiety. Intentions are usually in the right place, but often develop an uncomfortable environment for recovering addicts. Stairway to Freedom, a sober living community in Chicago, knows you just want to help, so here are tools from professionals and advice on how to help a recovering family or friend.
Educate Yourself on the Recovery Process
Coming into a situation educated and prepared is the best thing you can do for your recovering friends or family members. Recovery is a complicated process, and you won’t know much about how to help a recovering addict if you don’t know anything about it yourself.
Take some time to learn about both addiction and recovery, focusing on triggers, health issues, and the overall steps to a successful recovery.
Join a Support Group
Support groups aren’t just meant for those recovering. There are plenty of helpful groups and resources for those helping a recovering addict that can ease your own stress.
Even if you’ve spent the time to educate yourself, it’s easy to feel lost once you are in the thick of helping a recovering addict. Support groups are there to put you in contact with others in your situation who can guide you through the hard times.
Set Realistic Expectations
The road to recovery is never an easy drive. Don’t come in with an expectation that life is going to go back to normal now that your friend or relative is clean and sober. There is no quick fix or “cure all.” There will be highs and lows. You need to be supportive though every step of the journey. Even if that includes a relapse.
The best way to help a recurring addict is to create as peaceful of an environment as possible, especially at the beginning of the recovery process. For newly recovering addicts, even minor slightest stressor can send them into a spiral leading right beach to addiction.
Instead of encouraging your friend or family member to jump right back into stressful work schedules and busy weekends, suggest participating in some stress-free activities to put them at ease. A few of the best stress alleviating activities include:
- Painting or drawing
Once you’ve created a stress-free environment, it’s time to create a temptation free environment. At the start of recovery, former addicts do not have the strength to resist constant temptation.
Helping a recovering addict means removing all alcohol and drugs from their home and social surroundings. If it’s not possible to create a temptation free environment in their current situation, consider suggesting a sober living community.
Looking for More Information on How to Help a Recovering Addict?
At Stairway to Freedom, we help recovering addicts and alcoholics rebuild their lives and build a strong foundation for a successful and ongoing recovery by providing a safe and structured living environment.
Do you you or someone you know need a helping hand down the road to recovery? Get in touch to learn more about the services Stairway to Freedom provides for recovering addicts.