6 Ways to Help Someone You Love Stay Sober

Posted in: Recovery

April 2, 2014

A woman hugging a man

Many people who decide to get help with their substance addiction might think that detox and rehab are the only parts of the recovery process, but ending substance abuse is only the beginning. Recovering from an addiction is a lifelong process because staying sober takes commitment and determination. It helps recovering addicts to have support from their loved ones, so it’s essential that people encourage recovering addicts by motivating them to continue living a substance-free life.

Millions of people struggle with substance addictions each year. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health found that 8.5 percent of the US population had a substance dependence or abuse problem in the previous year. Of these people, only 2.5 million people received professional treatment. These statistics show that addiction is a common problem that many people ignore.

Characteristics of a Recovering Addict

For addicts who receive professional help, rehab is just the beginning of recovery. In order to maintain long-term sobriety, it’s essential for a person not only to go through rehab but to also begin the recovery process.

As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains, recovery begins when a person takes the following actions:

  • Deals with his or her problems without using drugs or alcohol and without getting stressed out
  • Realizes his or her personal boundaries and how to separate their problems from other people’s
  • Has at least one person he or she can be completely honest with
  • Takes time to restore his or her physical and emotional energy when they are fatigued

If people take these acts after rehab, then they are in recovery.

How to Encourage Sobriety

Staying sober is a life-long journey that is much easier with the support of friends and family members.

When someone completes addiction treatment, other people may not know how to encourage recovery, but you can do so with the following six suggestions:

  1. Accept him without judgment – Since many recovering addicts feel judged by their families and friends, you should refrain from criticism and negativity as much as possible. Instead, express love for your loved one and praise his decision to maintain sobriety.
  2. Create a substance-free environment – One of the biggest predictors of long-term recovery is whether or not users live in drug-free environments. Loved ones can protect a recovering addict’s surroundings by removing any drug paraphernalia and encouraging them to stay away from places that might tempt them to relapse.
  3. Actively listen – Some recovering addicts need people to listen to them, so be available to listen to your loved one’s victories and struggles
  4. Encourage healthy habits – Cooking food, exercising and playing games are all positive, substance-free activities that recovering addicts can do with their loved ones
  5. Suggest joining a support group – In support groups, recovering addicts can interact with other recovering addicts while receiving encouragement
  6. Be patient – Recovery is a long and complicated process. People often make mistakes in recovery, so it’s important for them to know that their family and friends still support them when they mess up.
If you support your loved one through recovery, they are more likely to stay sober.

How to Help Someone Avoid Relapse

Addiction recovery is much easier when people have the support of friends and family members. If you have concerns that a recovering addict may need further help, give us a call at 615-490-9376 and our admissions coordinators will help guide you through the process.

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