How to Help Loved Ones Avoid Relapse After Addiction Treatment

Posted in Family Health

How to Help Loved Ones Avoid Relapse After Addiction Treatment

While alcohol rehab clinics could work wonders assisting addicts step away from alcohol in the first place, general wellbeing and long-term recovery are a completely different story. This is where the commitment, the lifestyle choices and the general attitude of the person in question come into play – not to exclude the support and help provided by family members and friends.

The simple fact is that there are always moments of weakness and temptation in the weeks or months and even years that will follow successful rehabilitation and treatment. It is how these moments of weakness are handled and approached that will make all the difference and it is an area in which family and friends play a crucially important role. Studies shows that relapse is much more common than most people are aware of, but this does not necessarily mean that can’t be avoided completely with the right approach.

It will all come down to proactivity and being able to accept the fact that you and the people around you have more control over the situation than you might realise. So when it comes to assisting close ones avoid relapsing after a successful round of treatment, the following guidelines could make the process for everybody involved:

1 – Find The Triggers

First up, every recovering addict will always have specific triggers that might prompt or encourage them to go back to their old ways of living. In the instance of a recovering addict, some of the most common of all include depression, boredom, loneliness, hanging around with certain people, environments in which alcoholic beverages are readily available and generally a wide variety of social situations. The simple fact is that the more a recovering alcohol addict is exposed to specific triggers, the more likely they’re to relapse. However, if you manage to keep them away from their specific triggers, you will be playing a huge role contributing to their success in the long term.

2 – Reduce Temptation

Along similar lines and perhaps one of the most important tips of all, the needs of a recovering addict must be held beyond those of everybody else, meaning that you should get rid of all temptation. It’s so much easier and simpler when there is not a single drop of alcohol around the home and considering how important the cause is, it is not exactly a huge request to ask of anyone. And naturally, it is not advisable to allow yourself to be seen by the person in question while consuming alcohol – it just does not convey the right message.

3 – Offer Support Not Controlling

It is often assumed that one of the most efficient things anyone can do to assist a recovering addict is to basically lock them up and take full control of their lives, in order to make sure that they are not able to relapse. However, this more often than not is literally the worst thing you could do as you’re not encouraging and teaching the person in question to take care of their own best interests and of themselves in general. Instead, it’s much more likely that they will become dependent on you in various areas of their life, which means that as soon as you start to withdraw your help and support, the likelihood of them relapsing increases enormously.

4 – Offer Distractions

As mentioned, boredom is one of the most dangerous triggers when it comes to which recovering addicts will relapse and which will stay alcohol-free. Too much free time and not enough to do will surely lead a recovering addict to think about returning to the bottle, if only to give them something of an occupation. But while boredom is one of the most powerful triggers of all, it also happens to represent the easiest of all to treat. The reason is simple – doing anything at all will always be better than not doing anything, so make sure to play a role in helping in this specific department.

5 – Expect Some Slip-ups

Last up, it’s crucially important to acknowledge the fact that there’s a big and essential difference between a small slip-up and complete relapse. The difference is that while the latter represents a return to former habits, lifestyle choices and behaviours, the former constitutes simply a minor bump in the road that’s easy to get past. Basically the very worst thing you can do at the first signs of a slip-up is to entirely and totally go to pieces and think of it as it’s the end of the world. Doing so will simply make the person in question feel as if they have already failed, even though they have not, which could motivate them to give up entirely.