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Family and Recovery: How to Help Your Loved One

Family members can play a very important role in their loved one's recover from drugs and alcoholWhat does family and recovery mean? Family members can play a very important role in their loved one’s recovery from drugs and alcohol. Whether your loved one has been in recovery or is just starting, there are many ways to offer support and encouragement.

Here are some ways to help your loved one begin or maintain their healthy life in recovery.

  1. Encourage total abstinence. It’s important for their recovery that they refrain from all drug or alcohol use. It’s also a good idea for them to avoid social situations that involve drugs or alcohol until they have strengthened their coping skills.
  2. Help build healthy coping skills. Stress in an unavoidable factor in life. Helping your loved build strong coping skills is crucial to them sustaining a healthy recovery. You can do this by being there to listen or talk as they process stressful experiences. Or reminding your loved one of coping strategies during stressful situations or when dealing with cravings.
  3. Try to help reduce family friction. Work on developing strong communication skills, spend positive time together, remind each other how much your care, and try to be flexible as you all work to find healthy ways to deal with problems.
  4. Encourage your loved one to be active in recovery-healthy activities, such as help your loved one find the right support group or meeting. Or help him or her find a new sober network of friends. This might involve researching ways they could potentially meet new people. Involvement in the community, church or volunteering are also great ways to add structured activities to a loved one’s schedule.
  5. Know what the signs of relapse are and be aware.

Substance abuse can strain family relations and can make it difficult to re-establish trust, but it’s important to remember that people can change and there is hope. And the love and support that families offer can be such an important resource for those who have found their way to recovery.

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