Addiction recovery is very complex and is usually a pretty complicated journey for the person who is addicted as well as their loved ones. Addiction recovery involves overcoming psychological and physical dependencies in addition to dealing with all of the underlying issues that may have contributed to the drug or alcohol addiction in the first place.

It’s very important to have a good support system in place when recovering from an addiction. This will make the recovery process much easier and will make it more likely for the addict to be able to successfully overcome their addiction.


The Role of Support in Addiction Recovery

When it comes to addiction recovery, a support group refers to a group of individuals who are there to offer spiritual, practical, and emotional support to the person who is recovering from their addiction. A support group is designed to help the person navigate the challenges that come with overcoming an addiction. They are also there to offer encouragement and help keep the person motivated on their recovery journey.

A support system is particularly important in the early stages of recovery as this is a time when the recovering addict may feel anxious, overwhelmed and potentially tempted to relapse. A support system will provide the addict with a non-judgemental, safe space where they can share their feelings and thoughts openly and receive feedback and guidance.

It can be difficult to build a support system in recovery, however, it is an essential part of a recovery journey and it can significantly improve the person’s chances of achieving long-term recovery from their addiction. A good support system will help people feel supported, connected, and empowered. Plus, it will also provide a foundation for a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle throughout the recovery.


How to Provide Support to Someone in Recovery

There are many ways in which you can provide support to someone who is recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. Below, we will go over some of the best methods for supporting your loved one through their addiction recovery process:

Learn More About Addiction

The most important thing you can do to help someone who is recovering from an addiction is to educate yourself on addictions. When you learn more about the disease, you will be able to understand more of what your loved one is going through. Consider attending some therapy sessions or support groups with your loved one so you can learn more about addictions and recovery.

Practice Self Care

When you’re supporting someone through their recovery, it’s important to care for your own emotional and mental well-being. Practising good self-care will help you remain strong during the process. Take time to do things you enjoy, eat healthily, and ensure you’re getting enough sleep. It can also be useful to get support through things like support groups, therapy, or talking with your friends and family.

Choose Effective Communication

Effective communication is very important when you are supporting someone with their addiction recovery. You need to be open and honest with your loved one and also encourage them to do the same. Avoid being critical or judgemental when talking with them and listen to them without interrupting.

Understand The Recovery Process

Understanding the recovery process is also very important. Addiction recovery will have many ups and downs, and some moments will be harder than others. For example, when the time comes to navigate Christmas in recovery, or the holiday season in general, where temptation may be heightened. It’s essential that you learn more about these ups and downs so that you can provide the best levels of support. Recovery involves a range of different steps such as detoxing, drug and alcohol rehab, and ongoing maintenance.

You need to learn and understand these steps so you know more about what your loved one may be feeling and experiencing. This will help you become a much more effective support system. It’s also important that you know that recovery is a lifelong process and that your loved one may need your support for a long time, even after they have reached the sobriety level.

Encourage Professional Support

Friends and family members are definitely an essential form of support for a recovering addict. However, professional support is also needed when it comes to addiction recovery. Encourage your loved one to reach out to professionals for therapy sessions. It is also a good idea to go to support groups and consider a rehab treatment plan. Professional support can provide all of the tools needed to achieve a successful recovery and maintain sobriety. Family therapy is also another great way in which you can support your loved one during their recovery process.

Learn About The Signs of Relapse

It’s important that you know about the signs of relapsing so that you can help your loved one avoid it when it comes around. Below is a list of some of the most common signs of relapse:

  • Increased anxiety or stress
  • Withdrawing from support networks and social activities
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Cravings for alcohol or drugs
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Neglecting self-care
  • Returning to old habits

If you notice any of the warning signs above, it’s important to address them immediately and provide your loved one with support to prevent relapsing.

Avoid Any Enabling Behaviours

You must avoid enabling behaviours if you want to support your loved one through their recovery. Below is a list of some of the most common enabling behaviours to avoid:

  • Providing them with resources or money that can be used to purchase substances
  • Blaming others for your loved one’s addiction
  • Minimising or ignoring the issue
  • Lying to cover up their behaviour
  • Cleaning up after your loved one has used substances
  • Rescuing your loved one from consequences that resulted from substance abuse

Encourage Healthier Habits

Encouraging healthy habits is important when helping someone recover from their addiction. You should encourage daily exercise, a healthy diet, and a good sleeping pattern. You can also help them find ways to manage their stress. This may be through things like mindfulness and meditation. Encourage your loved one to attend therapy sessions and support groups as these are very helpful.

If you want assistance or guidance to help a loved one with addiction, contact our team today for support. You can also phone on 01475 303998 to organise a family intervention session.

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John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 1, 2023

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. His passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases. The journey continues. In recent times, John has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with NAD+ scientists and the very best of the medical professionals in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Hospitals own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists. Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with NAD+ Therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.