Seeing your loved one emerge from rehab sober and ready to enter active recovery can be an encouraging thing, but it can also be frustrating for the former addict’s friends and family as they confront their inability to do more to help them in their ongoing efforts to maintain their recovery and avoid relapse. But while you can’t fight your loved one’s battles for them against addiction, there are steps you can take to aid the recovering addict in your life.

Supporting addicts in early recovery is possible with these practical tips and advice.

While the primary struggle against addiction is one the addict must wage alone, having a healthy support network of friends and family can be greatly helpful in maintaining their sobriety and avoiding relapse. But even friends and loved ones can be unhelpful if they don’t know the best ways to give assistance and support to the recovering addict in their life.

To avoid that, it’s best that those who seek to be there for an addict in early recovery know what they should and should not do, to better lend assistance that will actually benefit their loved one. With that in mind, here are some practical tips to make that happen:

Supporting Addicts in Early Recovery: Practical Tips and Advice
  1. Be present for them. During the early recovery process, the recovering addict can feel especially isolated as they attempt to reintegrate into their life after rehab. They may be dealing with issues of shame and regret from their previous struggle with substance abuse and be afraid to reach out to loved ones because they feel unworthy of support accordingly. By reaching out and ensuring you stay connected with the recovering addict, you can help them fight through such feelings and let them know you are in their corner, ready to lend a ready ear and a helping hand.
  2. Don’t Judge. Being there for the recovering addict is not helpful if every time you see them you are criticizing them or giving them grief, particularly over mistakes made before rehab when they were in the throes of addiction. Constant reminders of prior errors, made before they even entered rehab, are discouraging of progress made since then and threaten to undermine such progress. It’s more important to encourage them for positive efforts than to offer constructive criticism without understanding their addiction and the efforts to avoid relapse.
  3. Be ready to lend a hand. You can’t fight an addict’s battles yourself. But you can do small things for them when they’re overwhelmed by responsibilities regarding their recovery. They may need help to watch a pet or water some plants or run an errand while they have to go to a support meeting or avoid a relapse trigger. By putting yourself out there to help in small ways, you can make an oversized impact in their early recovery process.

If you’re looking for more ways to help a recovering addict in early recovery and need more practical tips, Good Landing Recovery can help you and your loved one with the help you both need to make recovery easier for all of you. Give them a call today.