3 Ways To Support A Loved One After Relapse

Having a loved one who is struggling with addiction can bring about a range of emotions. There can be fear that they will end up in serious legal trouble or overdose. You may also have a lot of hope once they decide to get sober. Relapse is common among individuals in recovery. When you find out that someone you care about has relapsed, you may not know how to act. The addiction treatment experts at Northern Illinois Recovery Center can help and guide you through how best to support a friend or loved one.

What Causes a Relapse?

There are a variety of factors that can come into play when it comes to relapsing. Learning more about what triggers may have played a part can help you, and your loved one find a way back to the path of recovery. Relapse prevention is a key part of treating addiction and overcoming the disease. Some common reasons people end up relapsing include:

  • Needing to find relief from feelings of stress
  • Wanting to escape from negative feelings and thoughts
  • Seeing a person or visiting a place that reminds your loved one of past drug use
  • Setting up unrealistic expectations for recovery

The more you understand why the relapse happened, the more prepared you will support your loved one.

3 Ways to Show Support After a Drug Relapse

Below are some tips on how you can help a loved one after a drug relapse:

  1. Try Not To Focus On Your Feelings: The fallout from drug use affects everyone. You and your family may still be dealing with the emotional and financial fallout from the actions of your loved one. Understandably, one of your first reactions might be anger and frustration at the idea of seeing someone you care about, seemingly throwing away all their progress. None of those emotions are going to help someone who likely already feels extremely guilty. Try to redirect your thoughts away from anger to empathy. Staying calm can encourage your loved one to open up and be more receptive to feedback on what they can do to get things back on track.
  2. Remind Them That They Have Not Failed: Show empathy to your loved one and let them know they are not the first person to have a stumble while in recovery. Remind them that there is no reason to give up on their goal of remaining sober. Please encourage them to seek advice from an addiction specialist. While it may be tempting to feel as though you have all the answers, it’s better to allow the person you care about to decide what’s right for them. Having some sense of control can help pull them out of any spiraling emotions and find a reason to keep moving forward.
  3. Let Them Know Still Care: Many individuals in recovery feel as though they are walking a tightrope. They may feel pressure not to make a mistake because they feel they’ve already caused so much damage because of their addiction. Having a drug relapse can make them feel they will lose all the support they gained while in recovery. Do what you can to make sure your loved one understands that having a drug relapse did not cause you to lose faith in their ability to get well. Once they know you are still in their corner, they may have the strength to pull themselves back together and seek additional care for their drug addiction.

Learn to Support Loved Ones in Recovery

Many friends and family members have a hard time figuring out how they can help a loved one struggling with drug addiction. Northern Illinois Recovery Center can teach clients relapse prevention techniques while educating families on the best way to support a family member. They may benefit from one of the following services after experiencing a relapse:

Find out more about how you can encourage a loved one struggling with substance abuse by calling Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978.