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Tips for Living With a Recovering Addict

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Tips for Living With a Recovering Addict

People in recovery face a multitude of challenges least of which is the fear of a relapse.  The recovering addict and their loved ones soon learn that the complexities of addiction also extend to the approach they take in order to maintain long term sobriety.  Living with a person in recovery means that your lifestyle and actions can have a direct impact on whether they relapse or not.  As such, it is important to understand what is involved in the recovery process and what you can do to support rather than sabotage a recovering addict’s effort to stay clean and sober.

Tips for living with a Recovering Addict

  1. Maintain your own healthy lifestyle. This is particularly important for family members to remember who frequently become immersed in concerns about helping the addict to avoid a relapse.
  2. Be patient. The person in recovery will need time to readjust to living life without drugs. They need time to incorporate the lessons learned in rehab and before they can fully reengage in what others see as normal everyday life.  
  3. Be supportive by attending recovery support meetings.  This will help you to better understand the struggles of a recovering addict and improve your support skills. Meeting others that are also living with and supporting a loved one through recovery can also be beneficial to you.
  4. Create a safe living environment by removing drugs, alcohol and substance abuse paraphernalia from your daily surroundings.  Studies show environment is a 50% contributor to substance abuse behavior that leads to addiction.   
  5. Do not encourage activities in the living environment that make it difficult for the person in recovery to stay sober such as throwing parties where drugs and alcoholic beverages are being used.  If a person in recovery is unable to remove themselves from situations that are favorable to substance abuse, it can threaten their sobriety goals.   
  6. Offer encouragement and praise especially when the person in recovery make constructive effort and strides in maintaining sobriety occurs.  
  7. Work with an addiction specialist and the addict to put a plan for overcoming a lapse or relapse in place. Treat a relapse as a minor setback rather than a complete failure and implement the steps in the plan even if it means the person in recovery has to return to temporarily return to a rehab center.    

Helping someone to say sober after experiencing addiction is about being realistic and paying attention to the things that does not support their well being. However, it is also important to remember that ultimately, the person in recovery must take responsibility for their sobriety.  Being invasive or overbearing by watching and second guessing their every move may do more harm than good. If they do end up relapsing, it is important that they deal with the consequences.

Sources:

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