Health & Fitness

3 Ways to Help a Loved One in Recovery

Do you have a friend or family member who has entered rehabilitation and you want to help? For many patients, entering rehab is an important decision that will help them get their life and happiness back on the right track. However, it can also be very isolating if they have to go through it alone.

That is why it is important for them to have the support of their loved ones — before they enter, when they are in treatment and when the treatment is over. That’s because the journey to recovery is not short, and it’s not easy — and it’s not something that people can do alone.

If your friend or a family member is seeking help for their addiction, and you would like to be supportive, here are some steps you can take.

Learn about their addiction as much as you can

By taking the time to get a better understanding of their struggles and the rehab process, however, you will better empathize with them. It will also help you better understand how to talk to them and what they need. There are books, websites, and even support groups, such as Nar-Anon, available to help loved ones of those dealing with addiction.

Stay in communication while they are going through rehab

Once you’re loved one is in rehab, they will need your support more than ever. Easy and helpful ways to show that support is to call your loved one in rehab or to send care packages with items that will help them with their journey, including comfortable clothing or workout attire, toiletries, a book by one of their favorite authors, and even a favorite treat (if it’s allowed by the rehab program). A simple phone call or attempt to reach out can be just what they need to keep going in their recovery process.

Get involved in the recovery process when you are asked

Loved ones are often asked to participate in the recovery process. This can take on many scenarios. Your participation may include helping the rehab process by attending family therapy or therapy sessions or hanging out with your loved one on family days. It may also include making changes at home to create a better environment for your loved one’s recovery, so they are not triggered into relapsing.

Educate yourself on the signs of a relapse

Relapse happens for many recovering addicts. According to the National Institutes of Health, the relapse rates for people treated for substance use disorders are as high as 40% to 60%. Loved ones of addicts should be aware of the signs of relapse. They include:

  • Self-isolation
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Angry, defensive, or anxious behavior
  • Spending time in places where drugs are commonplace
  • Withdrawing from their loved ones
  • Sot sleeping or eating well

The more you can show your support and be there for the individual going through treatment and recovery, the better path they will be on. To learn more about recovery and how you can help, visit

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