Drug addiction affects not only the addict, but also the lives of family and friends closest to them. Some people find that once the addict has gone through a treatment facility and are in the recovery process, that they are unsure what they can do to help the recovering addict.
It’s important to know that during this time, while the person may no longer be addicted to drugs, they may still not be the same person they were before their addiction. Many people find that confusing, because they expect that once the addict is clean, they’ll be ‘back to normal’. The recovering addict is dealing with many different emotions and trying to rebuild their lives again. They are learning to build their self esteem and self worth, and making decisions that will help keep them from relapsing.
This process is imperative to the addict’s recovery, and as a family member or loved one, your support and encouragement is important. Many family members also find that counseling and therapy may also help them understand the addict, and also the role that they play in the recovery process.
As the family member or loved one of an addict, chances are that you’ve been hurt by their actions during their addiction. The families and loved ones of the addict can often find themselves feeling overwhelmed or unsure how to cope with the emotions that they are feeling, and this is a perfectly natural process.
Counseling and therapy can help understand the emotions, plus allow you to heal from the pain that you suffered during the time that the addict was using drugs. Addiction doesn’t just affect the person using the drugs, but is also affects those who love them. Many family members find themselves concerned that the addict will slip back into their addiction, which is why programs such as Nar-Anon can be helpful. The program is for families or loved ones of those struggling with addiction, and helps offer hope and healing. The program can also offer insight into addiction and ways that you can help with the recovery process.
Even though you may want the addict to rejoin in the family activities, understand that it may take them a while to feel comfortable and fully able to do so. Try to be patient, and not pressure them, but instead encourage them and let them know they are loved.