Drug Addiction Recovery is a Team Effort
Drug and alcohol addiction recovery seems impossible without the support and love of family and friends. Dependency alone makes you feel isolated and lonely. But recovery often feels just as challenging—especially once you face the reality that your addiction has nearly destroyed your closest relationships.
Therefore, gaining the support of your family and trusted friends during recovery can also help them understand your daily struggles as they, too, take steps to restore relationships.
Let’s examine more closely why you should involve your friends and family during your addiction recovery.
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Expanding Your Support System
Many detox and rehab centers offer treatment in the form of medically-supervised care, counseling, and group programs. However, your friends and family are an often underutilized support system. These are individuals who want you to become healthy again, and they will help you become sober for no other reason than that they love you. Additionally, these are the people who can introduce you to new interests that support a substance-free existence.
The key to long-lasting sobriety is including people in your life who share your sentiments about drugs and alcohol while also cutting out the people who enable you or feed your addiction.
Meeting new friends doesn’t limit you only to those you meet at AA or NA. Find people who play sports that you enjoy or hobbies you dabble at as they can keep you motivated to stay sober.
Educating Your Family About Your Addiction Recovery
Addiction tears families apart because it leads to financial ruin, destroyed careers, legal problems, and even domestic violence.
Therapeutic family sessions teach your family about the connection between drug and alcohol abuse and the brain. These sessions also teach them methods to help you break the cycle of abuse. During the therapy, you begin rebuilding relationships under the tutelage of addiction counselors who are skilled at navigating these sometimes stormy waters.
Your closest family members will support you in sobriety, want to learn how to help you, and become a key to preventing relapse. It solidifies their commitment to helping your addiction recovery.
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Avoiding Relapse After Detox and Therapy
Even after you have completed addiction treatment, relapse is still a dangerous possibility and can occur when you encounter triggers that make you crave drugs or alcohol. Family and friends who are committed to helping you recover can help guide you away from these scenarios. They can also encourage and support 12-step support groups, relapse prevention classes, and ongoing counseling.
Struggling with triggers or cravings? Check out our advice on dealing with some of the most common reasons for relapse and remaining committed to recovery.
Spending More Time in Sober Places
If your family and friends commit to helping you fight for sobriety, they’ll most likely support your desire to keep it out of your house. They can foster a safe environment by removing alcohol, drugs, or substances from the home.
When they understand your triggers, they can also plan sober activities that you can all participate in together. They might even have other friends who are also engaged in recovery who will expand your network. You may be inclined to find support in strangers in AA chatrooms and groups, and while they may be useful, the intimacy of personal familial relationships is necessary for addiction recovery.
Be honest about your triggers and cravings. When your loved ones understand the cause and intensity, they can help provide you with a judgment-free, safe environment.
They can also help you blow off steam, as stress is a well-known cause of cravings.
Strengthening Existing Relationships
Relationships have frequently suffered as a consequence of addiction. Loss of trust, loyalty, and honesty can be restored. Involve your friends and family in the recovery process so they can gain an understanding of your addiction and help you beat it.
Group and family therapy can help you reconnect and even strengthen family bonds.
If you suffer from addiction and feel hopeless, ashamed, or scared about including friends and family in your recovery, understand that many detox centers will help lead family meetings in a therapeutic setting. Family therapy can help patients and their families repair and rebuild bonds that have been impacted by addiction.