If you have not been through the process, you can’t imagine how hard it is to get through addiction treatment. While fighting terrible carvings for their drug of choice, the addiction sufferer has to focus on figuring out why they feel the need to harm themselves with drugs or alcohol. When successful, they face the additional challenge of leaving rehab with their recovery on the line every day from that point forward.
The very strongest people do a great job of recovering from their addictions. Even for the strongest people in recovery, there is an occasional need for support from a loved one. You can only imagine how afraid those people who leave rehab feeling a little unsure of themselves feel. They for sure will need support on the outside.
If you are ready and willing to help a loved one or friend who is in an outpatient recovery program, you might not know the best ways to go about doing that. With that in mind, here are five simple ways to be supportive of someone in outpatient recovery.
1. Give a Ride to Rehab
That ride to rehab every week can be a little scary. If you can, commit to making that drive with them. At the least, it will give you and them a little alone time to talk about life, love, and their progress in recovery. If for any reason they might have driving restrictions, volunteering to drive them each time would be a grand gesture of love and kindness. Between that familial support and the right aftercare rehab program, you’re setting them up for success.
2. Help Them Develop Other Support Resources
The fact you are willing to stand by and support your loved one as they participate in an outpatient recovery program is meaningful. However, you alone might not be there every time some support is needed.
A great gift you can give someone in recovery is access to other people who have time and a willingness to be supportive. After the trauma of dealing with their addictions, everyone could use as much support as possible. FYI: Introducing your loved one to a 12 Step program could have a profound effect on their lives and recovery.
3. Protect Them From Exposure to Drugs and Alcohol
As the saying goes, “temptation is the Devil’s workshop.“ If you really care about someone who is in treatment or recovery, you should put forth an effort to create a substance-free environment for them to enjoy. Hopefully, you don’t have a drug or alcohol drinking problem. If you do, you could use a little help as well. Remember, loved ones don’t put other loved ones in harm’s way.
4. Set Boundaries
While you are being supportive, it doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to inappropriate or destructive behavior. That might mean you have to set boundaries to help direct your loved one’s behavior. Some boundaries you might set include:
- No tolerance for any substance use without a doctors prescription
- No access to friends and acquaintances who abuse substances themselves
- No lying about behaviors
- No requests for money
- That they always are respectful to you, themselves, and others
5. But Never Judge Them
It is very important that you understand your loved one will always live with the disease of addiction. It is not something they can any longer control. Therefore, they are not deserving of harsh judgment about the past or in the future. Should they slip and fall back into their addiction, you can offer to help them back up and into addiction treatment where they can try again. They have not failed, they have only fallen prey to a very insidious disease.