Relapses are a common part of addiction recovery. Family members are often at odds when it comes to relapses, due to the sheer disappointment they elicit after a person has been sober for a length of time. While it’s natural to feel this way, expressing your disappointment to your addicted loved one is unlikely to have a positive effect. Everyday Health recommends taking this approach when supporting a loved one struggling with substance addiction.
Set & keep boundaries
Boundaries are essential to getting a person back on track. After the relapse, drug treatment should be sought immediately, and it’s often up to family members to make sure this happens. Inform your loved one that he has a certain amount of time to seek out treatment or he’ll no longer be allowed to live with you. You can also withdraw financial support if the person lives independently. Keeping boundaries is just as important. The more you go back on your word, the less serious you’ll be taken.
Dealing with addiction is stressful in every possible way. Proper self-care is a must for the family members of addicts, especially after a relapse has occurred. Make sure your mental and physical well-being takes precedence over problems with the addicted person. If you’re having a hard time coping, consider seeking out professional counseling to sort through your problems.
Allow the addict to take responsibility
When watching someone you love struggle with major issues, your first impulse will likely be to step in and help out. For instance, you might consider appealing to the person’s boss at work to prevent firing. You may also be tempted to give the person money or drive them places if they’re without a vehicle. While this seems like you’re helping, you’re not allowing the addict to take responsibility. At the end of the day, only the person with the drug addiction can turn his life around, and for many people, the motivation to do that comes from being responsible and accountable.