This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
When it comes to talking about addiction and recovery, most of the attention is focused on the person in rehab. Yet there is an entire world of issues facing the friends, family and loved ones of the person in treatment and recovery. For those close to an addict, there can be a host of worries, confusion, fears, and even unresolved anger and resentment.
One of the first course of action for those who wish to support someone in rehab is to get themselves to a better place. Addiction causes a lot of damage to family and loved ones. The lying, evasiveness, and strange behavior witnessed by those close to an addicted person can leave lasting scars and traumas. There are also those who have been physically harmed by someone who has been addicted to a substance. Get counseling and seek support for these issues. Lingering fears, resentments, and suspicions could be counter-productive to recovery. It is not selfish to seek help for yourself if you are close to someone who is going through addiction treatment.
In order to provide support for someone in recovery, you will need to move beyond assigning blame. Yes, people who have been addicted to drugs do many terrible things. This is why you need to get yourself on a good ground. Blaming the recovering addict for their wrings will likely lead to feelings of shame and defeat. This leads to relapse. It is important to see the actions of an addict as symptoms of a disease and not maliciousness. There are, of course, those who have been severely damaged by their relationship with an addicted person. This is obviously more complicated and one will need to decide if they can offer support at all.
One of the best ways to support yourself as a family member or loved one of an addict is to seek others who are in the same position. There are support groups for the families of people in recovery. Many rehabs and treatment facilities offer access to these groups.
Much of the damage done to relationships during addiction leads to a lack of trust. Those who have been close to a person struggling with addiction will have lost their faith and trust in that person. As someone enters into recovery, it is important to grant some measure of trust again. That said, you need to be mindful of what is happening. There is a difference between allowing a measure of trust and giving full trust to a person in recovery. The modicum of trust you grant instils confidence in the person who is recovering. Your own mindful watch allows you peace of mind. Be trusting, but be smart.
Finally, live your own life. Many people close to a struggling addict have given up their lives in order to tend to the person struggling with addiction. With the weight of active drug use gone, it is time to find your own life again. The person in recovery is certainly hoping to return to living a meaningful life. You need to have your own life also.
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