Overcoming Treatment Obstacles
Remember that recovery is a challenging process, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey. With persistence and support, your loved one can overcome obstacles and sustain long-lasting sobriety.
Tips for Helping Loved Ones Overcome Obstacles Include:
- If your loved one is struggling with motivation, remind them of the benefits of sobriety and the adverse consequences of continuing to use drugs or alcohol. Help them set attainable goals and celebrate their progress.
- Denial is a common first-line reaction to the idea of addiction. It can be difficult to get through to a person who has built a wall of denial, and this is where patience and continued efforts to help them understand their condition and its effects become critical.
- If they feel as if they are dealing with stigma, encourage them to seek support from non-judgmental sources, such as peer support groups, mental health professionals, or addiction specialists.
- If they are facing financial barriers to treatment, research free or low-cost treatment options, such as state-funded programs or sliding scale fees.
- If they relapse, encourage them to seek support immediately. They may need additional treatment or have their aftercare plan adjusted.
Helping & Encouraging Your Loved One Throughout the Treatment, Recovery, & Relapse Prevention Process
Addiction recovery is a journey, and it’s important to be patient and supportive throughout the process. With your support, your loved one can overcome addiction and achieve lasting sobriety. If you have a loved one who is going through addiction treatment and recovery, here are some ways you can support them:
- Offer Emotional Support & Motivation—As often as possible, let your loved one know you are there for them and that you support their recovery. Celebrate milestones like completing a treatment program, which can foster continued motivation.
- Listen Closely—Listen to your loved one attentively and encourage them to express their feelings and thoughts openly.
- Help With Tasks—To relieve stress, offer to help with tasks such as childcare, cooking, or transportation to appointments.
- Attend Meetings or Therapy—Consider attending therapy or support group meetings with your loved one to help you better understand their experience.
- Set Boundaries—Communicate the limitations of your support respectfully and actively avoid enabling your loved one’s addiction.
- Identify Triggers—Helping a loved one recognize temptations and triggers to use drugs or alcohol means identifying certain people, places, or activities.
Encourage Continuing Treatment and Aftercare—To help prevent relapse, urge your loved one to continue therapy or support group meetings, even after they’ve completed an intensive treatment program.
Co-Occurring Disorders That May Be Present
Addiction is often associated with co-occurring mental health disorders, also known as dual diagnoses. These issues need to be addressed in combination with substance use issues if treatment is going to be effective and psychological wellness, long-lasting.
Common Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions Include:
- Depression—Major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and other mood disorders that cause persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. (3)
- Anxiety Disorders—Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, which are marked by excessive and continuous worry or fear. (4)
- Bipolar Disorder—A mood disorder characterized by cycling episodes of mania and depression. (5)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—A potentially severe psychiatric condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. (6)
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—A neurodevelopmental disorder marked by inattention, trouble focusing, low motivation, and impulsiveness. (7)