Getting sober was hard enough. Now a recovering addict really needs the support and help of us, their loved ones, in preventing relapse. An addict can’t go it alone, or it’s just a matter of time before they hit a trigger and start using all over again.
How to Prevent a Loved One From Relapsing
Avoiding relapse can often be harder than getting sober because it requires a lifetime commitment. There is always a chance that a trigger lies right around the next corner and without our support to help them defeat that trigger, an addict can start the pattern all over again.
How can we help?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help. Just being around to listen, and being nonjudgmental about the conversation can be a tremendous help. If an addict feels they can go to someone for help when they are feeling tempted, it’s much more likely that a crisis can be averted.
Finding a support group where the addict feels comfortable, can provide a great deal of help. Being part of a group where members have gone through the same trials and tribulations helps an addict feel less alone in his or her struggle, and more like there is somewhere he or she belongs.
Making an addict feel like he belongs in the family structure is also of utmost importance.
Check for Relapse Symptoms
Constantly keeping an eye out for relapse symptoms can keep an addict from falling back into the rabbit hole of addiction. The sooner we spot the signs of relapse, the easier it will be to help the addict get back on track, and stay there.
Be on high alert for any of the following situations, known to be relapse triggers:
- Losing a loved one
- Experiencing major financial changes
- Having a change in employment, especially as it pertains to losing a job
- Change of marital status
- Health challenges
If someone is going to relapse, it will likely happen with the first year of being sober, so during that time, we must be extra vigilant, compassionate and supportive. However, it doesn’t stop there because relapse is always a possibility. We need to continue that supportive behavior going forward, so that an addict always feels there is a safety net, or someone to turn to, if and when he or she needs help.