The support of family and friends often plays a large role in addiction recovery. Everyone in the family will need to go through their own recovery process, and nobody should do it alone.

Below are some ways that the family, spouses and friends can help a loved one in their recovery:

Stay Involved & Supportive

Our students are trying to figure out that balance between recovery life, old and new relationships, academics and work life. Having the support and understanding from close friends and family can really benefit their success in sobriety.

Staying involved and supportive does not mean knowing what your loved one is doing every second of every day. It is about being there for him/her with healthy boundaries in place.

In order for recovery to truly work, the entire family system needs to be dedicated.

Find Support for Yourself

Your loved one isn’t the only one who needs to recover from addiction – you do, too. You are only responsible for your own thoughts and behaviors.

It’s OK to ask for help – in fact, we definitely recommend it.

Find what works for you as far as a support system. There are a number of resources available to you and your family. Go to a support group such as Al-Anon where you will hear from other family members who have been through similar situations; talk to a professional therapist; join your local gym; take the time that you need for yourself.

Minimizing Stress

Stress happens. Understanding that your loved one is more susceptible to stress in early recovery is important.

Common stress factors that we see here at Alpha 180 include work and/or school, budgeting, relationships with family and friends, health issues, living in a new sober environment, etc.

Acknowledging these factors will in turn help your loved one learn how to cope in healthy ways. Help your loved one navigate towards healthy coping mechanisms such as talking to their therapist, calling their sponsor, meditating, or exercising when they are stressed.

Staying involved enough to support your loved one as they go on this journey of recovery, being able to take a step back and find your own support and reducing the amount of stress as your loved one steers through early recovery is a great start to playing a significant role in their recovery. Remember, addiction is a family disease, but recovery is a family process.

JESSYCA DANIEL, MA, LCDCi

Jessyca is passionate about empowering college students not only in their recovery, but also in achieving their academic goals along the way. . Click Here to read Jessyca’s full bio.