Completing an inpatient rehabilitation program is often the first step on an arduous journey to recovery. One of the most common misconceptions is that when an addict is released from treatment they’ll be “cured” once and for all. Albeit a slow process, recovering addicts need extra support with reintegration into society. As the family member or friend of an addict, it’s important for you to know the challenges they’re facing and how to promote an amiable environment.

Educate Yourself

Understanding the nature of addiction is one of the best ways to relate to a recovering addict. Abusing a harmful substance, whether it’s alcohol or drugs, has a lasting effect on your physiology. In the brain, it creates a craving which then exerts a level of control over the user. While many addicts acknowledge the consequences of drug abuse, it’s often difficult to overcome the condition without continued help. The partnership at drugfree.org offers a selection of educational resources for family members to better understand the affliction of addiction. On the site, you can find links to treatment, managing triggers, and more.

Know the Signs

Sometimes it’s not so obvious that an individual has relapsed.  Binging comes in many forms and happens to a number of individuals after leaving a treatment facility. These are some of the most common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Neglecting family and work responsibilities
  • Sudden changes in relationship dynamics
  • Unexplained outbursts/unstable emotional state
  • Suspicious or secretive behavior
  • Change in sleep and wake cycle

Temptation often takes over when an individual suffers from addiction. Unfortunately, the family members and close friends are the first ones to suffer. For that very reason, they are the best able to identify a problem forming and promote the appropriate help.

Set Boundaries

When dealing with a friend or family member who’s suffering from an addiction, it can be difficult to know where to draw the line. While it may seem like you’re putting up a wall or excluding them from your life, it’s crucial to have clear and distinguishable boundaries for your own well-being. Maybe your friend, partner, or relative becomes emotionally abusive when you bring up their addiction. If that’s the case, it’s vital to set limits on the behavior you find unacceptable then determine consequences in correspondence. Be sure to enforce the consequence every time the individual crosses the line. Another approach, developed by Al-Anon (an addiction specialty support group) is known as “detachment with love.” This type of approach involves telling the addict that you love them but won’t subject yourself to their behavior when they act inappropriately.

Seek an Outpatient Program

Patience and compassion are two of the most important characteristics to look for in an outpatient addiction counselor. Ambrosia Treatment Center has a range of experts on hand ready to provide an intensive outpatient experience. When seeking an outpatient program look for one which includes psychiatric evaluations, individual/ group therapy, education, and family involvement.